I’m still trying to grasp the concept that testosterone and estrogen and their associated hormones are together managing ontological, social and biological evolution by adjusting to changes in the environment by moderating the rate and timing of ontogeny.

We always knew that sex governed our lives.  There is now the possibility that we can understand how exactly this is done.

In both sexes, entering puberty is characterized by a surge in testosterone that, among other things, halts most synaptic growth.  If fat levels are not high enough, puberty is delayed.  Certain levels of estrogen are required for testosterone surges to occur.

Over ten years ago I hypothesized that a mother’s uterine testosterone levels would influence the likelihood of her child exhibiting autism.  I estimated that the rate of maturation would be determined by the amount of testosterone.  A mother with high testosterone would feature maturationally delayed sons and maturationally accelerated daughters, both vulnerable to autism.

This last season I’ve been applying the pattern of how estrogen controls the timing of testosterone surges at puberty to early childhood when testosterone surges prune the right hemispheres of most normal right-handed individuals.  Might estrogen levels in these infants, toddlers and children be determining the timing of these testosterone surges?  What if estrogen levels were so low in boys that testosterone surges did not occur?  The result would be an unpruned right hemisphere, a larger brain with two cerebral lobes that are the same size.  This is a common feature of autism.

If a mother has both high testosterone and high estrogen, what I estimate to be an archetype of one of two forms of matrifocal social structure, then, according to the principles that I’ve been playing with, she would birth a low-testosterone, low-estrogen son; high-testosterone, high-estrogen daughter.

The implication is that we might predict that autism would be relatively common in cases where the rate of maturation and the timing of maturation combine to engender brains, mostly male brains, which are maturing slowly with little variation is hemispheric size.

Regarding female infants and children with high estrogen encouraging pruning still drifting in an autistic direction, click here.  That is a little more complicated.

Right now, I’m wondering if breast milk vs. infant formula might be an influence on this process.  If a mother’s body is able to modify her embryo’s maturation rate and timing based upon the various environmental influences that impact testosterone and estrogen levels, then does a mother’s milk also adjust to environmental influences in ways that her child’s ontogenetic timing is modified?

Does what a new mother eats, for instance, a high-fat diet, influence her breast milk to increase the estrogen levels in her sons and daughters?  Could a high-fat diet increase the chance of an autistic child?

High-fat diets increase testosterone and estrogen levels.

How much influence does what we eat have upon our children?


This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 6:58 am and is filed under 10-Most Commented, 10-Most Visited, Autism, Causes of Autism, Estrogen, Ontogeny. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
4 Comments so far

  1. sarah boardman-miller on September 8, 2009 9:05 pm

    i agree, we have yet to really look at how the endocrine system is getting slammed with all the environmental hormones. doctors still haven’t adressed the endocrine and hormones as a unit. if you go in to get your thyroid checked, they draw blood -it should be saliva and many times over the course of a month. men and women have cycles and our systems change.

    we are the serious slowpokes and culprits in this world regarding false hormones in everything-soy (in everything), corn (in everything) , plastic/mineral oil (in everything), etc… all of these disruptors have a cause and effect-mainly on the fragile endocrine system.

    i have lost count of how many women i personally know who cannot get pregnant.

    think about same change, then add something every month. change your toothpaste-there is no evidence that using a floridated toothpaste keeps you from having cavities. i have been using a natural toothpaste for almost 23 years and my dentist cannot believe it . (i brush my teeth 2x’s a day and floss 1x) deodorant-really stop using it. the aluminum used-yet another hormone disruptor-there are plenty of alternatives-arbonne has an awaken spray that is great. buy milk and meat without hormones or antibiotics-if the store is too expensive check out local farms or co-ops. yes this all takes a bit more work. go slow, make subtle changes. stop using plastic bottles for the babies. do not put plastic in the dishwasher or the microwave.

    that was a rant though this is actually happening and to me autism is the brain confused. my niece has a mild case and also has a confused auditory system. she sounded like she was speaking chinese until she was three. they caught it and worked hard.
    our systems are fragile. when mile was delivered on the back porch, we didn’t worry, now they get away with charging 7.00 a gallon for the same stuff cause a group of farms got together and paid the big bucks to the get the organic label.
    think about what you put in and on your body. sunscreen-disruptors, shampoo-disruptors, soy protien-disruptors. when we have an inbalance of our hormones or endocrine systems we lose.

    this is just the tip of the iceberg. we will see the numbers rise-autism, hermaphrodites, sexual disfunction, and some we still don’t have names for yet.

  2. crinkle on September 9, 2009 7:31 am

    What fats we eat affects our brain structure, at least how it ends up. The right hemisphere is high in omega 6 fats like Arachidonic Acid and the left hemisphere higher in Omega 3 fats like EPA, DHA.
    These fats are constituting much of the brains bulk grey matter.

    There is an axis in the biochemistry of the omega 3/6 so as you intake one the production of the other decreases. This affects the hemispheres so for example patients with schizophrenia have abnormal lateralization that is cured back to a more left / right balance when they consume omega 3 in high quantitites.

    There are studies for all the above, but sorry no references to hand.

  3. William Haught on September 9, 2009 9:38 am

    Because such highly masculine, strenuous activities are so important
    to the East Germans, they have tried to find out (1) why some boys
    remain uninterested in athletic, “rough and tumble” activity, and
    (2) whether anything can be done to successfully get disinterested boys
    involved in such activity. With respect to the second question the East
    Germans learned early in their investigative efforts that the application
    of psychological pressure often made matters worse rather than better.
    In essence, the disinterested children tended to become even more disinterested
    quite in spite of burgeoning social unpopularity and an ever
    increasing public ostracism eminating from all-make peer groups and
    athletic coaches.

    However, the most remarkable finding to be uncovered by the East
    German scientists was the fact that a strong relationship was discovered
    between (1) a pregnant woman’s personality, and (2) her male fetus’
    blood testosterone level. The East Germans focused upon the pregnancies
    of a large group of mothers. And it was found that certain personality
    traits of a pregnant woman had the effect of neutralizing either the testosterone
    that is released into the bloodstream of the fetus, or the enzymes
    which metabolize the testosterone to the point of permitting it to do its
    job on the various parts of the male fetus’ brain that nature has programmed
    to respond to testosterone.

    Personality traits of a pregnant woman deemed by this research to
    have a deleterious influence upon the propitious development of a male
    fetus are: (1) irascibility, (2) tenseness, (3) truculent abrasiveness,
    (4) irritability, (5) depression, (6) high strung and volatile, (7) petulance,
    and (8) cantankerousness. Most of the mothers studied retained these
    personality traits long after their babies were born. But the important
    point to be stressed here is that these traits of personality in a pregnant
    mother had the effect of neutralizing testosterone and/or related enzymes,
    and thus feminizing yet-to-be-born male offspring.

    Equally important in the findings of the East German scientists was
    the fact that girl fetuses carried by tense, irascible mothers did not possess
    any noticeably abnormal traits. The brain “of a female fetus is not programmed
    by nature to respond in any way to the presence or absence of
    testosterones. In fact, unlike a boy fetus a girl fetus is not biologically
    programmed by nature to have her blood stream bathed in testosterones
    in the first place! Thus the absence of such hormones can do no damage.
    p 144-5

    Girls who had been exposed intrautero to androgen-based
    progestogens tended to become a great deal more tomboyish and energetic
    than the large majority of unaffected girls;
    p 637

    Causes, Consequences, and Treatment
    by Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin

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