Testosterone is often considered the muscle building hormone, and for good reason. In this episode, Patrick breaks down how this hormone influences muscle growth and what you can do about it.
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To understand how a muscle grows, we need some basic skeletal muscle anatomy. Within each muscle cell are strands of stiff proteins called myofibrils, which contain long proteins called filaments arranged into a parallel pattern that lets them slide back and forth past each other.
This sliding mechanism is ultimately what allows our muscles to produce tension. And if we zoom out to the muscle fiber’s surface, we see tiny cells called satellite cells that hang out on the edge of muscle fibers underneath the connective tissue. These things are essentially dormant muscle cells, kind of like muscle stem cells.
When our muscles produce a high amount of tension like during resistance exercise, those myofibrils incur a little bit of damage. This produces an inflammatory response at the muscle which then promotes healing. That inflammation also wakes up the satellite cells which prompts them to fuse into the muscle fiber they’re attached to. And each satellite cell has a nucleus with the instructions for making more of those contractile proteins. And increases in muscle size mostly comes from adding these proteins to muscle.
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Testosterone — What It Does And Doesn’t Do
“Testosterone’s role in bad behavior is largely a myth. What’s more, testosterone plays other important roles in health and disease that may surprise you. For example, did you know that testosterone is a key player in prostate cancer? Or, that women need testosterone, too? There’s more to testosterone than guys behaving badly.”
Skeletal Muscle Overview
“Each skeletal muscle is an organ that consists of various integrated tissues. These tissues include the skeletal muscle fibers, blood vessels, nerve fibers, and connective tissue. Each skeletal muscle has three layers of connective tissue that enclose it, provide structure to the muscle, and compartmentalize the muscle fibers within the muscle.”
What are anabolic steroids?
“Anabolic steroids are synthetic, or human-made, variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids. “Anabolic” refers to muscle building, and “androgenic” refers to increased male sex characteristics.”
This Seeker health series will dive deep into the cellular structures, human systems, and overall anatomy that work together to keep our bodies going. Using the visual structure and quick pacing of Seeker’s Sick series, these human bio-focused episodes will give a new audience an inside look on what’s happening inside all of us.
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