So What Is An Androgen Really?

What exactly are androgens and androgen receptors?

Disclaimer: All references to “research subjects” or “test subjects” or and reference to “research” throughout this article refer to research conducted on non human non veterinary research subjects such as rats and mice.

Androgen is a blanket term given to hormones that contribute to the development of “male” characteristics in vertebrates. Male in this context is in the biological sense. For instance, when a baby is developing, the introduction of certain androgens at specific times results in the development of testes and a prostate. Once a vertebrate has achieved sexual maturity, the introduction of androgens, which stimulate the androgenic receptors, can still have positive/desirable anabolic effects making it useful for medical purposes. However, it can also cause side effects such as excess body hair, accelerating male pattern baldness, and unwanted cell growth as is common with the prostate. 

Complex systems, complex effects.

One of the least intuitive things about vertebrates is that androgens can also have effects on things like temperament and mood. Why would something tasked with cell buildinghave an effect on mood? This is because androgens stimulate anabolic activity in the brain and nervous system. They also play a paramount role in reproduction. Any mammal can attest that reproduction is as much about pursuit as it is about performance. When animals enter mating season this is marked by heavy shifts in androgenic activity. Behaviors change, attitudes change, and priorities change. Risk taking behavior and the impulse to mate are overwhelming to the animal, and that my friend, is where cute little baby animals come from. Yes, thank androgens. 

You mentioned receptors?

Androgens, as with all hormones, communicate with the body through receptor signaling. Cell receptors are just little sensors that sit around on all different types of cells waiting to bond with something. We can all sympathize with that. When something compatible stimulates or bonds with the receptor, signals are sent. In the case of androgens new cells are built. This is truly fascinating. The androgens themselves do nothing more than interact with the receptors, and they take it from there. Just like a social network sending information all around but with nobody ever actually interacting in person, androgens simply show up, get close enough to deliver the message to the receptors and then die away having done their job. Well done little guy.

The power of modulation; Androgens and SARMs

Not all androgens have the same activity in the body, and this can both depend on the type of Androgen as well as the type of receptor it interacts with. This can be the difference between a signal instructing the body to make more muscle cells or to regenerate nerve cells, and a signal that instructs healthy cells to grow unnecessarily. This is why the prostate is so sensitive to the presence of androgens. When the prostate cells start to grow from unwanted androgen activity we see them enlarge and potentially become cancerous. Compounds that can stimulate the androgen receptors that are intended to be stimulated, while leaving others unharmed, is the exciting world that SARM research is currently in. This is exciting, and the research has only just begun to unlock all the promising discoveries that lay ahead. For the best products and for any and all your SARM research needs, visit SAF Research.