An androgen is a masculizing "male" sex hormone. Comes from the Greek andros meaning "man" and gennan meaning "to produce." These substances, which circulate at high levels in males, stimulate the development of male characteristics, referred to as masculinization. Examples of male angrogens are dihydrotestosterone (DHT), androstendedione, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and the sulfinated derivative of DHEA, DHEAS.

The most abundant male androgen hormone is testosterone. Circulating levels of these hormones do not remain constant, but vary daily in a diurnal rhythm. Testosterone levels tend to peak during the early morning hours, and are at their lowest during the evening hours.

Androgens are also produced in females, but at much lower levels.

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Last updated 12 Mar 2016 21:21

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