Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a potent hormone manufactured naturally in the body from testosterone. It is a type of androgen playing major role in development of male characteristics such as deep voice, body hair, and muscle growth. DHT is important for development of penis and prostate. In men an enzyme called 5- alpha reductase transforms a part of testosterone into DHT in testes and prostate gland. It is also produced in hair follicle and adrenal glands. Almost 10 to 20 percent of testosterone is converted into DHT. This byproduct of testosterone when increased in the body is suspected to cause enlarged prostate and hair loss, especially male pattern baldness.Let us know good and bad effects DHT.
Good effects of DHT:
There are many positive effects of DHT such as:
- DHT is involved in normal sexual function in adults even if he is obese. In order to live a healthy sexual life, DHT and testosterone both are necessary in the required amount. In fact DHT is found to prevent erectile dysfunction in rats.
- DHT is required for normal development of male sexual characteristics such as deep voice, hair on body, muscle buildup, development of prostate and testes. When at optimum level in body it is a natural tonic for sex drive in men.
- DHT is useful in controlling high blood sugar in people suffering from diabetes according to some experts. It increases the utilization of blood sugar level by the cells and hence lowers sugar level as observed in studies conducted on rats.
- DHT helps to increase memory. When men were applied skin patches of DHT it was found to improve their memory. It also enhances cognitive functions in elderly individuals.
- As we know DHT is beneficial to increase muscle strength.
DHT also has its own side effects. They are as follows:
- One of the main reasons for male pattern baldness among men is high level of DHT. Male pattern baldness is loss of hair from temple and crown. Premature baldness can occur due to many contributing factors such as environmental reasons, genetics and hormonal. Among them excess of DHT is one of them. Researchers have found high level of DHT in men having premature baldness.
- For normal development of prostate, you require optimum amount of DHT. But excess of DHT is bad for prostate because it can lead to prostate cancer according to studies.
- Women suffering from major depression were found to have high amount of DHT.
- Increased DHT in women can lead to hair growth pattern similar to males.
- DHT increase in females is also linked with breast cancer.
How to reduce DHT in body:
DHT can be blocked naturally in following ways if it poses a risk to health.
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are used by doctors to inhibit synthesis of DHT from testosterone hormone.
- Green tea helps to block DHT due to its active content called EGCG.
- Saw palmetto is another important herb when it comes to blocking of DHT. An ingredient in this plant called beta-sitosterol is responsible for blocking the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase. It is required for conversion of DHT from testosterone in prostate.
- Pumpkin seeds are useful to counter benign prostatic enlargement. Hence pumpkin seed oil is beneficial in disorders related with prostate.
- Reduction in calories and reducing weight in obese also plays important role in prevention of rise in DHT level.