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Monday, November 9, 2015

The Relationship Between Testosterone and Adrenaline (Does Testosterone Raise or Lower Adrenaline)

Although there are some similarities between Testosterone and Adrenaline; they are both produced by remarkably different pathways in the body and require different prerequisites to be produced. However, despite different catalysts and origins - technically they can both be produced by Adrenal secretions as well..

Testosterone is the principle 'male hormone' - and is commonly associated with Aggression and violent behavior..however, there is much dispute as to whether it is Testosterone itself or it's interactions with monoamines and other neurotransmitters...and estrogen seems to be more provocative to Aggression; especially offensive aggression whereas the purely 'male' metabolites such as DHT typically only provoke aggression in instances of self-defense or when a loved one is threatened.

Adrenaline however is a much more volatile hormone in many circumstances and is responsible for fear based aggression and hostility, and contributes to manic-episodes both in those on drugs and off. Paranoid offenders typically have elevated adrenaline and low oxytocin and many serial killers have elevated Adrenaline levels.

Now you may ask why I've dabbled into the relationship with aggression - the reason is because it reinforces the distinguishment between testosterone and adrenaline and elaborates on; in a more visual way, the functional interaction between the two hormones despite being different in other ways as well.


Testosterone doesn't have a linear relationship with adrenaline, but it seems to protect the heart against the damaging effects of adrenaline - additionally, when converted into it's 'female' metabolite Estradiol - it 'switches' adrenaline's action from alpha-1- receptors to alpha-2's by selectively blocking the a1-pulse-activity. However, estrogen's role as a potential anti-hypertensive and anti-adrenergic agent is limited since estrogen has profound stimulatory effects on overall adrenaline secretion and also prevents the breakdown of Copper.

Elevated Copper is associated with both increases in aggressive scores in studies and in neurobiological/neurophysiological observations related to criminal behavior; where violent, sociopathic individuals are found with elevated Copper...this does not mean all criminals or violent offenders have elevated estrogen but it certainly plays a role in bodily homeostasis.

When testosterone is high, but estrogen is on the lower side, alpha-adrenergic type 2 receptors are typically reduced; more so if the person has low body fat...this means that a man with high testosterone will have more beta-adrenergic activation and possibly more alpha-1-activation....however, ONLY small amounts of estrogen are required to block alpha-1-function and activity...therefore the net result of 'optimal' testosterone including of it's metabolites; both DHT and estrogen - leads to profound beta-activation and lessened alpha activation..this has beneficial effects on oxygen consumption and blood pressure....

Though these biological parameter's change based on hormone ratio - estradiol also has direct attenuating effects on alpha-2-receptors - and the specific noradrenaline decrease caused by stimulation of alpha-2's. That means that estrogen STOPS adrenaline from being decreased and thus can disinhibit adrenaline and increase noradrenaline through multiple mechanisms. Estrogen is thus, the most 'pro-adrenaline' form of testosterone.

Despite all of this - men with high testosterone and ESPECIALLY DHT; may have a tendency to more 'serious' workaholic type mindsets and usually a higher serum adrenaline level...which leads to blunted pain / pain perception and beta-endorphin levels are increased by DHT.

These are all beneficial effects if all is well in good in the diet and such..however, if estrogen is either totally deficient or in excess - high blood pressure can result. However, low estrogen is less likely to cause high blood pressure than high estrogen because blood pressure is regulated much by electrolyte distribution - the less water retained, the less chance of high blood pressure or abnormal blood VOLUME.


Testosterone's primitive role may be due to interactions with opioid-system; testosterone has been found to have diverse effects on beta-endorphin. Primarily , it stimulates beta-endorphin if it remains active in it's 'androgenic' forms.. DHT especially stimulates beta-endorphin as well as adrenaline, the idea then is that DHT has both depressing and stimulating effects on the autonomic nervous system - however, it is concentration dependent and related to the RATIO of DHT:E2. 


Hormones and the Body: A Brief Overview

Testosterone 'protects against heart disease'

14 - Testosterone and adrenaline: aggressive antisocial behavior in normal adolescent males  pp. 263-282

 The fear factor

Research shows testosterone spiking in winners in the wrestling mat

A mechanism for testosterone modulation of alpha-1 adrenergic receptor expression in the DDT1 MF-2 smooth muscle myocyte.

Effect of Estrogen Replacement on Vasoconstrictor Responses in Rat Mesenteric Arteries

Estradiol attenuates alpha 2-adrenoceptor-mediated inhibition of hypothalamic norepinephrine release.

Adrenaline and the Inner World

Androgen dependence in hamsters: Overdose, tolerance, and potential opioidergic mechanisms

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