DHT e-diet benefits
DHT is the metabolite of testosterone which is largely responsible for ‘alpha male’ characteristics such as risk taking, adventure and assertiveness.
In many respects free testosterone functions as a prohormone, and DHT is the active form of testosterone that is manufactured from free testosterone.
This powerful male hormone is largely responsible for driving men to find sex, to compete with each others at sport and to succeed in their careers.
Despite negative press stating the opposite, DHT is a hormone that most men should be looking to maximise by eating a dht boosting e-diet to feel at their best.
DHT myths and misinformation
Whilst many claim that DHT is a ‘bad’ form of testosterone that causes male pattern balding and prostate problems, it has recently been shown that there has to be a combination of high DHT with high estrogen to promote these issues.
DHT replacement may actually be effective for treating prostate problems by competing with estrogen and controlling prolactin; taking steps to control estrogen and prolactin rather than suppressing DHT may be the best way to keep the prostate healthy.
Whilst having very high levels of DHT likely affect male issues such as male pattern baldness and acne (in individuals genetically predisposed to these issues), unless your DHT levels are extremely high, lowering DHT may actually make these issues worse.
Lowering DHT allows for levels of the female hormones estrogen, progesterone and prolactin to creep up and for overall hormone balance to become out of whack.
Estrogen and prolactin are implicated in male pattern baldness and acne, so lowering DHT and increasing levels of these female hormones could very possibly make these issues worse, whilst causing a whole host of other side effects such as low sex drive and moodiness.
(I’d recommend anyone interested in gaining a better understanding about the relationship between free testosterone, DHT and estrogen reads the article, ‘DHT – Is It All Bad?’ by Patrick Arnold).
Also, read the TESTOSTERONE RESTORATION HANDBOOK!
DHT replacement gels are prescribed in France for men suffering from andropause rather than testosterone gels that are prescribed in the UK and US.
Topical DHT is highly effective for treating gynecomastia due to DHT being a powerful antagonist of all the female hormones that can cause this embarrassing problem. (A DHT boosting e-diet lowers estrogen levels and keeps progesterone and prolactin in check).
DHT raising prohormones and steroids are not as effective as testosterone boosting prohormones and steroids for building muscle mass but are highly effective for burning fat and achieving a ‘hard’ and ‘ripped’ look.
DHT raising prohormones and steroids can certainly help you build muscle, however, through greatly improving motivation and strength levels in the gym.
The problems with both DHT replacement and with unnaturally raising DHT levels through using DHT raising pro-hormones or steroids, are obvious however: Down regulation of your natural DHT production leading to depression and weakness once you get off exogenous DHT!
The ideal option is to try to maximise your DHT levels naturally through taking DHT supporting supplements and eating a DHT boosting e-diet:
Use creatine monohydrate to pump up your DHT levels!
Creatine improves gym and muscle building performance through a number of mechanisms, one of which is by it significantly increasing the ratio of DHT to free testosterone.
Creatine is found abundantly in red meat; meat eaters probably get around 2-3 grams of creatine a day without supplementing. One study showed that creatine supplementation for four weeks raised DHT levels by 56 peercent!
A 2010 human study performed on professional rugby players showed that creatine does not raise your total testosterone concentration but does significantly improve the conversion of free testosterone to the ‘active’ form of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT):
‘After 7 days of creatine loading, or a further 14 days of creatine maintenance dose, serum T levels did not change. However, levels of DHT increased by 56% after 7 days of creatine loading and remained 40% above baseline after 14 days maintenance (P < 0.001).
The ratio of DHT:T also increased by 36% after 7 days creatine supplementation and remained elevated by 22% after the maintenance dose (P < 0.01).’
Besides greatly improving DHT levels, low dose creatine supplementation may improve a number of aspects of health. The use of creatine as an antiaging, brain enhancing and energy promoting nutrient is currently being investigated by scientists.
Recommended creatine dosage
The maintenance dose of creatine which increased the DHT:T ratio by 22 percent in the above study was 5 grams daily. I would recommend 3 to 5 grams per day of creatine for long term use along side eating a DHT boosting e-diet.
The issue of cycling creatine is controversial. At this low dose, I would not worry about taking extended periods off from using creatine but would maybe take two days off every week.
The loading dose that was shown to elevate the DHT:T ratio by 56 percent was 25 grams per day. Such doses cause some people to experience gastrointestinal disturbance, diarrhea and other minor problems.
It appears that it is unnecessary to load creatine. Loading will increase muscle creatine levels quickly, but skipping the loading phase and taking a maintenance dose will give you the same benefits once muscle creatine levels get high enough. Side effects are minimized if the loading phase is skipped.
While regular creatine monohydrate is pretty cheap and very helpful for most trainers, Kre-Alkalyn may be a superior form of creatine to take as part of a DHT boosting e-diet.
Kre-Alkalyn is the ph stabilized form of this strength training diet supplement and does not seem to cause minor side effects that regular creatine monohydrate can cause in susceptible people such as bloating and stomach upset.
2 grams of kre-Alkalyn is often as, if not more, effective than 5 to 10 grams of regular creatine monohydrate powder.
Kre-Alkalyn is more expensive than regular creatine monohydrate, however, so if you’re on a tight budget, stick with 5 to 10 grams of regular creatine monohydrate powder.
You can also get creatine transdermal gels nowadays! This is apparently an extremely effective delivery method.
Green tea – another DHT boosting e-diet supplement!
Green tea extract has recently been shown to significantly improve both testosterone and DHT levels in rodents.
Whether this is the case in humans remains to be proven but users of green tea extract often mention an increase in sex drive so it is highly plausible that the supplement could raise DHT.
Green tea extract is an anti-inflammatory DHT boosting e-diet supplement. This may be a good supplement to use for those men that are keen to improve their DHT levels but are very worried about raised DHT possibly leading to increased hair loss or acne etc.
Keep an eye on future research here…
Your DHT boosting e-diet
The below dht boosting e-diet guidelines are designed to maximize natural testosterone levels, and to maintain as high as possible a conversion of free testosterone to DHT:
(1) Eat meat: Diets that contain meat have been shown to raise testosterone and DHT levels compared with lacto-ovo vegetarian diets and vegetarian diets – this is probably due to nutrients such as creatine, zinc, saturated fat and cholesterol that are found abundantly in meat.
(2) Eat 30-40 percent of calories as fat: Diets that contain 40 percent of calories from fat have been shown to significantly raise testosterone levels compared with diets that contain 20 percent of calories from fat.
(3) Eat a high ratio of saturated and monounsaturated fats to polyunsaturated fat: Saturated and monounsatured fats support high testosterone levels whereas polyunsaturated fats do not. Keep your polyunsaturated fat consumption low.
Try to eat only healthy natural monounsaturated and saturated fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter, macademia nut oil etc.
(4) Don’t eat excessive amounts of fiber: Limit to 20 grams a day to keep testosterone levels very high. Men who shift from a reasonably low fiber diet to a high fiber diet, especially a high soluble fiber diet, experience a significant drop in their testosterone and DHT levels.
(5) Eat a moderate to high carbohydrate diet: As discussed above, restriction of natural starchy carbohydrates causes a drop in testosterone levels. A 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein works well for many people and has been shown in numerous studies to support high testosterone levels.
Higher carbohydrate diets have been shown in studies to increase DHT levels. Low carb diets can be effective, at least in the short term, for insulin insensitive men looking to lose weight, but a long term testosterone and DHT boosting e-diet diet should include healthy amounts of natural starchy carbs.
Avoid natural supplements that lower DHT
The below supplements are commonly recommended ‘health’ foods, but I do not believe they are appropriate for the majority of men to use:
(1) Evening Primrose Oil – this natural oil is often recommended for bodybuilders, along with fish oil. What is not mentioned, however, is that evening primrose oil is thyroid suppressive, blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT and is estrogenic – I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.
(2) Flax seed oil – flax seed oil lowers DHT and increases prolactin and estrogen – this combination is a nightmare one for killing sex drive.
(3) Beta Sitosterol – this herb lowers DHT levels and increases prolactin – men who use beta sitosterol for a period of time frequently report a serious loss sex drive.
Beta sitosterol is often recommended as a natural alternative to the drug finasteride, but the side effects can be equally troublesome.
(4) Saw palmetto – this herb acts in a similar way to beta sitosterol and also can cause long lasting side effects such as diminished sex drive and moodiness in men.
(5) Soy isoflavones/ soy products – soy isoflavones and soy products have been shown to reduce the conversion of testosterone to DHT, are damaging to the thyroid and are estrogenic.
Soy isoflavones should not be supplemented by men, in my opinion, and soy products should only be eaten, as part of this DHT boosting e-diet, in limited amounts.
(6) Chasteberry – this herb increases progesterone which competes with and subsequently lowers DHT. Chasteberry could be beneficial for some men when used in the 400mg to 1000mg range due to its ability to lower prolactin.
However, due to chasteberry raising progesterone, it is best avoided whilst tyring to improve DHT levels.
The above list is by no means exhaustive – be very careful when following advice from assistants in health food shops; they mean well but often promote foods/ supplements that do not help a man to improve his hormone balance!
Ed Clements is a fitness and health writer who offers advice to men and women explaining how to optimise hormone balance through diet, training, lifestyle improvement and through intelligent supplementation.
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