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Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is an important protein that helps in reproduction and puberty. There are many factors that help regulate SHBG. Read below to learn more about this protein and its effects on the body.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is not what your doctor would usually test for, even though it can tell you a lot about your health. However, you can request it from your doctor and plug your test results into Lab Test Analyzer. You will find all the information you need about your SHBG values, such as if your levels are optimal. And if they are not, it will tell you how to get there, using evidence-based lifestyle, diet, and supplement tips.
Roles of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
The liver produces SHBG and it circulates throughout the body (R).
Metabolic and hormonal factors primarily influence its production (R).
SHBG levels are influenced by genetics (R).
SHBG levels are higher in women than men. SHBG levels in men are about 50% of that in women (R).
SHBG levels start low in newborn babies and increase in infants of both sexes until puberty (R).
After puberty, SHBG starts to decline (R).
SHBG levels decline more in boys than in girls (R). This allows for an increase in free testosterone levels in the blood, which is necessary for maturation of sex organs and physical stature in boys (R).
Factors that Increase or are Associated With SHBG in Blood:
- Estrogen (Estradiol) (R)
- Thyroid hormones (R)
- Growth hormone deficiency (R)
- Pregnancy – SHBG levels increase 10-fold (R)
- Weight Loss (R)
- Alcoholic Cirrhosis (R)
- HepB and C infections (R)
Factors that Decrease Level of SHBG in Blood:
- Testosterone – Exogenous testosterone has shown to decrease serum SHBG levels (R)
- Obesity – studies link low levels of SHBG with obesity (R)
- Insulin (R)
- Growth Hormone (R, R)
- Carbohydrates (R)
- Metabolic Syndrome (R)
- Cushing’s Syndrome – SHBG levels are lower in patients with Cushing’s Syndrome (R)
- Type 2 Diabetes – independent of sex hormone levels (R, R)
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – SHBG levels are lower in patients with PCOS (R)
- Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia – Female patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia have lower SHBG levels (R).
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