In the previous article on DHT, I explained what DHT is in more detail, but there is a small introduction for those unaware of what it actually is. Dihydrotestosterone is part of our hormonal system, and It serves many functions in the body. It is extremely necessary for the development of masculine features in young men, and the later upkeep of these features. Those include facial hair growth, masculine voice, ability to gain and maintain muscle mass, penis size etc.
Some fetuses lack proper amounts of DHT, so when they come out of the womb, the male genitalia is underdeveloped. This can change through time as testosterone in the body increases, and usually gets corrected in puberty. However, some men with extremely feminine features usually lack proper amounts of dihydrotestosterone.
About 10% of free testosterone gets converted into DHT. The compound responsible for this action is called 5-alpha reductase. There are 2 ways you can increase (or decrease) your DHT. You can make sure that your free testosterone levels are optimal, and you can also make sure that your 5-alpha-reductase functions properly. The 5 methods we’re about to address both of these factors. The methods are also completely safe.
There is some controversy with this subject and if it is in the best interest for men to increase their DHT production. DHT production is closely tied with the subjects of prostate cancer and hair loss. But you should not fear as this article is about natural methods that are completely healthy for your body. These methods will help keep your hormones at healthy and the most productive levels that will enhance your overall health.
I do not promote the use of any supplements or drugs to enhance DHT levels or to suppress other hormones. The supplement and drug approach to increasing DHT should be taken with more consideration and with guidance 0f a health professional.
Why Men Should Want To Increase DHT
There are a couple of reasons why you might want to increase DHT. First of all, it serves as a potent enchancer of masculine features. Just having high testosterone is not enough to gain muscle, grow facial hair or feel manly (assertive, confident, energetic). You need a combination of free testosterone and DHT.
You also need to regulate your estrogen. DHT functions as an anti-estrogen in your body, by inhibiting the enzyme that aromatises estrogen. Men who lack DHT are prone to developing bitch tits, gaining fat, developing a high-pitched voice, and water retention in the stomach area. When you lack 5-alpha reductase, you have a lot more of free testosterone in your body, and a part of it is not utilized properly since it would normally be converted to DHT.
With that being said, what are the 5 ways you can optimize your DHT levels? Contrary to what you might believe, it doesn’t take any special effort to do it. Some healthy lifestyle changes can improve DHT and your overall health in a matter of weeks. So let’s see what they are.
1. Lose That Excess Fat
If you want to lower your estrogen, increase free testosterone and increase your dihydrotestosterone, the simple step to take is to lose excess fat. Many studies show a direct correlation between obesity and low testosterone. The one feeds the other, so it’s necessary to break the cycle by treating both. If you’ve ever been really fat, you’ve probably gained lypomastia, which is similar to gynecomastia. Strangely enough (or not), lypomastia can very easily change into gyno if you stay fat for long enough. That’s because it’s a signal that the extra body fat is starting to shift the hormonal balance to a more estrogen-dominated one. By losing excess fat you can revert this trend and start experiencing the benefits of high testosterone instead which leads to a higher DHT conversion. To learn more check out my post (Does fat decrease testosterone levels?)
2. Eat Enough Carbs And Calories
Although you should decrease your body fat to optimize your DHT levels, it doesn’t mean you should go into starvation mode. When you starve yourself of carbs and calories, you’re also giving your body the signal that you’re in a retreat mode, with scarce resources, and thus your body will do everything it can to preserve itself.
Testosterone production is increased when you exert yourself, and one of the signals that you’re ready to do exactly that is through a diet that has a good amount of protein, carbs and diets. If you’re not eating, how could you have enough energy to hunt and fight for your next meal? It’s really an evolutionary trick, but it needs to be adhered to.
This study noted higher carb intake (with a 2:1 carb-protein ratio) is associated with higher testosterone and reduced cortisol.
The other reason you shouldn’t drastically reduce your food intake is nutrients. Many foods, including meat, eggs, carbs and healthy fats all play a direct role in testosterone production. Reduce those nutrient sources too much, and you’re risking a backlash on the other end.
3. Lift Weights
Studies are repeatedly showing that physical training, especially weightlifting, is one of the best ways to increase testosterone naturally. It is also the best way to maintain your IQ levels from dropping off, which is what happens with age, whether we like it or not. The best exercises for increasing testosterone are those that target many muscles at once, such as deadlifts, shoulder press, clean and jerk, bench press, and especially squats.
4. Do Sprints
Thinking about doing cardio? Instead of doing an hour or two hour long jogging session, or walking at a grandma pace, try doing sprints instead. High-intensity interval training has been shown to increase both testosterone, DHT and human growth hormone levels exponentially more than cardio performed at a slow pace. Our body craves physical exertion, and this is the best way to give it a good reason to increase hormone production. This study shows DHT levels go through the roof after a good sprinting session.
5. Eat More Healthy Fats
For years we’ve been told that fats are the ultimate enemy of our health. This is actually true if you’re referring to trans-fats which are found in fried foods, and processed items filled with artificial compounds that make them last for years on end. But it’s completely false when it comes to organic eggs, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds and oils such as coconut and olive oil. These fats are a necessary component of a healthy, balanced diet, and they’re especially necessary for producing testosterone and growth hormone in sufficient amounts.
As you can see, there are many ways you can increase your free testosterone and DHT, starting today. If you already have a healthy diet and exercise regime that you adhere to on a consistent basis, you probably have enough DHT already. If not, make sure to spend more time in the kitchen and the gym – your mental and physical health will thank you for it.