What Affects Childhood Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone is a key hormone that affects muscle mass, male fertility and the onset of male puberty. Researchers have now found that testosterone levels do not seem to be determined by factors such as genetics or race. On the other hand, where people affected lived as a child has greater influence.
In their current study, scientists at Durham University in England found that testosterone levels are significantly influenced by where people lived in childhood. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Nature Ecology & Evolution".
Childhood environment is the most important factor for testosterone levels
Different groups of men were examined for the study. Particular attention was paid to where the participants had spent their childhood, either in Bangladesh or in London. It was also examined whether the test subjects had ancestors from Bangladesh or Europe. They found that the childhood environment was the most important factor in determining current testosterone levels, height, and the onset of puberty, the experts explain.
Five groups of participants were examined
The researchers compared a total of five groups of men for their study: Bangladeshi-born people who still live there, Bangladeshi-born men who moved to London as children, Bangladeshi-born men who moved to London as adults, British-born men whose parents immigrated to Great Britain and British-born men who also had European ancestors.
Testosterone levels can cause health problems
Most of the men in the exam had normal healthy testosterone levels. However, there have also been some men with very high or low testosterone levels, both conditions can cause health problems. The study also showed some important differences between the populations examined. Men who were born in either the United Kingdom or Bangladesh but grew up in the United Kingdom appeared on average to have similarities in their testosterone levels, height, and physical maturity before entering puberty, which appeared to be independent of their origin explain the doctors. Men born and raised in Bangladesh, on average, reached puberty later, were smaller, and had low testosterone levels.
Infection timing can affect testosterone production
There is a factor in childhood that is related to the environment and can have lifelong effects on testosterone production in men, the authors suspect. The results are in line with previous knowledge of how childhood diseases can influence testosterone production. For example, the timing of infection can affect fertility, like mumps where long-term production of sperm is compromised. Infectious disease in childhood can also have a lasting impact on testosterone levels. Of course, it's important to realize that all the differences reported in this study are based on broad averages, the experts add. (as)