Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): It's important physiological functions, how it affects your physique, sex drive, nervous system, and the drugs that are derivatives of DHT
DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone. It is a very close chemical cousin of testosterone and has many important functions in the body. It is responsible for the sexual differentiation that occurs in the womb way before we are even born. It is the dihydrotestosterone levels in the womb that determine whether or not the fetus will develop into a male or female. So, you can imagine, this is a pretty strong androgen. DHT is the most androgenic of hormones. Its responsibility lies in all of the male secondary sexual characteristics such as deepening of the vocal chords, male hair patterns on the body, hair on the face, oily skin (especially when you first hit puberty and your natural test is raging), and last but definitely not least, male sexual drive and function.
A few years ago, scientists also determined that it is DHT that plays a pivotal role in hair loss. If you have the gene for it, male pattern baldness becomes evident as these molecules attach at the scalp, over-stimulate the hair follicles, and cause the root to die and the hair follicle to fall out. The hair root becomes unhealthy and unable to support the follicle. Rogaine, the popular topical agent for combating hair loss works by seeping into the hair follicles and decreasing the hormonal affects on the root. Rogaine’s protective effects only last for a few hours which is one of the reasons you must put it in your scalp multiple times per day (pain in the ass, but not as bad as a Sustanon knot in the glute!).
Okay, anyway, why is this hormone important and how does it function into our goal of massive and ripped physiques? DHT is an extremely potent non-aromatizing androgen. It will not aromatize at any dosage whatsoever. Drugs that are derivatives of this hormone (cousins) also tend to be non-aromatizing (there are exceptions which we’ll get in to). It is important to understand that a drug may be a specific derivative, and still have other estrogenic and/or progestagenic affects, however. Not to confuse for now. This will be explained in the pages on estrogenic and progestagenic affects of anabolic steroids. For now, and for simplicity sake, lets say that DHT means hardening of the physique, lack of water retention, favorable fat-loss, increased sex drive, and increased strength gain. Let’s talk about each of these points.
Hardening of the physique and lack of water retention go hand in hand. It does not aromatize while being the gold standard of “androgenic” drugs. This causes a direct hardening affect on the muscle tissue. The lack of aromatization and the fact that the drug is prototypical androgen, causes a significant shift in the body’s estrogen/testosterone ratio. The effects of estrogen on the physique are pretty much out-shadowed by the heavy androgenic component of the non-aromatizing DHT. The heavy androgenic affect stimulates the pituitary in a manner which directly stimulates the adreno-pituitary portals to stimulate neurological excitation of brain areas that are sexually oriented. The sex drive goes up. Let’s see, so far we have a harder and more ripped physique, higher sex drive, no water retention, and significant strength gain stimulation. What the heck is bad here? Well this is where the physiological behavior of anabolic steroids becomes a little more complicated. Up unto this point, I have described the DHT that is in the male body. Anabolic steroids that share a close chemical structure to DHT do not exclusively share this property. What this means is that an anabolic steroid may be a DHT derivative and yet have estrogenic affects. An anabolic steroid may also be a derivative and have a progestagenic affect. If this sounds confusing, hang in there, it will be clear in a few paragraphs. This stuff is not nearly as complicated to understand as it may seem. To fully understand these events, however, we will have to delve into the physiological response of hormonal receptors.
In basic physiology 101, you learn that hormones are like keys, and receptors for the hormones are like locks. The key must fit into the lock, turn it, and ultimately unlock the mechanism inside. Make sure to follow this next example, it will prove very useful when we talk about hormonal receptor blockers for various drugs…
1. Key fits into lock (hormone molecule floats its way through the blood and finds its intended receptor).
2. Key is able to turn the lock (the hormone fits nicely into the receptor but has not yet activated it).
3. The key is able to turn the lock and succeeds in locking or unlocking the mechanism (the physiological outcome occurs; the main function of that given hormone is now able to exert its effect).
Now imagine a master key that can fit all locks. Some drugs are very similar to master keys. At least, with respect to the functions we are interested in. Most anabolic steroids, are like multi-function keys…there are a few different types of locks that they can fit into, turn, and unlock. In our terms hormones that can fit into different types of receptors. This is extremely important depending on what drug we are talking about, and what receptors it is able to fit into and activate.
Examples of DHT Action
Lets’ illustrate this with some examples. The popular and powerful weight gain favorite, anadrol. Our good old A-bombs or drol can is a dual function key. It can fit into and activate the androgen receptor (the lock and key function we want), or it can weakly fit into the progesterone receptor. Now, I understand that many may disagree, however it is a biochemical fact that due to chemical structure, androl (oxymetholone) cannot convert into estrogen. I’m sure you know someone who has gotten sore tits or gynocomastia from drol. How can this happen if drol is non-aromatizing? Well, the male body unfortunately has receptors for progesterone in the breast. What? Yup. Not many, but enough that if we had more progesterone in our systems, they may become activated. What is one of the functions of progesterone in the female? Stimulation of breast tissue growth. Yikes!! Going back to drol, this is what happens. The body recognizes the androgen. However, to the body, it looks a little bit like progesterone too. When the drug circulates enough times throughout the body with repetitive dosages, some drol molecules find progesterone receptors. The drol has chemical similarities to progesterone in its actual chemical structure. All you need is a few progesterone receptors to pick up a few molecules of drol and wham!!!---Bitch Titty Central.
We all know that estrogen stimulates breast tissue as well. You know what not to do if you are prone to water retention due to the estrogenic affects of some anabolics? You know, your body is the type that holds a little more fat, you lose some vascularity when you do things such as test and d-bol, etc. Don’t combine aromatizing drugs with drol!! Think about it. Oh wait. Yeah, the male breast has receptors for estrogen as well. You probably knew that but hang on. Okay…now you have drol exerting a progestagenic affect at the male progesterone receptors in the breast, and, elevated estrogen from whatever other aromatizing anabolic you are using affecting estrogen receptors in the male breast. Now, personally, I’ve always been a breast guy but…are you getting the picture. You are combining two of the most significant and potent hormonal affects together, in the male body, that are responsible for breast tissue growth stimulation in the female. Don’t do it!!
Okay, this section is supposed to be about DHT derived drugs. I needed to tell you guys the above info for obvious reasons. Sorry for my tangent, blame the few good buddies I’ve had that have combined huge amounts of test with drol and grown some unsightly problems. Two grand a piece usually to have those bad boys removed. Okay, anyways, back to DHT derived drugs…
The main ones are: