Title: Sex hormone levels and body hair growth in !Kung San and Kavango men from Namibia.
Authors: Winkler EM, Christiansen K
Journal: Am J Phys Anthropol 1993 Oct;92(2):155-64
PMID: 8273828, UI: 94099389
Affiliated institution: Institut fur Humanbiologie, University of Vienna, Austria.
Cited in: Solomon
The relation between hair growth and levels of sex hormones in serum and saliva was investigated in 256 !Kung San and Kavango men (ages 18 to 39 years) from Namibia/Southern Africa. Serum concentrations of total testosterone (Tser), 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol (E2) as well as the level of bioavailable non-SHBG-bound testosterone in the saliva (Tsal) were determined by radioimmunoassay. The distribution and density of scalp and facial hair as well as the development of terminal hair on the chest, abdomen, pubic area, arms, fingers, and legs were categorized using objective criteria. Covariance analyses revealed marked differences in the distribution of body hair in the San and the Negro sample. This is partly explained by a significant influence of androgen and estrogen levels on the growth of terminal hair. DHT and the ratio DHT/Tser are significantly positively related to midphalangeal hair growth and negatively to pubic hair development. Tsal, the bioavailable fraction of total testosterone, exerts a weak positive influence on the degree of arm and leg hair growth; the most significant positive effect on the growth of abdominal, arm, and leg hair in our samples is caused by E2. The ratio Tser/E2 correlates significantly negatively with the arm and leg hair development and the ratio DHT/E2 with the degree of abdominal, pubic, arm, and leg hair, whereas lower DHT concentrations occur in men with stronger hair development.