Eli5 – do women use testosterone or estrogen to build muscle? What is the role of testosterone in women?

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Eli5 – do women use testosterone or estrogen to build muscle? What is the role of testosterone in women?

In: Biology
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Well, testosterone is the reason why men have usually bigger muscle than women. Testosterone has a very similar effect on men and woman, but women produce much less testosterone than men.

One of the roles of testosterone is to help in muscle synthesis; but among other things, it also helps with bone resilience, etc. Because women produce less of it comparatively, they have smaller muscles, are mor prone to osteoporosis etc.

Men and women both have estrogen. There is an enzyme called aromatase that converts estrogen into androgens like testosterone ultimately. Both sexes have both hormones, its the difference in percentages, really. Things like estrogen are protective for bone health, for example, and can be produced in fat cells. But women use testosterone to help promote muscle growth as well, its just not as much in “overdrive” so to speak as in men comparatively since the amount of estrogen inhibits the testosterone being made further. If we get too much of a hormone, our body typically has ways of inhibiting further amounts of it instead of going into a death spiral of endless hormone, which would be bad. Thats why people sometimes try to force the issue with taking hormone boosters and whatnot and why they can have bad side effects if you’re not careful. Hope that helps!

Testosterone in women does the same things it does in men, there’s just less of it. It plays important roles in building muscle and bone, the brain, sexuality, lubricating mucus membranes, energy, mood, and more. A lot is made of how women have less testosterone than men. But women also have more testosterone than estrogen their whole lives.