Salivary estradiol and testosterone in filipino men: Diurnal patterns and relationships with adiposity

Authors

  • Lee T. Gettler,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
    • Correspondence to: Lee T. Gettler, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, Department of Anthropology, 636 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA. E-mail: lgettler@nd.edu

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  • Thomas W. McDade,

    1. Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
    2. Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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  • Alan B. Feranil,

    1. USC-Office of Population Studies Foundation, University of San Carlos, Metro Cebu, Philippines
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  • Sonny S. Agustin,

    1. USC-Office of Population Studies Foundation, University of San Carlos, Metro Cebu, Philippines
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  • Christopher W. Kuzawa

    1. Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
    2. Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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Abstract

Objectives

We used detailed saliva sampling procedures to test for diurnal changes in men's salivary estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) and assessed whether greater adiposity predicted higher E2 and T.

Methods

We drew on a subsample of young adults enrolled in a long-running birth cohort study in Metro Cebu, Philippines. Subjects provided saliva samples at four time points during the day (waking, waking +40 min, early evening, and bedtime), which were assayed for E2 and T. Using these detailed hormonal data, we calculated E2 (n = 29) and T (n = 44) area-under-the-curve values, which provide insights on hormonal production over the study period.

Results

While T declined immediately after waking and reached a nadir in the early evening, E2 did not show significant diurnal change (P ≥ 0.1) but was positively correlated to T at multiple time points (P ≤ 0.05). Subjects with higher adiposity (BMI, waist circumference, skinfolds) had elevated E2 secretion throughout the day (P ≤ 0.01), but adiposity was not related to salivary T.

Conclusions

Consistent with past research, our results indicate that adipose tissue is a significant site of E2 production in males but differ from a limited number of prior studies of young men in that we did not find lower T with increasing adiposity. Given E2's role in male hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal function and complex interfaces with the immune system, these results have important implications for models of male life history as rates of overweight and obesity rise in populations around the world. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 26:376–383, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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