Abstract. The effect of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) on the in vitro binding of testosterone, 5-alpha dihydrotestosterone and estradiol E2 to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) was examined using pooled normal female serum, and SHBG and albumin fractions obtained from the partial purification of late pregnancy serum. A range of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids were examined for their effect on steroid-protein binding. In normal female serum, NEFA added at physiological concentrations disrupted steroid-protein binding. The shorter chain (C8–C12) saturated acids and the poly-unsaturated acids proved to be more effective inhibitors than the longer chain saturated or mono-unsaturated acids. The greatest inhibition was obtained with E2 whereas the binding of dihydrotestosterone was least affected. With partially purified SHBG, the same concentrations of NEFA were less effective at inhibiting the binding of dihydrotestosterone and testosterone but elicited the same effect with E2. The binding of steroids to albumin appeared to be unaffected by these concentrations of NEFA.