Is DHT The King Of All Male Hormones ?
Is DHT More Important To Our Health Than Testosterone?
An ever increasing amount of media publicity has brought low testosterone and its effects to the attention of millions of men across the world. But have you heard of DHT? its probably more crucial to your ongoing health than Testosterone will ever be.
Virtually every man over the age of 40 will have reduced levels of testosterone production. In fact some 20 million men in the US alone are experiencing the effects of low testosterone.
Experts tell us that from the age of 30, our natural testosterone production decreases by about 1-2% a year.
As this shortfall increases, while some men notice no ill effects whatsoever, the majority of us will find that we gradually put on a little bit of weight. We feel more tired, possibly weaker, perhaps find that we are less tolerant.
Probably the most noticeable thing for most of us is that we lose some or all of our sex drive.
When we do have sex, we can struggle to get or maintain a good erection and we also find that our performance is not as it used to be.
What Is DHT And What Does It Do?
DHT is found in all of us. It is crucial for the growth of body hair,( we would be completely hairless without it). Without it, our sex organs including the prostate would not develop properly.
Low levels of DHT in an older man can impede his libido and sexual function. In the younger man, especially athletes and bodybuilders, reduced DHT can really compromise muscle size and strength.
Some clinical researchers consider testosterone a rather weak prohormone, especially when its actions are compared to that of DHT
Experts consider that DHT is between 3 and 10 times stronger than testosterone…
Expert Author Stephen Harrod Buhner (The Natural Testosterone Plan) believes that DHT demonstrates 10 times the androgen receptor uptake of testosterone.
Significantly he tells us that unlike testosterone, DHT is not converted into estrogen.
Going further, it actually blocks the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen… He concludes that as well as being stronger than testosterone, it is also a potent aromatase inhibitor.
Medical experts frequently try to demonise DHT and commonly blame it for the onset of prostate problems, but careful analysis of the problem has shown that it is the balance between androgen and estrogen that is the main concern.
Expert Author Jonathon Wright MD ( Maximise Your Vitality And Potency) tells us that the ratio between DHT and 4-androstenedione should be equal at 1:1
If DHT is present in greater levels than androstenedione, this can produce a carcinogenic state in the prostate.
If they are equal, the pro-carcinogenic properties of DHT are generally neutralised by the anti-carcinogenic properties of the androstenedione.
He suggests that if your doctor recommends blood tests to show DHT levels, ask them to check for Androstenedione as well.
French experts actually believe that DHT can help to shrink enlarged prostates and regularly prescribe DHT creams to treat the problem.
It has been shown that Therpeutic DHT can improve the androgen to estrogen ratio without running the risk of the androgen converting to estrogen.
It is the Estradiol and not the DHT that reacts with SHBG in the body to increase cAMP ( Intracellular Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate) which in turn can lead to increased prostate size.
When Estrogen is present in the male body in excess quantities, it can cause feminisation of the body along with certain metabolic disorders including enlargement of the prostate, and increased body fat.
Rather confusingly, many men with prostate issues are prescribed drugs that block testosterone and DHT. Many doctors believe that this will treat prostate problems.
The facts are that this is totally ineffective and ultimately lead to one thing – He will not feel like a man anymore.
Clinical trials have actually showed that increased DHT levels can help reduce prostate size.
One example involved men applying a topical gel that contained 70mg of DHT over a period of a few weeks. Subsequent blood tests ( Prostatic-Specific Antigen – aka PSA) showed that the test numbers did not increase and that the male test subjects all developed stronger urine streams which is a classic sign of reduced prostate size.
“Bottom Line – Unless you are expressively told by your doctor to block your own natural DHT conversion, its far more beneficial to leave it alone.”
Other Beneficial Effects Of DHT
DHT is an effective mood booster, for the brain to function at its best, it relies on optimum levels of all the main sex hormones ( Testosterone, DHT and Estrogen).
It has been shown that the neurological effect of DHT can last many times longer that that of Testosterone.
DHT can help contribute to a man having a better sex life, improved mood, reduced body fat and increased lean muscle and strength.
It has also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How Can You Optimise DHT Levels
Your goal should be to maintain the correct levels of all the sex hormones, not just one or two.
Ask your doctor for a full blood test that covers both free and total Testosterone, Estrone, DHEA, DHT Progesterone and Androstenedione.
You can make changes to your diet to help this process.
Dietary fats are essential for maximising your sex hormone levels, if you do not consume sufficient dietary fats you will suffer because of it.
Make sure that you eat healthy fats – nuts, seeds, coconut and olive oil are all good examples.
Vegetables and fruits as well as a good balance of all foods are crucial, not just to DHT but to overall well being
DHT And Natural Supplements
Given that DHT is stronger ( and therefore possibly more important overall) you need to make sure that you do not take anything that will affect or block its production.
One ingredient that you should avoid at all costs is Saw Palmetto.. it is known to dramatically reduce the androgen receptor uptake of both testosterone and DHT.
There are some natural ingredients that are perfect for enhancing DHT levels.
Nettle Root is one example, it is effective at unbinding testosterone and DHT from SHBG (glycoprotein sex-hormone binding globulin) which can elevate the levels of available DHT and testosterone.
Nettle also helps to block the conversion of Testosterone into estrogen and finally it has great effects in reducing prostate size.
Other ingredients that help maintain the correct levels of DHT Include Siberian and Korean Ginseng, along with Zinc and Magnesium.
Concerns Surrounding DHT And Hairloss
There is quite a bit of confusion about DHT and its effects on hairloss.
For those who are genetically disposed to baldness ( if its present in their father or other direct male relatives), any increased levels of DHT could add to the hairloss as these can in these people affect the hair follicles and reduce hair growth.
There are some hugely popular products developed to treat hair loss, that simply rely on the blocking of DHT to make them effective.. Propecia and Minoxidil being two well know products..
The fact is that DHT is essential to a mans optimum health and well being. Blocking its production is without a doubt, the worse thing that any man can do..
To be blunt – If you are predisposed to hairloss, You need to really decide which is more important to you – having hair or a healthy sex drive with plenty of energy and good muscle tone..
For those with no history of major hairloss or baldness in the family increased DHT levels should NOT be an issue.
If you are predisposed to hairloss, you can help alleviate the effects of DHT by taking Vitamin E, this has been shown to help hair growth and reduce cases of hairloss.
If you can boost both your levels of testosterone and DHT naturally, you will benefit from improved prostate health, increased energy, better moods and a reinvigorated sex drive.
Maximise Your Vitality And Potency – Jonathon Wright MD
The Natural Testosterone Plan – Stephen Harrod Buhner
ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
I am 60 years old, I currently live in London. I have one married daughter aged 35
I have always had a passion for fitness, In my younger days I was a keen swimmer and competed at county level both at home and abroad. I am also a keen squash and tennis player and have always been a keen gym goer.
I have a CPD accreditation in Sports Nutrition and am a published author with my articles featuring in some popular publications.
Over the past 13 years I have studied the effects of testosterone both in the younger man and as we get older, the effects of low or reduced testosterone and how increasing its production can really improve your health.
On a personal level, a number of years ago, I was diagnosed with Low-T myself, and my own in-depth research has helped me to redress my own health concerns.