Look up “male pattern baldness” and you will almost always encounter these 3 letters: DHT. You might be well aware of its contribution to alopecia and puberty changes, but not many people know that DHT can also offer a lot of positive effects for a man's body.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen (male sex hormone) produced from testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. DHT is much more powerful than testosterone in terms of androgenic action, meaning it binds with more power to androgen receptors. In a sense, it's DHT that makes us men exactly who we are.
First and foremost, DHT triggers the development of male genitalia in the developing fetus. It’s also responsible for male puberty changes, such as that lowered tone of voice and chest hair growth.
Without DHT, males will not become males biologically. It’s not a male-only hormone, though. Women also have DHT but in significantly lesser amounts.
So many myths about DHT started coming out lately. Most people typically associate DHT with male pattern baldness, prostate enlargement, and acne. These ideas actually make this hormone unappealing to people.
While too much DHT does have some downsides (such as baldness), it also brings a lot of benefits too. Some of those include:
Higher levels of DHT in the body can help to ward off anxiety and depression.
A study about the anti-alopecia drug Finasteride shows that as the drug decreases DHT levels in the blood, depressive symptoms are likely to occur in the person using the medication. Hence, it implies that the more DHT you have in your body, the lower the risk of depression and anxiety.
You might be aware that older men have a particularly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Well, one study concluded that having low DHT and testosterone levels may also be a risk factor of cardiovascular disease is older men.
In other words, if you maintain higher levels of DHT as you age, it's possible to decrease the risk of developing heart disease.
A study found out that skeletal muscles might be able to synthesize DHT from testosterone. And once DHT is produced, it can affect your body’s blood sugar metabolism and keep it at normal levels.
Autoimmune illness results from the body’s immune system attacking the body's own healthy cells and tissues. Two separate studies have shown the potential of sex hormones, including DHT, to treat and protect from autoimmune diseases such as immune complex nephritis and multiple sclerosis.
*Clinical research to back up these claims can also be found in the individual articles for each topic.
These are but a few of the possible reasons why DHT should be given a thumbs-up.
Explore more about what DHT is all about in the articles below. You will learn how DHT works in the body, why it is important, and what are the pros and cons of having high levels of DHT in your bloodstream. DHT isn’t ALL that bad for you, after all.