We men focus a lot on testosterone.
It makes me wonder — does testosterone therapy work?
But it may very well be that other hormones are even more critical to male performance.
One of those hormones is certainly DHT.
DHT declines as men age but not as much as testosterone.
In fact, in many men, DHT stays at a healthy level for their ENTIRE lifetime.
People don’t supplement DHT as much they do testosterone supplementation.
But DHT probably should be the first choice rather than testosterone when a man needs some sort of replacement.
However, as you probably know, I am not a fan of testosterone replacement therapy.
There are two reasons for this.
Number one, the body will down-regulate its natural production of testosterone if you take testosterone supplementation.
So one of the testosterone replacement therapy side effects is to make your body produce LESS testosterone.
And number two, testosterone supplementation results in the production of high amounts of estrogen.
The body turns the extra testosterone into estrogen.
And then that estrogen causes a great deal of damage in the male body.
This is probably why testosterone supplementation is tied with a higher incidence of heart, clotting, and blood problems.
But in this study, researchers wanted to look at one of the potential downsides of testosterone replacement.
I haven’t talked about it yet, but extra testosterone replacement therapy lowers DHT levels.
And that’s with the study found.
The researchers gave men testosterone.
And then they measured their blood testosterone and DHT levels over a period of months.
After the testosterone supplementation, the researchers found that not only testosterone levels were affected.
They found that men who came started the study with low T and normal DHT levels ended the study with low DHT levels.
It seems that supplementing extra testosterone lowers DHT — a lot.
In fact, DHT levels fell about half after a little over a year for most of these men.
And these were men who had close to normal DHT levels at the start.
There are a couple of other things that the study found.
One is that often men who began the study with low DHT levels had higher levels after testosterone replacement therapy.
So not all of the men suffered falling DHT levels, only men who started with decent DHT level saw them fall.
Men who had significantly low DHT levels saw them rise a little.
Also, the drop leveled off after about a year.
So it didn’t get any worse.
But it was already bad at this point.
From the observation in the men treated with TRT for 15 months, it appeared that the decline of plasma DHT leveled off after 12 months.
Now, why does low DHT matter?
There are many kinds of erections for men.
Some erections result from nitric oxide.
These are the kind of erections that PDE-five inhibitors such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra create.
For this kind of erections, DHT may be the most important component.
In this rat study, researchers found that DHT is the androgen that rats need to have an erection caused by nitric oxide.
It’s probably the same for men.
Without DHT you can’t have a good direction, at least a nitric oxide type erection.
These results show that DHT is the active androgen in the prevention of erectile failure seen in castrated rats.
Also in this human study, it proved how important DHT is to men.
The research shows that giving a man DHT, not testosterone, restored their sexual performance.
They found that transdermal administration of DHT improves sexual function.
That means that they can use a DHT patch to help men with sexual performance.
It may be a useful alternative for androgen replacement.
As estrogens are thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of prostate hyperplasia, DHT may be beneficial, compared with aromatizing androgens, in the treatment of aging men.
That’s exactly right.
So what should you do now?
Here’s what I would do.
I would make sure that I did not get testosterone replacement therapy until I had exhausted every other possibility.
The reason that many people have low testosterone is that they have metabolic problems.
If you fix the underlying metabolic problems, testosterone can bounce up two or three times its present level.
But the current medical plan is to treat men with testosterone replacement therapy right from the start.
This is a great disservice to men, though.
The TRT often causes many consequences such as in this study low DHT levels.
Dihydrotestosterone is the active androgen in the maintenance of nitric oxide-mediated penile erection in the rat
The Effects of Transdermal Dihydrotestosterone in the Aging Male: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind Study