We hear a lot about the adverse effects of too much or too little testosterone. This includes acne in women and muscle wasting in men. DHT, the androgen responsible for male characteristics, is more powerful and equally as responsible for these types of problems.
Research studies show that it is responsible for over 95 percent of male hair loss cases (also known as androgenetic or alopecia).
What is DHT?
DHT is dihydrotestosterone. It’s an endogenous androgen-sex hormone. In addition to DHT, it’s sometimes referred to as DH or 5a-dihydrotestosterone.
This hormone is converted from testosterone, another androgen that basically means “malehormone” and is associated with many masculine physical traits. Harvard Medical School explained that androgen is derived from the words “man-maker”.
This androgen can also be used to facilitate changes in puberty, and it can affect sexual arousal.
According to the Society for Endocrinology (SEO), “About 10% of testosterone produced daily by an adult is converted into dihydrotestosterone by the testes, prostate (in men), the eggs (in women), and the skin, and other parts of our bodies.”
DHT is stronger than testosterone, but it’s also more potent and can be found in lower amounts. The amount of testosterone in a person’s body will determine how much DHT they have. The more testosterone available, the higher the conversion to dihydrotestosterone.
The hypothalamus (control center) and pituitary gland (control center) control testosterone production.
What does it do?
DHT is associated with hair loss, acne, and other undesirable symptoms. However, there are DHT benefits for both sexes. The Endocrine Society has listed some important roles DHT plays.
* It helps with the onset of puberty for both boys and women. This can lead to deeper voices, changes in body composition, and development of the genitals. However, less information is available about its effects on puberty for females than it does for males.
* Promotes the growth of body hair including pubic hair
* Increases prostate growth in men
* Enhances male sexual behavior when combined with testosterone boosters or testosterone boosters
Is DHT good for building muscle? It helps adults to maintain their muscle mass as they age just like testosterone.
It is also beneficial for fertility, reproductive health, and sexual drive.
Role in Hair Loss and Hair Growth
According to the American Hair Loss Association, DHT is believed to be the primary culprit in balding.
DHT is believed to cause androgenetic hair loss (male or female-pattern baldness). It binds to the oil glands in the scalp follicles’ oil glands, shrinking them.
An enzyme called Type II-5-alpha-reductace, is required to convert testosterone into DHT. This enzyme is found in the oil glands of the hair follicles.
DHT can affect hair growth and loss. This hormone causes follicles shrink and reduce their lifespans, eventually leading to them not producing any hair at all. When DHT is suppressed, such as due to medications/interventions aimed at stopping hair loss, hair follicles continue to thrive and grow new hair, working as a natural treatment for thinning hair.
About two-thirds (or more) of American men will experience hair loss in their 30s. This number increases to around 85 percent when a man is in his 50s.
Here’s how androgenic hair loss can be caused by alopecia.
* This can cause hair loss in all areas of the head, especially for women.
Men often experience thinning in different patterns, such as a receding hairline or a thinning crown. DHT’s effects are most noticeable at the temples and in the mid-anterior of the scalp.
*Some women may combine the two patterns mentioned above.
* Hair loss in adults is strongly linked to genes. This means that you are likely to experience the same amount as your parents. The formation of androgen receptors in hair follicles is a function of genetics. This makes some people more susceptible to hair loss caused by hormonal changes than others.
While women have lower levels of testosterone and DHT than men, DHT-triggered hair fall can still occur in them. Even if DHT levels are in the normal range for women, some women are more sensitive to androgens.
This can happen if a woman’s levels of “female hormone”, such as estrogen, decrease. It means that androgen hormones have less balance.
What is the cause of androgenic alopecia in women? High androgen levels can lead to hair loss.
* Ovarian cysts
* high-androgen birth control pills
* Genetic susceptibility
* stressful life events
What It Does to People
You can make too much or too small amounts of DHT. If they produce too little DHT, men are more likely than women to develop symptoms.
However, men who have high levels of estrogen are less likely to notice any changes in their bodies than women with low levels.
Excessive testosterone production is often responsible for high levels of DHT. This can occur in men and women.
High DHT in women is more noticeable because it can cause physical changes that are masculine. High DHT symptoms in women may include:
* Increased body hair growth (called “hirsutism”)
* Periodic irregularities or stopping menstrual periods altogether (called amenorrhoea).
* Acne can develop on the chin and jaw, as well as on the back.
* Abnormal changes in the genitalia
These symptoms may be experienced by men who have too much DHT.
* Delay in puberty (this can also affect women)
* Reduction in body and pubic hair
* An abnormal development of the genitals during pregnancy (he might be born with ambiguous or similar genitalia to female genitalia).
Recent research shows that high levels of DHT in men may have been associated with certain health risks.
There have been links between elevated DHT and an enlarged prostate, a higher risk of developing prostate cancer and a higher risk for developing coronary heart disease. These negative effects have not been shown in a variety of long-term studies.
These conditions are still controversial and research continues to determine if DHT inhibitors and blockers may be effective as treatment options. It is clear that DHT stimulates prostate cell growth, which is normal in puberty but can be problematic for older men.
Interventions to reduce hair loss include DHT receptor binding and DHT production within the hair follicles.
What does DHT blocking agents do?
* They prevent testosterone from being converted to dihydrotestosterone. Also, they stop DHT binding to 5-AR receptors in hairfollicles. They can also help to remove DHT from the hair.
Finasteride, which goes under the brand names Proscar or Propecia, is the most well-known oral DHT blocker. This medication is only available with a prescription and can be taken orally.
* DHT Blockers should only be used by men and should not be taken by women or children. This can cause hormonal problems during pregnancy and developmental.
Studies show that DHT reduction can actually regrow hair. A study showed that finasteride had a significant effect on hair loss in men who took it.
The study also reveals that minoxidil and finasteride, both approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and HairMax LaserComb which has been FDA-cleared are currently the only FDA-approved treatments for androgenetic hair loss.
A second study, published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that finasteride helped more than 80 percent of men to maintain their hair follicle counts and helped with hair regrowth. Finasteride can be taken daily in a dose of 1 milligram.
A DHT inhibitor is another treatment option. This decreases DHT production, which helps less DHT reach the scalp and reduces DHT’s effects elsewhere. To promote hair growth, you can also use blockers or inhibitors with medications that increase blood flow to your scalp.
5alpha-reductase inhibits can also be used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BHP. This condition is characterized by the growth of the glands with age. Proscar is a drug that helps men suffering from BPH in doses of approximately five milligrams.
This drug appears to decrease prostate volume, improve symptoms and reduce the likelihood of needing BPH-related surgery. Recent studies have shown that DHT-blockers may also be useful in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Are there any natural ways to lower DHT?
Although less research has been done on this topic, some people find natural DHT blocking agents useful. Special shampoos and creams for hair loss include green tea, pumpkin oil, biotin, zinc, omega-3s and adaptogen herbs.
These may be helpful to some degree, but not as much as finasteride prescriptions.
Low-level laser therapy, another option that some people feel more comfortable with, is promising for accelerating hair growth. It increases blood flow to the scalp and stimulates metabolism in telogen or catagen follicles.
Consider also trying cedarwood and rosemary essential oils (such as this Rosemary Cedarwood & Sage hair Thickener recipe). These essential oils can stimulate hair growth and slow down graying. They can also treat scalp conditions like dandruff.
Does exercise reduce DHT?
Experts believe that your workout routine could have an impact on the severity of symptoms such as hair loss, hair growth, or irregular DHT levels.
Exercise can act as a natural DHT inhibitor and a way to increase DHT/testosterone levels (and thus hair loss), depending upon the frequency.
Aerobic/cardio exercise, such as running for hours or cycling for long periods of time, can reduce testosterone levels. Weightlifting can also increase testosterone levels. Higher testosterone levels are associated with muscle building.
Cardio has been shown to reduce testosterone, as it increases cortisol secretion.
To avoid hormonal imbalances, the best thing to do is:
* Make sure to get enough rest each night
* Combine exercise and lifestyle changes to manage stress
* Ensure that you eat a healthy, balanced diet
Are there foods that can block DHT?
Some evidence suggests that DHT-blocker foods may help reduce hair loss. However, more research is required to verify this.
DHT may be inhibited by zinc, L-lysine (an antioxidant), L-lysine (an amino acid), high-fiber foods, biotin food, and other phytonutrients, for example.
High levels of DHT can be blocked by certain foods, such as:
* Pumpkin seeds (a great source for zinc)
* nuts such as almonds, walnuts and peanuts
* Flax seeds (high in healthy fats and fiber)
* Wheat germ
* Greens such as spinach, Swiss Chard and Kale
* Fish like mackerel and sardines, tuna, salmon, and other high-omega-3 foods (high in omega-3s).
A diet high-in processed foods, added sugar, and trans fats can also lead to metabolic problems, inflammation, and hormonal imbalances, which may make DHT-induced health issues worse. Supplements/protein powders containing growth hormones may increase testosterone production.
DHT Blockers: Side Effects and Risks
DHT has many roles in the body and blocking its effects can lead to a variety of reactions. Side effects of DHT-blocker include:
* Sexual dysfunction/erectile dysfunction
* Increased body fat around breasts
* Skin rashes
* Sometimes vomiting and stomach upset
* Darkening and thickening facial and upper-body hair
As stated above, DHT blocking medications should not be used by children or women.
* What is DHT? Dihydrotestosterone is an endogenous androgen-sex hormone, converted from testosterone.
* DHT is the main hormone that causes male pattern baldness. DHT can cause hair loss in women, as well as other symptoms such changes in hair color, skin problems, and hormonal imbalances.
* What is a DHT-blocker? It is a supplement or medication that blocks DHT binding to 5-AR receptors in hair. This prevents them from shrinking and causing loss of hair.
* DHT can be reduced with other methods than medication.