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Environmental Quality, Not Genetics, Determines Testosterone Levels In Men

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    The genetic theory of testosterone (T) levels is one of the cornerstones of all authoritarian regimes. Genetically superior males, it goes, are destined to rise to the top and dominate their more submissive brethren, with the Hulks hoarding up all the women and natural resources along their way to the top.
    Nice story and all, but according to the just released study below, it is actually environment and not genes that determines a male's T levels throughout his life. Male children that grew up in more challenging, poor, and generally suboptimal/stressful environments had much lower T levels as adults compared to the ones who did not experience famine, childhood infections, or other adversities.
    Unfortunately, even this study sounds an apologetic tone and goes to great lengths to explain how high T levels are not a good thing as it leads, you see, to things like prostate cancer, baldness, aggression, and generally psychopatic behavior. Yeah, right. Look at man who has low T and decide for yourself if this is the look of health. In addition, the study confirms the hypothesis that height is also controlled by environmental conditions (e.g. diet quality), as I posted in another thread.
    Protein Quality, Not Genes, Determine Male Height

    Anyways, good to see some studies countering the genetic dogma on "alpha males". Let's see if more studies come out and replicate this finding.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0567-6
    Men’s testosterone levels largely determined by childhood environment - Durham University

    "...Men’s testosterone levels are largely determined by their environment during childhood, according to new research. The Durham University-led study suggests that men who grow up in more challenging conditions where there are lots of infectious diseases, for example, are likely to have lower testosterone levels in later life than those who spend their childhood in healthier environments. The study, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, challenges the theory that testosterone levels are controlled by genetics or race."

    "...As high testosterone levels potentially lead to an increased risk of prostate enlargement and cancer, the researchers suggest that any screening for risk profiles may need to take a man’s childhood environment into account. The study found that Bangladeshi men who grew up and lived as adults in the UK had significantly higher levels of testosterone compared to relatively well-off men who grew up and lived in Bangladesh as adults. Bangladeshis in Britain also reached puberty at a younger age and were taller than men who lived in Bangladesh throughout their childhood."
     
  2. benaoao

    benaoao Member

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  3. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Yep, but those could still be due to local living conditions and not on genes. If the same Bangladeshi who moved to UK had higher T levels than their brethren back in the home country and then it would argue strongly against genetic origin. So, it would be nice to see this replicated across several genetically highly distinct nations, as well as some study of twins who moved form one environment to another.
     
  4. rei

    rei Member

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  5. benaoao

    benaoao Member

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    Yeah the groups seem to be rather homogeneous according to the geographic zone.

    I’ve been reading on glucuronidation and sulfation lately and it leaves me confused because I can’t tell how prevalent the difference is.

    Large Differences in Testosterone Excretion in Korean and Swedish Men Are Strongly Associated with a UDP-Glucuronosyl Transferase 2B17 Polymorphism | The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism | Oxford Academic

    There’s also this figure:

    9 D7 DA3 A8 8 C57 431 F 9 D5 C FFF459 F7 E281

    So what happens when you don’t seem to excrete T, or barely?
     
  6. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    The decreased excretion of T is also known to happen in older age and by drinking alcohol. This is why total T does not seem to decline much with age, which leaves doctors baffled as older men still have issues with libido, bone health, etc despite their "normal" T levels. I think it is a compensation mechanism for decreased gonadal function. Unfortunately, it also means increased estrone sulfate and thus total estrogens in older humans. It is probably better to have high steroid turnover and high synthesis then higher total levels and lower turnover. Low steroid turnover is a hallmark of hypothyrodism, and of course, old age.
     
  7. japanesedude

    japanesedude Member

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  8. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    What increases turnover @haidut
     
  9. Waynish

    Waynish Member

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    I've heard this story as a caricature from the left more than anything. I would say the idea of an environmental cause of testosterone challenges the stories that, "gender is fluid, men should sit and study in school the same as women, men have lots of ADHD these days, micro-aggressions are bad, everyone should be working the same amount and we should redistribute capital to make it even" -- a lot of very gulag, communistic stuff, some of which I think Ray actually agrees with. I would say the study of environmental causes of testosterone is more in line with the story of diversity of outcomes in testosterone - not the huge downswing in T we see these days - but in the natural world there are going to be outliers and cultures that help optimize the environment such that T levels are high (and even further, so one can sustain high T levels without increasing stress; "naturally high T").
     
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