FYI logo

Testosterone levels in men depend on the conditions in which they grew up.

by Farkhanda Naz 2 months ago in Science
Report Story

The level of testosterone in men

The level of testosterone in men

Testosterone levels in men depend on the conditions in which they grew up.

The level of testosterone in men is largely determined by the conditions of life in childhood and adolescence. In men who grew up in difficult conditions, it is more likely to be lower than in those who developed in a favorable environment.

The results of a study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution cast doubt on the notion that testosterone levels are linked to ethnic, racial, or genetic traits. Scientists from the University of Durham say that boys who grow up in difficult environments (often suffer from infectious diseases, malnourished, etc.) may have lower testosterone levels in adulthood than those whose childhood was spent in a healthy environment.

Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced by the adrenal cortex and gonads of men, which is responsible for the development of muscle and bone mass, the male reproductive system, and also for the development of the male body type. The lack, as well as an excess of testosterone, has a negative effect on the male body as a whole. Men with higher levels of the hormone are at greater risk of developing prostate disease, they have more muscle mass and higher aggressiveness. Low testosterone levels lead to weakness, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Children migrating from poor regions are known to exhibit rapid postnatal growth and earlier puberty, and men who live in wealthy, developed regions tend to have higher testosterone levels.

The scientists proposed to compare the men of Great Britain and Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries with high rates of stunting among children under 5 (36%), often attributed to maternal malnutrition. Great Britain is strikingly different from Bangladesh in terms of environmental conditions, the level of health care, and, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, is included in the list of the twenty most favorable countries for a living.

For studies in 2004-2010, data were collected on 359 men aged 17 to 78 years, whose testosterone levels did not have a clear negative effect on well-being. All study participants were divided into 5 groups: men born and living in Bangladesh (107), men who moved from Bangladesh to London as children (59), men who moved to the UK as adults (75), men who were born in the UK to Bangladeshi migrants (56), ethnic Europeans born in the UK (62). The participants in each group had a close social position and were not relatives.

Men filled out questionnaires about demographic, migration, reproductive characteristics, nutritional habits, and health status. Adult migrants were significantly older than all other groups (mean age of 48.4 years). Men born in the UK to Bangladeshi migrants were the youngest group (mean age of 24.5 years). Men who arrived in the UK under the age of 9 were younger than those who arrived in the UK between the ages of 9 and 19 (mean age 28.0 and 36.9 respectively). Compared to Bangladeshis, British and all migrants were significantly taller (except adult migrants) and had higher body mass indices. Compared to other groups, older men recalled the late onset of puberty. Age at puberty was estimated by averaging data on age,

Each participant received 3 saliva samples over two days to determine the hormonal level: immediately after waking up, then after 30 minutes, and just before bedtime. Testosterone levels were measured using radioimmunoassay.

In all groups, the level of the hormone during the day decreased. The relationship between age and salivary testosterone varied by location. Men born in the UK to parents from Bangladesh had higher levels of the hormone (morning 153.5 pg/ml, evening 119.4 pg/ml) than men who came to the UK as children (morning 141.4 pg/ml, in the evening 100.1 pg/ml), in native Bangladeshis (morning 100.9 pg/ml, evening 76.2 pg/ml) and adult migrants (morning 90.7 pg/ml, evening 75.0 pg/ml).

An extended stay in the United Kingdom as an adult did not result in higher testosterone levels, and the testosterone levels in migrating adult males were significantly lower than in Bangladeshi males. Scientists came to the conclusion that the studied trait is fixed before puberty or even the opposite directional effect after a change in living conditions. In general, Bangladeshi men who grew up in the UK had higher testosterone levels and reached puberty earlier than men who grew up and lived in Bangladesh. The earlier the migration occurred, the taller the man was in adulthood.

The differences described may be related to the energy expenditure that the body spends on fighting infections, instead of building a high level of testosterone. When people live in unfavorable conditions, their vitality is focused on survival. Aspects of male reproductive function are formed during adolescence and depend on environmental conditions (changes are possible up to 19 years), but in adulthood, testosterone levels are no longer dependent on external factors.

It has also been noted that the environment in which girls grow up affects their hormone levels, fertility levels, and reproductive performance.

Science

About the author

Farkhanda Naz

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.