In today’s post we will look into the positive and negative effects or functions of DHT – Dihydrotestosterone in our body.
We have done so many posts and videos on DHT and hair loss and most of you may develop misconceptions that DHT is some evil androgen hormone that serves no purpose in the body but to make our prostates bigger and cause male pattern baldness
Let’s First look into the 10 Positive effects of DHT and lastly the Negative effects. All research article links related to this topic are provided in the description link below.
- During Embryogenesis or Foetus development, DHT is needed for sexual differentiation into a male foetus.
- During Puberty, DHT is critical to the development of the penis and prostate in men.
- After Puberty, DHT is essential for development of male features like body hair,facial hair, pubic hair, muscle growth, and a deep voice.
- In Adults, DHT is essential for the development and maintenance of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles and contributes to the volume of semen.
- Libido and Erections: Here there are lot of controversies that the primary hormone needed for the drive and erections is testosterone and not DHT. But the fact of the matter is DHT is also important due to its effects on the central nervous system that provides increased neurological efficiency (strength), and increased resistance to psychological and physical stress. Hence we notice depression and loss of libido in a small percentage of patients treated with DHT blockers like finasteride for hair loss.
- Blood Sugar Control and Obesity: According to a study, it may lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes in males with improved insulin-sensitivity and reduces the body fat and controls obesity.
- Improves Memory: A study showed Men between the ages of 34 and 70 showed improvements in memory when treated with DHT skin patches.
- Muscles and Bones: Studies have shown that DHT levels correlate with the Muscle Power as well as muscle mass, though the main hormone responsible for muscle and bone development is testosterone. And increased DHT levels are associated with higher bone density in men.
- Heart and DHT: Increased levels of DHT were associated with lower amounts of fat deposits in the hearts and coronary arteries of men and hence lesser chance of a coronary artery disease.
- Depression and Anxiety: The anti-anxiety effect of DHT and testosterone are due to the actions of DHT on the central nervous system. This is the reason why DHT blockers like finasteride may induce depression in as small percentage of hair loss patients on long term use.
Now let’s List out the Negative or Harmful effects of DHT on our body.
- Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia. Yes as discussed in our previous episodes, its proven that Higher levels of DHT act on the DHT receptors located on hair follicles in scalp and cause miniaturization of the hair follicles and ultimately kills the hair follicle. Of course this depends on the sensitivity of hair follicles on DHT and your genes.
- Acne and excessive sebum production is due to increased levels of DHT.
- Prostate Enlargement and Cancer: Many studies have proven this. Though DHT is required for the normal development and maintenance of the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles, it’s also responsible for benign enlargement of prostate (BPH) and also prostate cancer.