A team led by Dr. Joel Finkelstein at Massachusetts General Hospital investigated testosterone and estradiol levels in 400 healthy men, 20 to 50 years of age. To control hormone levels, the researchers first gave the participants injections of a drug that suppressed their normal testosterone and estradiol production. The men were randomly assigned to 5 groups that received different amounts (from 0 to 10 grams) of a topical 1% testosterone gel daily for 16 weeks. Half of the participants were also given a drug to block testosterone from being converted to estradiol.
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Testosterone affects the function of many organs in the body. In the brain, it influences sex drive, male aggression, mood and thinking. Testosterone can improve verbal memory and visual-spatial skills. It has also been shown to decrease fatigue and depression in men with low levels. It is responsible for muscle strength and growth, and stimulates stem cells and blood cells in bones and kidneys. Penile growth, erections, sperm production, and pro-static growth and function all depend on testosterone. It also causes body hair growth, balding and drives beard growth, thus, testosterone makes us who we are and influences how we look.