The deal on DHT
Question: My doctor told me my di-hydrotestosterone (DHT) levels are high. He recommends taking patent medications to help this. I really don't want to take a patent medicine, but he says DHT is carcinogenic, and that's not good for me either. What would you recommend?
Dr. Wright: As a first step, I'd suggest you ask to have your androstanediol level measured, and your DHT/Androstanediol ratio calculated, so you can be better informed before making any decision. Although there's no absolute proof of this yet, it appears logical that more "anti-carcinogen" than "pro-carcinogen" is a very good idea, so for now it appears reasonable to say that favorable ratios are greater than 1, and ratios of less than 1 indicate increased risk.
In general, I recommend that men stay strictly away from Proscar®, Propecia®, and Avodart® altogether. I've seen too many men taking these patent medicines who have DHT/Androstranediol ratios of less than 1, often much less than 1. (But for anyone who does decide to take one of these medications, be sure to have your DHT/Androstanediol ratio measured before and shortly after starting.)
You might want to consider talking to your physician about trying one of Nature's more gentle 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, such as zinc and gamma-linoleic acid, both of which are essential nutrients as well as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.
Of course, it's important to note that I've also seen a few cases where someone took so much saw palmetto that his DHT/Androstanediol ratio fell below 1. And it doesn't matter whether the low ratio is due to a patent medicine, an herb, or anything else-the risk is the same.
One testing outcome we see fairly regularly at the Tahoma Clinic is DHT and androstanediol levels that are both too high, but still favorably balanced (with a DHT/Androstanediol ratio greater than 1). Most of the time, lowering the dose of testosterone the person is taking brings both of these levels back into "normal" range, while still keeping the DHT/Androstanediol ratio where it needs to be.
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About the author
Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. has degrees from both Harvard University (cum laude) and the University of Michigan. More than any other doctor, he practically invented the modern science of applied nutritional biochemistry and he has advanced nutritional medicine for nearly three decades.
As of today, Dr. Wright has received over 35,000 patient visits at his now-famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State.
To learn more about Dr. Wright, and to sign up for his free Health e-Tips eLetter, please visit www.wrightnewsletter.com.