A new study finds that the testosterone that is produced naturally in our bodies during the day may actually help us sleep better and feel better.
“We’ve known for a long time that testosterone helps us to feel better and be more energetic,” said co-author and associate professor of neuroscience at UC Davis, Peter F. Hsieh.
“But until now, the mechanisms involved were unknown.”
Hsieh and his colleagues, including his wife, Susan, used a compound that is normally found in the blood of humans to determine how testosterone affects sleep, energy levels, and mood.
Testosterone is a hormone that is released in the body to help with a variety of health and medical conditions, including reducing inflammation and improving the immune system.
A 2012 study found that testosterone supplements such as TestoStim can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase sexual function, and increase mood.
“We wanted to look at how these hormones affect sleep and feel,” Hsiehs co-director of the UC Davis Center for Neuroendocrinology and Regenerative Medicine, said in a press release.
The team looked at the effects of six different drugs that increase the levels of testosterone naturally in the brain.
The drugs were administered in two different ways: through an injection into the forearm, or via injection in a capsule.
Hsing-Hing Chen, a professor at the University of Washington and co-lead author of the study, said the combination of the two was a powerful way to determine the effectiveness of testosterone in regulating sleep and energy levels.
Chen’s lab is currently developing new drug targets for the effects testosterone has on sleep, sleep quality, mood, and energy.
For now, they are testing testosterone in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
“The drugs we tested for have an effect on the sleep-wake cycle, which has been shown to be disrupted in Alzheimer’s, and this is an area of concern in Alzheimer and other dementias,” said Chen.
What the study found was that the drug did work in both the short term and long term, and also that it helped regulate the levels and effects of cortisol in the testes of the mice.
The team also found that the drugs worked in an additive manner, that they increased testosterone levels in the brains of the animals.
In mice, the testosterone produced in the lab is converted into estradiol, which is a substance that helps regulate hormones in the ovaries.
Estrogen is produced in large quantities in the adrenal glands.
These testosterone levels were higher in mice that received the testosterone-like compound than in those that received a placebo.
The study is published in the journal Neuroendocrine Research.
The research team, including Hsiehi and Chen, said their findings suggest that the combination treatment of testosterone and a chemical known as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), which is found in common household cleaners and detergents, may be an effective way to decrease cortisol levels in male mice.
But the researchers added that it is not known if these effects will be permanent.
According to the National Institutes of Health, dimethyl sulfuroxide is an ingredient found in some cleaning products, including detergants, nail polish remover, and laundry detergers.
Hsiehs team also plans to test the effects on other conditions such as diabetes, obesity, sleep, and stress in the future.
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