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Testosterone (Molecule of the Month for April 2006)

Andriol, Striant, Androgel, Testim

Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. Testosterone is secreted in the testes of men and the ovaries of women. It is the principal male sex hormone. In both males and females, it plays key roles in health and well-being. Testosterone is derived from cholesterol just like other steroid hormones. The largest amounts of testosterone are produced by the testes in men, but it is also synthesized in smaller quantities in women by the theca cells of the ovaries, by the placenta.

Testosterone effects can be classified as virilizing and anabolic effects, although the distinction is somewhat artificial, as many of the effects can be considered both. Anabolic effects include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of height growth and bone maturation. Virilizing effects include maturation of the sex organs, particularly the penis and the formation of the scrotum in fetuses, and after birth (usually at puberty) a deepening of the voice, growth of the beard and torso hair.

Anabolic steroids have also been taken to enhance muscle development, strength, or endurance. After a series of scandals and publicity in the 1980s (such as Ben Johnson's improved performance at the 1988 Summer Olympics), prohibitions of anabolic steroid use were renewed or strengthened by many sports organizations, and it was made a "controlled substance" by the United States Congress.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Testosterone 3D model

click on the picture of  Testosterone above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Testosterone structure
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Picture of Testosterone

C19 H28 O2

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for April 2006 )

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