DHT: Importance and Its Functions
Dihydrotestosterone, commonly abbreviated as DHT is an androgen and a sex steroid hormone responsible for the masculine characteristics in body including hair growth. It is synthesized by the enzyme, 5α-reductase from testosterone primarily in the prostate and hair follicles and then in small quantities in the testes and adrenal glands. DHT is liable to maintain and develop sexual characteristics and some metabolic activities including the production of blood cells.
Approximately 5% of total body testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone by 5α-reductase, in men. DHT is more potent than testosterone and adrenal androgens as it has 2-3 times higher androgen receptor affinity than testosterone and has 15-30 times higher affinity than adrenal androgens. Also the dissociation rate of DHT from the receptor is 5 times slower than testosterone resulting persistence of its effect for more time.
The level of DHT in serum should not be higher or lower than normal for proper metabolism and sexual functioning of body, especially in men. Due to its higher potential than testosterone, DHT induces more muscle development, bone mass and libido. Ergo ample DHT in serum stimulates weight loss and lean body muscles. Also DHT cannot be converted into estrogen (which can stimulate fat storage) by the enzyme aromatase, like in the case of testosterone. However, elevated level of DHT can cause hair loss and gradual fat deposit in the belly region. It is suggested that an equal quantity of 4-androstenedione can neutralize this effect. Declined level of DHT results in diminished libido, erectile dysfunction, tiredness and obesity.
Increasing DHT naturally
More fixes are proposed for DHT lowering than its boosting as high level of DHT has more severe consequences such as prostate cancer. Bodybuilder often use DHT boosting methods with precautions to burn more fat and build lean muscles. Dietary regulations to boost DHT are administered along with weight training. Meat products contain creatine, zinc and cholesterols required for the synthesis of DHT. High carb-low fiber along with 30%-40% fat is a well-established diet to stimulate dihydrotestosterone production. However individuals with hair loss and other DHT driven difficulties are not recommended with these regulations. They are advised to include soy, green tea and other anti-DHT food items in their diet.
Creatine supplements are the most used and available DHT increasing medications. These supplements are considered to have possible side effects. The most common core component of DHT reducing medications are 5α-reductase blocker which prevent the production by the enzyme.