You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about DHT conversion and testosterone boosting; especially if you have been on the lookout for T-Boosting supplements and trying to elevate your testosterone levels naturally.
The DHT Conversion Debate is an interesting one because it seems that there is an awful lot of confusion regarding whether or not you should actually be trying to reduce your body’s natural ability to convert testosterone into DHT.
The general consensus when it comes to supplements designed to boost testosterone, is that DHT is the bad guy. This is not actually the case; DHT serves a vital purpose within the body and, in actual fact, reducing the levels of DHT, or inhibiting your body’s ability to produce it, carries some pretty unwanted side effects all on its own.
What is DHT?
DHT stands for Dihydrotestosterone and is an Androgenic Hormone that carries genetic information to cells within the body; these hormones bond with Androgenic Receptors and instruct the body to perform certain developments.
DHT is a far more potent androgen than testosterone itself. Testosterone is in fact the precursor for DHT, converted naturally within the body thanks to the enzyme, 5-AR (5Alpha-Redustase).
Most of the tissues within the body will not carry the androgenic signal from Testosterone; this is where DHT comes into play. The brain, central nervous system, genitals, and practically everything but muscle tissue uses DHT as an agonist for androgenic receptor activation. It is the vital hormone for secondary sexual characteristics.
Is DHT necessary in the body?
Very much so. As mentioned above, DHT is responsible for secondary sexual characteristics, such as hair growth, bone structure, and body fat percentage.
- Eliminating DHT from the body, or blocking the enzyme, 5-AR, causes physiological changes. This is apparent when you look at the effects of congenital 5-AR deficiency, a rare disorder where by males are born with under developed genitalia, develop no body hair during puberty, and often have an extremely low libido.
- One significant factor to consider when reducing DHT conversion is its effect on estrogen. DHT is a potent antagonist of estrogen; it blocks production of estrogen within the body and also inhibits any activity of estrogen within the cells. Increased estrogen within men leads to at least one extremely evident and commonly seen physical issue – the dreaded Man-Boobs (or, ‘Moobs’, as they are sometimes eloquently described).
- Another point worth mentioning here is that, while Testosterone is the main androgen for muscle tissue, and it’s true that DHT has little to no effect on this, DHT’s impact on the central nervous system is still very necessary to strength and endurance due to increased neurological efficiency, the ability to handle physical (and psychological) stress, and the body’s ability to recover. There have been accounts of men taking 5-AR inhibitors (in order to reduce DHT conversion) who have reported significantly reduced performance.
What’s the solution?
The key here is balance. DHT is vital to a man’s overall health and wellbeing and contributes directly to mood, libido, neurological function, and also prostate size (DHT is often used as a treatment to reduce an enlarged prostate).
The recommendation would be to think carefully about which Testosterone Booster you are choosing to use and take into account the effects of 5-AR inhibitors. Know your body well enough and understand how supplements and hormones affect your system.