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Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

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Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)


Introduction:
DHT, which stands for Dihydrotestosterone (5α-Dihydrotestosterone), is a male sex hormone, an androgen. 5α-reductase, an enzyme, synthesizes DHT in the adrenal glands, hair follicles, testes and prostate. Male and female adults can lose hair as a consequence of changes in the metabolism of androgen in the body - men more commonly than women. DHT plays a major role in hair loss.
Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia or androgenetic alopecia, is caused by the hair follicle's sensitivity to DHT. The follicles miniaturize (shrink), resulting in a shorter lifespan and the abnormal production of hair.
The molecular formula for DHT is C19H30O2.
The most important part of the hair follicle is the dermal papilla (papilla of hair), which is responsible for the growth of hair. The dermal papilla cells divide and differentiate to form new hair follicles. The papilla is in direct contact with the skin's blood capillaries, from which it gets its essential nutrients for proper hair follicle growth. The dermal papilla has a large number of androgen receptors (more in males than females).

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

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Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Introduction:
DHT, which stands for Dihydrotestosterone (5α-Dihydrotestosterone), is a male sex hormone, an androgen. 5α-reductase, an enzyme, synthesizes DHT in the adrenal glands, hair follicles, testes and prostate. Male and female adults can lose hair as a consequence of changes in the metabolism of androgen in the body - men more commonly than women. DHT plays a major role in hair loss.
Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia or androgenetic alopecia, is caused by the hair follicle's sensitivity to DHT. The follicles miniaturize (shrink), resulting in a shorter lifespan and the abnormal production of hair.
The molecular formula for DHT is C19H30O2.
The most important part of the hair follicle is the dermal papilla (papilla of hair), which is responsible for the growth of hair. The dermal papilla cells divide and differentiate to form new hair follicles. The papilla is in direct contact with the skin's blood capillaries, from which it gets its essential nutrients for proper hair follicle growth. The dermal papilla has a large number of androgen receptors (more in males than females).

When DHT gets to the dermal papilla, it undermines the absorption of vital nutrients required for healthy hair follicles. Hair follicles have resting and growing phases - without proper nutrition, their resting stages get longer while their growing phases get shorter.
What is Miniaturization?
Miniaturization in this text refers to the progressive shrinking the hair follicle. Hair grows for shorter periods, becomes lighter, finer and smaller, until it eventually reaches the vellus stage. Vellus hair is light-colored, short, thin and very fine hair - it is barely noticeable and grows on most of the human body, except for on the lips, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, etc. Vellus hair is sometimes referred to as peach fuzz or bum fluff.
Miniaturization occurs because of DHT.

Experts say that 95% of cases of male pattern baldness occur because of the effects of DHT on the hair follicles. How much DHT people produce depends almost entirely on their genetic make-up - the more that is produced, the greater and more widespread miniaturization is, resulting in greater hair loss.
Two conditions are related to higher levels of DHT:

  • Male pattern baldness
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) - increase in the size of the prostate

Drugs known as 5α-reductase inhibitors are commonly used for male pattern baldness and BPH. Two examples of 5α-reductase inhibiting drugs are:

  • Dutasteride - this medication is approved for BPH treatment. It is also prescribed off-label for male pattern baldness treatment.
  • Finasteride - this drug is approved for both BPH and male pattern baldness.

Dunasteride is much more potent than finasteride. However, these types of medications may have side effects that persist even after treatment is over. Side effects may include erectile dysfunction, male breast cancer risk, and a diminished sex drive. Some studies suggest there may even be a higher risk of depression, memory loss and brain fog (inconclusive).
DHT is a potent form of testosterone required for male sexual development. However, aging men tend to have higher levels of DHT that could lead to problems such as hair loss and prostate dysfunction.
Additionally, men and women on testosterone therapy should always check their testosterone blood level to make sure that it stays within an optimal range. Remember, women with higher levels of DHT can also lose their hair.
The stand-alone DHT blood test does not require fasting … but is included in other panels that do require a 12 hour fast. Panels which include the DHT blood test are:

  • Male Hormone Re-Test Profile (12 hour fast required)
  • Male Homone Add-On Panel

Testosterone is great but Dihydrotestosterone is the king of all male androgens!
Every man wants to know how to optimize testosterone--and with good reason. But while testosterone may be critical for men's health and well being, it's not the final word in the ideal male hormone profile. In fact, testosterone's real offer is its ability to convert into to a much stronger male androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
I've heard people say that testosterone is what makes a man a Man, but, more accurately, it's DHT that makes a Man. Without adequate DHT men have no body hair at all (which is why companies that make hair removal products for men love DHT) and, more importantly, without adequate DHT the male sexual organs (including the prostate) fail to fully mature. This bad condition is compounded by low sex drive and impaired sexual function.

Given the above, it's not surprisingly that on the anabolic front, low-level DHT compromises size and strength progress. According to The Natural Testosterone Plan, (Stephen Harrod Buhner) ...Weight lifters who take testosterone with 5-alpha reductase blockers have experienced reduced muscle enhancement in their muscle-building programs. Blocking 5-alpha reductase prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT thereby compromising muscle-building progress.
Buhner, a master herbalist and expert on hormone balancing, isn't the only one emphasizing DHT's qualities. According to Ori Hofmekler, (Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat ) ...some researchers consider testosterone merely a prohormone because of its relatively weak actions compared to other androgens, in particular DHT. Ori further describes DHT as ...the final word on the male androgen chain and ...the king of all male hormones.
So how much stronger is DHT when compared to testosterone? Ten times stronger, Hofmekler writes. According to Buhner, DHT shows ten times the androgen receptor uptake of testosterone but significantly, unlike testosterone, DHT isn't converted into estrogen. Even better, DHT actually blocks the aromatase enzyme which converts testosterone into estrogens. Thus, in addition to being stronger than testosterone, DHT is a potent aromatase inhibitor.
Physicians commonly blame DHT as the primary cause of an prostate enlargement but deeper analysis indicates the androgen-to-estrogen balance, along with overall androgen ratios, is the key factor with prostate issues. According to Jonathan Wright, M.D. (Maximize Your Vitality And Potency) the balance of DHT and 4-androstenedione should be 1:1. If DHT is higher and androstenedione lower, it creates a pro-carcinogenic state. However, if DHT and androstenedione levels are both high and at a 1:1 ratio, the pro-carcinogenic properties of high DHT are neutralized by the anti-carcinogenic properties of androstenedione. So if you've had blood work indicating high DHT levels, be sure to have the androstenedione levels measure as well.
In addition to not being a cause of prostate issues, DHT may actually help shrink enlarged prostates. In France, DHT creams are often prescribed to men with enlarged prostates. Therapeutic DHT can improve the androgen-to-estrogen ratio--without the risk of converting to unwanted estrogens. According to Harrod Buhner: Estradiol--but not DHT--has been found to act with SHBG to cause an eightfold increase in intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in human BPH tissue, which causes increases growth of the prostate. In other words, in cases of enlarged prostate, estrogen is the likely culprit. Here's Ori Hofmekler on the same topic: When estrogen is present in excess in a male, it has been shown to cause feminization of the body and metabolic disorders including the enlargement of the prostate.
Yet men with prostate issues are typically prescribed medications to block DHT and testosterone under the notion that this will adequately address prostate issues. Not only it this ineffective, it's a sure-fire method of turning a man into a eunuch. Men feel their best when testosterone, DHT, androstenedione, and DHEA levels are optimized, thus lowering androgen levels, even if it works to shrink the prostate--which is highly debatable--is guaranteed to make a man feel terrible, not to mention the risk of developing complications, primarily an unnatural tolerance for Sex in the City re-runs and ABBA revivals. In other words: your life as a man will cease! While these are dark times for men, and essential masculinity is no longer celebrated in the current social matriarchy, the essential man displays vitality, drive, intensity, and a fair amount of aggression--which is not the same thing as violence. If you've lost your vitality, you aren't fully alive, and your hormonal profile will mirror the soul's sad state of affairs, which manifests as lowered health and propensity to disease.
In addition to naturally high levels of DHT not being the culprit for prostates issues, some clinical trials have revealed that even men who take large does of supplemental DHT do not develop any prostate issues. In his book, Buhner cites several clinical trials showing DHT supplementation doesn't contribute to prostate enlargement. In one clinical trial, subjects applied a topical gel containing 70 milligrams of DHT but follow-up Prostatic-Specific Antigen (PSA) test numbers, a common blood test for prostate disease, did not increase. Furthermore, test subjects actually developed stronger urine streams, a clinical sign of prostate shrinkage.
In addition to its role in prostate health, DHT is an incredible mood booster and nervine. The brain relies on sex hormones, such as DHEA, testosterone, DHT and estrogen, for optimal functioning, but of all these steroid compounds, DHT reigns supreme. Buhner claims that DHT is more important for brain health than even testosterone, since while testosterone’s neural impact subsides after a few hours, DHT’s neural effect can last up to twenty-four hours.
In short, optimal DHT levels amount to a better sex life, better mood, and better progress with your strength and conditioning program. Further, studies show DHT helps regulate cholesterol levels and improves body composition.

So, what can you do to optimize DHT levels? The first thing is to order a full hormone panel (blood draw or saliva) measuring testosterone (free and total); DHEA; estradiol; estrone; DHT; androstenedione and progesterone. Your goal is to optimize all of the sex hormones, not just your favorite one.
At home, the best strategy for optimizing sex hormones is consuming adequate dietary fat. Dietary fat is critical for sex hormone production and low-fat diets (i.e., fat calories below 25-30%) will cripple your efforts. I get at least 30% of my calories from fat but notice I feel better--and get better workouts--at 40%. Optimal macro-nutrient ratios, however, are highly individual, so play around with your menus to discover what works best for you.
With regard to fat intake, steroid hormones are derived from saturated fat, so vegans, myself included, need to ensure adequate consumption. I love coconut oil and coconut milk and both are concentrated sources of saturated fat. I use coconut oil for cooking and add coconut milk to protein shakes. Besides saturated fat, coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which bypass the liver and are burned directly for energy, excellent for gall bladder issues. Try adding a tablespoon of coconut oil or a quarter cup of coconut milk to your next pre-workout meal (two hours before training) and get ready for an incredible workout.
With regard to herbal supplements, avoid saw palmetto, which can block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Given that DHT is more potent than testosterone, this is the last thing you want. Saw palmetto can also reduce androgen receptor uptake of testosterone and DHT, which just makes things worse. Instead, take nettle root, which shows numerous benefits, including unbinding testosterone and DHT from the glycoprotein sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG). In other words,
supplementing nettle root can increase free testosterone and DHT levels, making both readily available for use. Secondly, nettle root helps block the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and third, nettle root is great for prostate issues and has been shows to decrease nighttime urination frequency, improve urination power, and help shrink enlarged prostate tissue. Happily, nettle root is inexpensive and widely available. I use and recommend the Now brand, which you can get here.
Take 500 mg twice a day between meals.
Other important nutrients for a healthy prostate and optimal DHT levels include Zinc, Korean ginseng (look for caps and powder from a six year old root), and Siberian ginseng. One way to raise androstenedione is to supplement DHEA, which can convert into androstenedione, but I prefer (and use myself) magnesium oil, which can naturally increase DHEA levels. The extra DHEA can then spill over into increased androstenedione, which is only one metabolic step away. Magnesium oil is a powerful supplement which can optimize the entire hormone cascade from pregnenelone all the way down to DHT. Siberian Ginseng is also great to ensure the adrenal pathway goes the route of DHEA instead of cortisol.
For increased androgen receptor uptake, I use and sell Beverly Nutrition’s Quadracarn. Quadracarn contains several carnitine analogs, which have been shown to increase androgen receptor uptake.
If you are prone to baldness, tocotrienols are a must. Tocotreienols are a special form of Vitamin E that help with hair growth and slowing down hair loss. Men that are prone to baldness will accelerate hair loss with ramped up DHT levels. If you are not prone to baldness then it will not likely be an issue. I have high DHT levels and my hairline begins in my forehead! (Yes the Eddy Munster looks!) Tocotrienols will help you keep your hair and unlike hair loss drugs will not adversely affect your DHT levels and turn you into a eunic.  That said if I had to choose between being bald with high DHT levels and having a full head of hair with no sex drive, it is no contest. High DHT and high sex drive and function all the way! You can always get hair plugs after all! Fortunately I do not have to make that choice.
If your test results indicate excess estrogens, consider supplementing with diindolylmethane (DIM), a phytonutrient which helps convert unwanted estrogens into desirable estrogens. Also Calcium D-glucarate, a calcium salt which can actually clear excess estrogens from the body. Resveratrol is also useful in blocking the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.

Finally--and most importantly--eat a clean diet balanced in fats, proteins and low-glycemic carbs. Organic food is a high-priority especially if you eat animal protein sources: the fewer toxins you consume in your food, the less likely you are to experience the effects of hormone disrupting substances and the more energy you'll have available for optimal sex hormone production. Loading up on fruits and vegetables provides high-quality nutrients and vitamins as well as systemic cleansing benefits. On a budget? Spend your money on high-quality natural and organic produce and skip the miracle antioxidant and performance supplements.
In summary, testosterone is great, but the king of male androgens is DHT. Optimize DHT, tune up the sex hormone orchestra, and benefit by improved prostate health, accelerated strength and muscle gains, and overall well-being.
With the help of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, testosterone converts to DHT. DHT is an androgen, a steroid hormone that plays a role in sexual development, function and health. In adults DHT is the primary androgen in the prostate in men and in the hair follicles in men and women.
The DHT that binds to receptors in scalp follicles is the main culprit in male pattern baldness and plays a small role in female hair loss. DHT shrinks hair follicles and kills healthy hair. Increased levels of DHT can also cause women to develop androgynous male characteristics, such as a deeper voice and increased facial hair. Men who have increased levels of DHT may suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) or prostate cancer. Decreased levels of DHT may lead to sexual dysfunction in men.
The DHT blood test measures levels of DHT to help individuals monitor their levels and keep them in the normal range for optimal health and to prevent hair loss. Individuals who have normal DHT levels but still experience hair loss or prostate problems should follow-up with other hormone testing. Because hormones must be balanced to work optimally, the problem may not be increased DHT, but rather a decrease in estrogen, for example.
There are a lot of different hormones in your body, and these hormones to a number of different things in order to help your body function properly. Testosterone help provide your body with sexual hormones, human growth hormone helps give your body energy and keeps your cells strong, even estrogen has some effect in your body so when you find out that you are suffering from Dihydrotestosterone related hair loss, you are likely wondering what Dihydrotestosterone is. Like testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone is an androgen, also known as a male hormone. Dihydrotestosterone is actually created from testosterone combining with a common enzyme in your body. If you are a male, you likely experienced great bursts of Dihydrotestosterone when you are in your mother's womb. That is because Dihydrotestosterone is one of the leading hormones for male physical growth in the embryonic and fetal stages of development.
Once you get older, however, Dihydrotestosterone actually has no real purpose in your body anymore. It has a few very small functions, but nothing that important or relevant. In general, it builds up in your body very slowly and moves around until it eventually disappears. However, it is also possible that your body may start creating Dihydrotestosterone at a faster pace. When this occurs, the Dihydrotestosterone has absolutely no where to go and nothing to do. So would it ends up doing is binding to your hair follicles, preventing them from receiving very important nutrients that they need in order to stay alive.
This is what causes the hair loss - nutrients are unable to reach your hair follicles, and the hairs will slowly begin to weaken and die. The longer you wait to treat your Dihydrotestosterone related hair loss, the more likely it is that this hair loss becomes a permanent problem. In addition to causing hair loss, Dihydrotestosterone has also been linked to other health problems like prostate cancer.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): It's important physiological functions, how it affects your physique, sex drive, nervous system, and the drugs that are derivatives of DHT:
DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone. It is a very close chemical cousin of testosterone and has many important functions in the body. It is responsible for the sexual differentiation that occurs in the womb way before we are even born. It is the dihydrotestosterone levels in the womb that determine whether or not the fetus will develop into a male or female. So, you can imagine, this is a pretty strong androgen. DHT is the most androgenic of hormones. Its responsibility lies in all of the male secondary sexual characteristics such as deepening of the vocal chords, male hair patterns on the body, hair on the face, oily skin (especially when you first hit puberty and your natural test is raging), and last but definitely not least, male sexual drive and function.
A few years ago, scientists also determined that it is DHT that plays a pivotal role in hair loss. If you have the gene for it, male pattern baldness becomes evident as these molecules attach at the scalp, over-stimulate the hair follicles, and cause the root to die and the hair follicle to fall out. The hair root becomes unhealthy and unable to support the follicle. Rogaine, the popular topical agent for combating hair loss works by seeping into the hair follicles and decreasing the hormonal affects on the root. Rogaine’s protective effects only last for a few hours which is one of the reasons you must put it in your scalp multiple times per day (pain in the ass, but not as bad as a Sustanon knot in the glute!).
Okay, anyway, why is this hormone important and how does it function into our goal of massive and ripped physiques? DHT is an extremely potent non-aromatizing androgen. It will not aromatize at any dosage whatsoever. Drugs that are derivatives of this hormone (cousins) also tend to be non-aromatizing (there are exceptions which we’ll get in to). It is important to understand that a drug may be a specific derivative, and still have other estrogenic and/or progestagenic affects, however. Not to confuse for now. This will be explained in the pages on estrogenic and progestagenic affects of anabolic steroids. For now, and for simplicity sake, lets say that DHT means hardening of the physique, lack of water retention, favorable fat-loss, increased sex drive, and increased strength gain. Let’s talk about each of these points.
Hardening of the physique and lack of water retention go hand in hand. It does not aromatize while being the gold standard of “androgenic” drugs. This causes a direct hardening affect on the muscle tissue. The lack of aromatization and the fact that the drug is prototypical androgen, causes a significant shift in the body’s estrogen/testosterone ratio. The effects of estrogen on the physique are pretty much out-shadowed by the heavy androgenic component of the non-aromatizing DHT. The heavy androgenic affect stimulates the pituitary in a manner which directly stimulates the adreno-pituitary portals to stimulate neurological excitation of brain areas that are sexually oriented. The sex drive goes up. Let’s see, so far we have a harder and more ripped physique, higher sex drive, no water retention, and significant strength gain stimulation. What the heck is bad here? Well this is where the physiological behavior of anabolic steroids becomes a little more complicated. Up unto this point, I have described the DHT that is in the male body. Anabolic steroids that share a close chemical structure to DHT do not exclusively share this property. What this means is that an anabolic steroid may be a DHT derivative and yet have estrogenic affects. An anabolic steroid may also be a derivative and have a progestagenic affect. If this sounds confusing, hang in there, it will be clear in a few paragraphs. This stuff is not nearly as complicated to understand as it may seem. To fully understand these events, however, we will have to delve into the physiological response of hormonal receptors.

In basic physiology 101, you learn that hormones are like keys, and receptors for the hormones are like locks. The key must fit into the lock, turn it, and ultimately unlock the mechanism inside. Make sure to follow this next example, it will prove very useful when we talk about hormonal receptor blockers for various drugs… 1. Key fits into lock (hormone molecule floats its way through the blood and finds its intended receptor). 2. Key is able to turn the lock (the hormone fits nicely into the receptor but has not yet activated it). 3. The key is able to turn the lock and succeeds in locking or unlocking the mechanism (the physiological outcome occurs; the main function of that given hormone is now able to exert its effect). Now imagine a master key that can fit all locks. Some drugs are very similar to master keys. At least, with respect to the functions we are interested in. Most anabolic steroids, are like multi-function keys…there are a few different types of locks that they can fit into, turn, and unlock. In our terms hormones that can fit into different types of receptors. This is extremely important depending on what drug we are talking about, and what receptors it is able to fit into and activate.
Examples of DHT Action
Lets’ illustrate this with some examples. The popular and powerful weight gain favorite, anadrol. Our good old A-bombs or drol can is a dual function key. It can fit into and activate the androgen receptor (the lock and key function we want), or it can weakly fit into the progesterone receptor. Now, I understand that many may disagree, however it is a biochemical fact that due to chemical structure, androl (oxymetholone) cannot convert into estrogen. I’m sure you know someone who has gotten sore tits or gynocomastia from drol. How can this happen if drol is non-aromatizing? Well, the male body unfortunately has receptors for progesterone in the breast. What? Yup. Not many, but enough that if we had more progesterone in our systems, they may become activated. What is one of the functions of progesterone in the female? Stimulation of breast tissue growth. Yikes!! Going back to drol, this is what happens. The body recognizes the androgen. However, to the body, it looks a little bit like progesterone too. When the drug circulates enough times throughout the body with repetitive dosages, some drol molecules find progesterone receptors. The drol has chemical similarities to progesterone in its actual chemical structure. All you need is a few progesterone receptors to pick up a few molecules of drol and wham!!!---Bitch Titty Central.
We all know that estrogen stimulates breast tissue as well. You know what not to do if you are prone to water retention due to the estrogenic affects of some anabolics? You know, your body is the type that holds a little more fat, you lose some vascularity when you do things such as test and d-bol, etc. Don’t combine aromatizing drugs with drol!! Think about it. Oh wait. Yeah, the male breast has receptors for estrogen as well. You probably knew that but hang on. Okay…now you have drol exerting a progestagenic affect at the male progesterone receptors in the breast, and, elevated estrogen from whatever other aromatizing anabolic you are using affecting estrogen receptors in the male breast. Now, personally, I’ve always been a breast guy but…are you getting the picture. You are combining two of the most significant and potent hormonal affects together, in the male body, that are responsible for breast tissue growth stimulation in the female. Don’t do it!!
It is a biologically active metabolite of the hormone testosterone, formed primarily in the prostate gland, testes, hair follicles, and adrenal glands by the enzyme 5α-reductase by means of reducing the Δ4,5 double-bond. Dihydrotestosterone belongs to the class of compounds called androgens, also commonly called androgenic hormones or testoids. DHT is thought to be approximately 30 times more potent than testosterone because of increased affinity for the androgen receptor.
Clinical Information
The principal prostatic androgen is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Levels of DHT remain normal with aging, despite a decrease in the plasma testosterone, and are not elevated in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
DHT is generated by reduction of testosterone by 5 alpha-reductase. Two isoenzymes of 5 alpha-reductase have been discovered. Type 1 is present in most tissues in the body where 5 alpha-reductase is expressed, and is the dominant form in sebaceous glands. Type 2 is the dominant isoenzyme in genital tissues, including the prostate.
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA; male-pattern baldness) is a hereditary and androgen-dependent progressive thinning of the scalp hair that follows a defined pattern. While the genetic involvement is pronounced but poorly understood, major advances have been achieved in understanding the principal elements of androgen metabolism that are involved. DHT may be related to baldness. High concentrations of 5 alpha-reductase have been found in frontal scalp and genital skin and androgen-dependent processes are predominantly due to the binding of DHT to the androgen receptor (AR). Since the clinical success of treatment of AGA with modulators of androgen metabolism or hair growth promoters is limited, sustained microscopic follicular inflammation with connective tissue remodeling, eventually resulting in permanent hair loss, is considered a possible cofactor in the complex etiology of AGA.
Currently available AGA treatment modalities with proven efficacy are oral finasteride, a competitive inhibitor of 5 alpha-reductase type 2, and topical minoxidil, an adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channel opener that has been reported to stimulate the production of vascular endothelial growth factor in cultured dermal papilla cells. 
Currently, many patients with prostate disease receive treatment with a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor such as finasteride (Proscar) to diminish conversion of DHT from testosterone.
Significance
DHT is produced by males in utero and is responsible for the formation of male gender specific characteristics. DHT is also an important contributor to other characteristics generally attributed to males, including facial and body hair growth, and deepening of the voice. DHT has been shown to be deactivated in skeletal muscle through the actions of 3-alpha hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and therefore does not have a significant effect on muscle hypertrophy.
There are many prohormones, but there are only a few that convert to 5α-dihydrotestosterone or more commonly known as DHT.  DHT prohormones are not designed to pack on a ton of mass, but they are useful when stacking them with other mass builders.  DHT prohormones increase aggressiveness, improve libido, promote a positive energy balance, and have a known “hardening” effect.  For these reasons it is often why they are stacked with other compounds that reduce libido, cause lethargy, or if their overall goal is hardening up.  DHT administration also produces a mild, but noticeable effect by decreasing serum estrogen level .
More recently, and perhaps more fascinating than all of the above, is a published clinical study on the effects of 5α-reductase inhibitors and the effect it has on lean body mass gains when taken with testosterone.  This was a very complete and well done study, so I’m really not doing it justice by only discussing a small portion of their finding.  Still we will focus on what’s relevant for DHT prohormones.  Overall they found that changes in fat free mass (lean body mass) did not differ in men who were given 5α-reductase inhibitors vs. men who did not receive them.  What’s more relevant to us is that they suggest that 5α-reductase inhibition in men with low testosterone impairs erectile function.  They suggest this explains why previous studies on DHT administration to men with low testosterone, resulted in lean body mass increases.  They go on to summarize it by saying:
“These findings support the proposal that testosterone and DHT can interchangeably sub serve androgen-dependent functions investigated in this trial.”
For our purposes this means that taking a DHT prohormone when your testosterone levels are normal or high, will likely not do much in terms of strength, lean body mass, or even any further increase in libido or sexual function.  That also means it’s best not to start a cycle with a DHT prohormone, but rather begin a more suppressive compound such as Alpha Mass (1-DHEA Enanthate), and add in the DHT prohormone in week 2 or 3.   At that point your natural testosterone will be suppressed and the DHT prohormone can exert its full effect.  It also may be beneficial to continue using the DHT prohormone 1-2 weeks after you discontinue Alpha Mass and before entering PCT.
Pathology
It is suspected that DHT is the primary contributing factor in most cases of male-pattern baldness. Women with increased levels of DHT may develop certain androgynous male secondary sex characteristics, including hair above the lip, a deepened voice, and increased muscular growth. DHT also seems to play a role in the development or exacerbation of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, and prostate cancer, though the exact reason for this is not known.
DHT is also known to participate in the development of acne.
What is the function of dihydrotesterone (DHT)?
DHT has many important functions in the body. It is the Dihydrotestosterone levels in the womb that determine whether or not the fetus will develop into a male or female, which makes it a pretty strong androgen. As highlighted above, DHT is responsible for the development of all of the male secondary sexual characteristics like the deepening of the vocal chords, male hair patterns on the body, hair on the face, oily skin (especially when you first start puberty, and finally, male sexual drive and function.
Even so, DHT can cause problems for some people; for example it plays a role in the development and exacerbation of benign prostatic hyperplasia, as well as prostate cancer, by enlarging the prostate gland in some adult males(6). Prostate growth and differentiation are very reliant on sex steroid hormones, especially DHT. In addition, studies have now proven that Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the main causative factor in male pattern baldness and is to blame for up to 95% of hair loss.

Treatment
The drugs belonging to the group known as 5α-reductase inhibitors are used for treatment of problems stemming from DHT. This group includes finasteride (sold under the names Proscar for BPH and Propecia for androgenic alopecia as well as in generic formulation) and dutasteride (sold under the name Avodart). Currently, DHT supplementation is not used as a treatment for DHT/androgen deficiency.
Alternative treatments used to inhibit DHT include dietary supplementation with, or topically administered preparations of, saw palmetto berry extractives. Unlike most known 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, saw palmetto induces its effects without interfering with the cellular capacity to secrete PSA. Saw palmetto extract has been demonstrated to inhibit both isoforms of 5-alpha-reductase unlike finesteride which only inhibits the (predominant) type 2 isoenzyme of 5-alpha-reductase.
The Effects of DHT on Hair Loss
Both men and women are inclined to lose their hair as a result of several hormonal changes in the body. Hair loss in androgenetic alopecia occurs mainly due to the adjustment in the metabolism of androgen in the body. This condition (commonly called male or female pattern baldness), has only been partially understood in the last few decades. For many years, scientists thought that androgenetic alopecia was caused by the predominance of the male sex hormone, testosterone, which women also have in trace amounts under normal conditions. While testosterone is at the center of the balding process, DHT is believed to be the major culprit and is the main antagonist of the hair follicles on your head.

The enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, helps convert testosterone into DHT, which is held in a hair follicle's oil glands. Scientists currently accept that it's not the quantity of circulating testosterone that's the problem, but the level of DHT binding to receptors in scalp follicles. DHT shrinks hair follicles, making it impossible for healthy hair to survive.
The follicles begin to produce less hair when they are genetically programmed to receiving DHT over a prolonged period of time. An increased level of DHT in the scalp causes the growth phase of hair to be shortened. However this is only the first step of hair loss. From there onwards hair becomes more brittle and begins to thin. It begins to fall out at a much quicker rate then it should and people tend to begin to experience a reduced hair line, thinning, and even baldness. In male pattern baldness, each consecutive growing/shedding cycle results in the production of finer and finer (less thick) hairs by the affected follicles, until the hair is unable to break the surface of the skin. Hence, once DHT binds to large numbers of receptors of the hair follicles in the scalp, the follicles gradually shut down and eventually become dormant.
Both men and women experience the hormonal process of testosterone converting to DHT, which then harms hair follicles. Although, women have a tiny amount of the level of testosterone that men have in general, even a lower level can cause DHT- triggered hair loss in women. And surely when those levels rise, DHT is even more of a problem. Those levels can increase and still be considered as "normal" on a blood test, even though they are high enough to cause a problem. The levels may not rise at all and still be a problem if someone has the kind of body chemistry that is overly sensitive to even its regular levels of chemicals, including hormones.
Hormones function in the healthiest manner when they are in a delicate balance, therefore, androgens do not need to be increased to initiate a problem. Their opposite female hormones, when down, gives an edge to these androgens, such as DHT. Such an imbalance can cause hair loss.
Hormones are cyclical. Testosterone levels drop by 10 percent each decade in some men after age thirty. Women's hormone levels decrease as menopause approaches and drop sharply during menopause and beyond. The cyclic nature of both our hair and hormones is one reason hair loss can increase in the short term even when you are experiencing a long-term slowdown of hair loss while on a treatment that controls hair loss.
Can DHT creation be stopped?
There are two well known drugs that have been shown to block the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotesterone, they are Dutasteride and Finasteride.
A current list of DHT Blockers:

  • Dutasteride
  • Finasteride
  • Clinical trials on Dutasteride vs. Finasteride

As we have already discovered, DHT cuts off blood supply to the hair follicles and causes them to die out leading to hair loss. However, it's not all bad news for hair loss sufferers - you can reverse hair loss by taking a course of DHT blockers, which have already been proven to be effective REF Read about the twin brothers example here.
A DHT blocker has two primary functions: blocking the production of DHT and preventing DHT from clogging up hair follicles causing miniaturization - a process that makes hair thinner and less visible.
There are several types of DHT Blockers available and the best DHT blocker agents are drugs belonging to a group known as 5a-reductase inhibitors. These inhibitors are used to treat a number of different medical problems that are caused by DHT over-activity in the body. This group includes substances called Dutasteride and Finasteride.

 

Reference Values
Males
Cord blood: < or =100 pg/mL
< or =6 months: < or =1,200 pg/mL
Tanner Stages


Mean

Age

Reference Range (pg/mL)

Stage I (>6 months and prepubertal)

7.1 years

< or =50

Stage II

12.1 years

< or =200

Stage III

13.6 years

80-330

Stage IV

15.1 years

220-520

Stage V

18 years

240-650

>19 years: 112-955 pg/mL
Females
Cord blood: < or =50 pg/mL
< or =6 months: < or =1,200 pg/mL
Tanner Stages 


Mean

Age

Reference Range (pg/mL)

Stage I (>6 months and prepubertal)

7.1 years

< or =50

Stage II

10.5 years

< or =300

Stage III

11.6 years

< or =300

Stage IV

12.3 years

< or =300

Stage V

14.5 years

< or =300

20-55 years: < or =300 pg/mL
>55 years: < or =128 pg/mL

 

References:
http://www.mikemahler.com/online-library/articles/hormone-optimization/dihydrotestosterone-king-of-male-androgens.html
http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/ItemLC500142/Dihydrotestosterone-DHT-Blood-Test.html
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/68082.php
http://www.healthtestingcenters.com/dihydrotestosteronedht.aspx
https://www.directlabs.com/Resources/Hormones/DHT/tabid/156/language/en-US/Default.aspx
http://www.anabolicsteroids-hormoneknowledge-bigmuscles-drugs.com/dihydrotestosterone.html
http://www.advancedmusclesciencelab.com/2012/06/dihydrotestosterone-dht-prohormones.html
http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/print/81479

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