The environment matters more than genes. At least in determining testosterone levels in men. According to a study just published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, in fact, the production of the male sex hormone is conditioned by the place where childhood is spent.
In this way, researchers at Durham University contradict the hitherto most widespread thesis that attributes genes the ability to influence the amount of testosterone produced by the body.
The suspicion that the environment of early youth has an influence greater than genetics was born by observing the differences between Bangladeshi men who grew up in their country and those who spent their childhood in the United Kingdom.
The study found that the better the environmental conditions of one’s childhood, the higher the testosterone levels as adults. But this association is not entirely positive as high amounts of the male hormone expose you to a greater risk of prostate cancer.
The researchers collected information on the height, weight, age of puberty and other health conditions of 359 men and compared it to testosterone levels measured on saliva samples.
The group analyzed presented the following case studies: men born and still residing in Bangladesh, men born in Bangladesh and who moved to the United Kingdom as children, men who emigrated as adults and, finally, second-generation emigrants, born on English soil with Bangladeshi parents.
Well, men who grew up and lived in the tamoxifen citrate tablets 10 mg/tab. (10 tab.) United Kingdom show significantly higher testosterone levels as adults than men of the same social status and age who grew up and lived in Bangladesh. In addition, the emigrants reach puberty first and are taller than their compatriots who spent their childhood in the country of origin.
The curious phenomenon, according to the researchers, is not inexplicable: when you live in less safe environments and are more exposed to the risk of getting sick or suffering from malnutrition, the energies of the male organism are mostly channeled into defense strategies and survival at the expense of testosterone production.
On the contrary: in the absence of major external threats, the body can invest its energies in the production of testosterone.
“Absolute testosterone levels in a man – said Kesson Magid of Durham University, head of the study – are unlikely to be connected to their ethnic group or to the place where they lived as adults. Rather, they reflect the environment of his childhood В».
Gillian Bentley, co-author of the study added: “Very high and very low testosterone levels can have implications for men’s health. It may, therefore, be important to know better the conditions of men’s childhood to build a more complete picture of the risk factors for some conditions or diseases В».
However, the environment only matters in childhood. In adulthood, testosterone levels stop being affected by the place where you live.