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Environmental Quality, Not Genetics, Determines Testosterone Levels In Men

haidut

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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."
 
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benaoao

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haidut

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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.
 
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benaoao

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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 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.

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?
 

haidut

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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?

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.
 
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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.

What increases turnover @haidut
 

Waynish

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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.

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").
 

Dr. B

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@haidut @Hans

random question im not sure where to post. is coconut oil still valuable and worth consuming if you already have a high SFA low PUFA diet? i read something on here last week, supposedly quote from Ray where he said coconut oil doesnt have much added benefit if the diets already high in sfa and low pufa but yet his article on coconut oil has many benefits and interesting effects noted. theres some bodybuilding/fitness related articles speaking highly of the fats in milk as well and how they help you get leaner. one of them was CLA, but there were several other fatty acids mentioned in milk. basically if youre getting 65g fat from organic grass fed whole milk daily, is it worth adding in another 10g fat or so from coconut oil?

regarding genes and health...

theres all kinds of racial stereotypes i have heard. for instance in the US, there are many white, black and latino athletes. Indians, Arabs, Asians, Jews etc are seemingly underrepresented in athletics, but over-represented in the business sector, especially the tech industry for Asians and Indians.

Now the racial stereotype people will say things like black or white people have better genetics for athletics while asians/indians have better genetics for intelligence. I dont think those things are true at all. Theres apparently even some 'scientific study' which showed that people living in hotter climates have more fast twitch muscle fibers while people in cold climates have more slow twitch fibers as an adaptation? this doesnt seem to make sense, and it comes from the same industry which blames genetics for every single factor and disease known whether cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc. I think internal body temperature/metabolism has a big role in health, but im not sure about external temperature having that much influence. the metabolic diseases dont seem to be healed simply from external high temperatures.

I think it comes down to diet, environmental factors, medicines/supplements used, air quality, vaccines, etc.
Indian and Asian cultures have much more vegetarian people than other cultures. Asians even have many people eating soy and green tea, albeit some of it is fermented soy products. Green tea has issues with fluoride and possibly phytoestrogens. Many Hindus are vegetarian and have a diet heavy on beans.

Whereas, whites, blacks, latinos, and native americans, generally seem to be bigger consumers of meat/dairy. theres several african and native american tribes who had a nose to tail diet, consumed lots of raw milk and beef organs. the ancestral supplement website mentions many of these.

Apparently the Maasai tribe used to be very healthy and their vision was good enough to see a mile away or something? Supposedly they could see stars that the average person nowadays needs telescopes to clearly see. I was reading about Maasai tribe and apparently theyve been getting a lot of the mainstream diseases for the last 50 years or so and it seems to be because some of them introduced grains and corn products into their diet. Whereas previously they consumed a lot of raw milk, raw honey, along with beef organs and blood. and obviously it is or was a secluded area and they didnt have hormones in their food/water supply, fluoride in water, vaccines etc.
 

PxD

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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").

+1

I would also add that support for the "nurture" (environment) side of the nurture vs nature argument doesn't mean that nature (genetics) doesn't exist.

On a long enough timeline, say thousands of years or more, environment is overwhelmingly dominant in molding and shaping the life forms that it acts upon. On a long enough time scale, all kinds of biological changes are possible.

On the shorter time frames that interest us and matter to us on a day to day level, say a few generations, genetics are at least half of the story, because environmental impacts usually don't have time to make meaningful changes, unless we're talking about drastic environmental changes to the organism, such as severe malnutrition or significantly better nutrition.

If you've ever hung out around high level athletes you might have noticed that like father, like son, strong athletic dudes breed strong athletic offspring. It's way more common than should be if it was coincidental.
 

Waynish

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+1

I would also add that support for the "nurture" (environment) side of the nurture vs nature argument doesn't mean that nature (genetics) doesn't exist.

Ya it is a false dichotomy and they don't have consistency in which energies & structures are the ones that compose "nature" and "nurture" across argumentation. They are not independent variables as they imply... All nature is consolidated / accumulated nurture... And all nurture is nature. Nonsense.
 

Dr. B

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+1

I would also add that support for the "nurture" (environment) side of the nurture vs nature argument doesn't mean that nature (genetics) doesn't exist.

On a long enough timeline, say thousands of years or more, environment is overwhelmingly dominant in molding and shaping the life forms that it acts upon. On a long enough time scale, all kinds of biological changes are possible.

On the shorter time frames that interest us and matter to us on a day to day level, say a few generations, genetics are at least half of the story, because environmental impacts usually don't have time to make meaningful changes, unless we're talking about drastic environmental changes to the organism, such as severe malnutrition or significantly better nutrition.

If you've ever hung out around high level athletes you might have noticed that like father, like son, strong athletic dudes breed strong athletic offspring. It's way more common than should be if it was coincidental.
but the way i see it is both the father and son would have had to have certain environmental, dietary factors present to be strong and athletic. but yes the health of the father at the time the mother was impregnated as well as mothers nutrition while pregnant with the baby would definitely have an effect on the body. I think even Ray has mentioned this.
 
T

TheBeard

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@haidut @Hans

random question im not sure where to post. is coconut oil still valuable and worth consuming if you already have a high SFA low PUFA diet? i read something on here last week, supposedly quote from Ray where he said coconut oil doesnt have much added benefit if the diets already high in sfa and low pufa but yet his article on coconut oil has many benefits and interesting effects noted. theres some bodybuilding/fitness related articles speaking highly of the fats in milk as well and how they help you get leaner. one of them was CLA, but there were several other fatty acids mentioned in milk. basically if youre getting 65g fat from organic grass fed whole milk daily, is it worth adding in another 10g fat or so from coconut oil?

regarding genes and health...

theres all kinds of racial stereotypes i have heard. for instance in the US, there are many white, black and latino athletes. Indians, Arabs, Asians, Jews etc are seemingly underrepresented in athletics, but over-represented in the business sector, especially the tech industry for Asians and Indians.

Now the racial stereotype people will say things like black or white people have better genetics for athletics while asians/indians have better genetics for intelligence. I dont think those things are true at all. Theres apparently even some 'scientific study' which showed that people living in hotter climates have more fast twitch muscle fibers while people in cold climates have more slow twitch fibers as an adaptation? this doesnt seem to make sense, and it comes from the same industry which blames genetics for every single factor and disease known whether cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc. I think internal body temperature/metabolism has a big role in health, but im not sure about external temperature having that much influence. the metabolic diseases dont seem to be healed simply from external high temperatures.

I think it comes down to diet, environmental factors, medicines/supplements used, air quality, vaccines, etc.
Indian and Asian cultures have much more vegetarian people than other cultures. Asians even have many people eating soy and green tea, albeit some of it is fermented soy products. Green tea has issues with fluoride and possibly phytoestrogens. Many Hindus are vegetarian and have a diet heavy on beans.

Whereas, whites, blacks, latinos, and native americans, generally seem to be bigger consumers of meat/dairy. theres several african and native american tribes who had a nose to tail diet, consumed lots of raw milk and beef organs. the ancestral supplement website mentions many of these.

Apparently the Maasai tribe used to be very healthy and their vision was good enough to see a mile away or something? Supposedly they could see stars that the average person nowadays needs telescopes to clearly see. I was reading about Maasai tribe and apparently theyve been getting a lot of the mainstream diseases for the last 50 years or so and it seems to be because some of them introduced grains and corn products into their diet. Whereas previously they consumed a lot of raw milk, raw honey, along with beef organs and blood. and obviously it is or was a secluded area and they didnt have hormones in their food/water supply, fluoride in water, vaccines etc.

Free testosterone doesn't mean much in the end.
SHBG is crucial to transporting hormones to tissues, hence why it's more important to have high total testosterone, not that much high free testosterone.
 

PxD

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@haidut @Hans



theres all kinds of racial stereotypes i have heard. for instance in the US, there are many white, black and latino athletes. Indians, Arabs, Asians, Jews etc are seemingly underrepresented in athletics, but over-represented in the business sector, especially the tech industry for Asians and Indians.

Now the racial stereotype people will say things like black or white people have better genetics for athletics while asians/indians have better genetics for intelligence. I dont think those things are true at all. Theres apparently even some 'scientific study' which showed that people living in hotter climates have more fast twitch muscle fibers while people in cold climates have more slow twitch fibers as an adaptation? this doesnt seem to make sense, and it comes from the same industry which blames genetics for every single factor and disease known whether cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc. I think internal body temperature/metabolism has a big role in health, but im not sure about external temperature having that much influence. the metabolic diseases dont seem to be healed simply from external high temperatures.

There is actually a lot of evidence in the genetic direction.

For example, West Africans have a slightly higher proportion of fast twitch muscle fibers. This is why the top 0.1% of world class sprinters are of West African descent. They also have, on average, longer tibial bones that allow for greater leverage against the ground through the motion of the stride, resulting in a

Another example, East Asians score highly on IQ tests, and guess what, they have the largest average cranial capacity.

Another poster above already pointed out a couple of genetic differences between Africans and Asians vis-a-vis Caucasians.

There are many, many other examples.

All of these things are much more likely to be genetically mediated, not environmentally mediated.

I think genetics is like an anchor, whereas environment is a 'swing' factor than can push things up or down, within constraints, around that genetic anchor. Under continued influence in a specific direction from the 'swing' factor (the environment), the anchor could reset its position over some given period of time, maybe from generation to generation for argument's sake (epigenetics). This is how I look at it when I think of the interaction of nature vs nurture. Genes are 'set', but genes can encode new information (adaptations) into themselves, given enough time, if they need to.

Differences in biological outcomes or expression of physical characteristics/abilities between a few individuals of the same population group can be due to environmental impacts alone within those individuals' own lifetimes, but when you're talking about measurable differences that stretch across generations and between entire populations numbering 1+ billion I think it's far more likely that the differences you're observing are hard coded, i.e. genetics.

I think positing the nature vs nurture question as either/or is a false dichotomy and I've noticed that Peat seems to be overly dismissive of genetics, to the point that it's like nothing but environment matters to him at times. Or, at least that's the impression I've gotten from reading his work.
 

Dr. B

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There is actually a lot of evidence in the genetic direction.

For example, West Africans have a slightly higher proportion of fast twitch muscle fibers. This is why the top 0.1% of world class sprinters are of West African descent. They also have, on average, longer tibial bones that allow for greater leverage against the ground through the motion of the stride, resulting in a

Another example, East Asians score highly on IQ tests, and guess what, they have the largest average cranial capacity.

Another poster above already pointed out a couple of genetic differences between Africans and Asians vis-a-vis Caucasians.

There are many, many other examples.

All of these things are much more likely to be genetically mediated, not environmentally mediated.

I think genetics is like an anchor, whereas environment is a 'swing' factor than can push things up or down, within constraints, around that genetic anchor. Under continued influence in a specific direction from the 'swing' factor (the environment), the anchor could reset its position over some given period of time, maybe from generation to generation for argument's sake (epigenetics). This is how I look at it when I think of the interaction of nature vs nurture. Genes are 'set', but genes can encode new information (adaptations) into themselves, given enough time, if they need to.

Differences in biological outcomes or expression of physical characteristics/abilities between a few individuals of the same population group can be due to environmental impacts alone within those individuals' own lifetimes, but when you're talking about measurable differences that stretch across generations and between entire populations numbering 1+ billion I think it's far more likely that the differences you're observing are hard coded, i.e. genetics.

I think positing the nature vs nurture question as either/or is a false dichotomy and I've noticed that Peat seems to be overly dismissive of genetics, to the point that it's like nothing but environment matters to him at times. Or, at least that's the impression I've gotten from reading his work.

I have seen that claim before, but its mostly coming from the same industry who blames cancer and every disease on genetics, and then you have both white and black supremacist type people who will sometimes claim their race is superior either physically, mentally or both. or sometimes they are used as excuses for someone else of a different race performing better at something.

the studies theyre using to compare West Africans to other races, or any inter racial comparisons, dont usually account for environment, or diet, or stress, or disease, or vaccines or much more, particularly because the medical industry doesnt believe those things have a negative influence to begin with. It could be true West Africans have more fast twitch fibers , Asians have larger cranial capacity, etc, but then the question becomes why those things are occurring. and thats where the numerous diet and environmental differences come into play. like there is a reason why those things are occurring and its not simply because one race is living in a colder or hotter area or because of skin color.
the genetics stuff is kind of irrelevant, people sometimes bring it up in the bodybuilding industry or sports as well. top athletes or bodybuilders are referred to as 'genetic freaks' but nobody in those industries is really comparing the athletes diet and environmental factors and maternal nutrition to others. also there is an extremely limited population sample size, and drawing conclusions on race leads to racism. if different races have different advantages then people can technically began to debate over which race is 'superior' which is better, which is more moral or so on.

at the end of the day if you are at least in the US the discrepancies are easily explained by the fact Indians/Asians/Jews are very small proportions of the population to begin with and are more likely to pursue business/technical career paths. Whereas Latinos/Blacks are on average in lower income areas, have less access to healthcare and are more likely to pursue sports or entertainment related career paths. just growing up poor alone in a place like the US would mean you are less likely to be receiving vaccines and using pharmaceutical medicines, of course this has been changing for some time now.

Its much more likely you see Indians/Asians over represented in tech industry and Black people over represented in the entertainment/sports industry because those are the career paths they chose, rather than it being that one of them is smarter/dumber and one of them is weaker/stronger. that is before you even consider the fact Indians/Asians in particular are much more likely to be vegetarian/vegan, consume diets heavy in beans, soy, etc.

these are all things mainstream science wont consider as causing negative health effects, but they will instead look at the differences between a meat eater and vegetarian for instance, and blame the meat eaters genetics as being responsible for superior health outcomes. if you believe that humanity initially started from two people, then everything we refer to as genetics is technically coming from an environmental basis and is the result of environmental impacts on humans.

regarding genes i think Ray said they can change from many factors and things you do everyday. he also mentioned dna of anything you eat can become incorporated as part of your own dna.
 

Dr. B

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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.

Childhood ecology influences salivary testosterone, pubertal age and stature of Bangladeshi UK migrant men - Nature Ecology & Evolution
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."

why is childhood infection included in the list, how do you avoid childhood infections?
 
T

TheBeard

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There is actually a lot of evidence in the genetic direction.
I think positing the nature vs nurture question as either/or is a false dichotomy and I've noticed that Peat seems to be overly dismissive of genetics, to the point that it's like nothing but environment matters to him at times. Or, at least that's the impression I've gotten from reading his work.

Completely agree.
I have so many exemples around me of men who grew up in incredibly challenging situations, with less than ideal nutrition status from childhood to teenage years, and who grew up with insanely high androgen levels :
Oily skin, thick leathery face skin, unreal muscle mass without even working out, hairy and strong forearms.
 

Dr. B

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Completely agree.
I have so many exemples around me of men who grew up in incredibly challenging situations, with less than ideal nutrition status from childhood to teenage years, and who grew up with insanely high androgen levels :
Oily skin, thick leathery face skin, unreal muscle mass without even working out, hairy and strong forearms.
oily skin and thick leather face skin is androgenic why?
 
T

TheBeard

Guest
oily skin and thick leather face skin is androgenic why?

It is not clear from your syntax whether you are asking
1) "how do we know these are androgenic traits?"
or
2) "why have males developed these caracteristics?"

1) antropologic analysis, common observations, blood levels to physical traits linkage.

2) men have always been the one executing hard labor: developing a thick skin makes it harder for external threats to penetrate the dermis. Oily skin keeps the skin moisturized in tough weather.
 

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