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DHT is commonly associated with pubertal changes and baldness in men. However, DHT has various health benefits and is possibly effective in treating various diseases.

DHT is not what your doctor would usually test, even though it can tell you a lot about your health. However, you can request it from your doctor and plug in your test results into Lab Test Analyzer, and you will find all the information you need about your DHT values, such as if your levels are optimal. And if they are not, it will tell you how to get there, using evidence-based lifestyle, diet, and supplement tips.

What is DHT?

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a sex hormone created from testosterone in the body. It plays a major role in the development of characteristics that are typically associated with men (body hair, muscle growth, and a deep voice). DHT is critical to the development of the penis and prostate in men. DHT is a much more powerful hormone than testosterone and plays a major role in male-pattern baldness.

What Is Good about DHT?

1) DHT Allows for the Normal Development of Males

Men with an enzyme (5-AR) deficiency are unable to make DHT from testosterone and have reduced development and function of the prostate, penis, and testicles.

DHT created in the body activates androgen receptors (AR). Working AR receptors are needed for sexual differentiation during fetal development and changes in males during puberty. It is also necessary for maintaining a sex drive in men (R).

2) DHT Can Help Control Blood-Sugar Levels

DHT was found to be a potential treatment for those with diabetes and hyperglycemia by controlling the pathway for sugar in the body (R).

DHT enhances the ability for the body to lower blood sugar levels and could possibly reduce type 2 diabetes in males as seen in a study of mice (R).

Application of DHEA to rats increased levels of DHT and was shown to provide benefits for insulin-sensitivity, weight, and body fat (R).

3) DHT Can Increase Memory


Men between the ages of 34 and 70 years showed improvements in memory when treated with DHT skin-patches (R).

4) DHT Improves Sexual Function

DHT can improve sexual ability in men regardless of factors like age and obesity (R).

DHT and testosterone are necessary to maintain a healthy sex drive in men (R).

It was also found that women with higher levels of free DHT in the blood had a normal sex drive compared to women with lower levels (R).

DHT was found to be the main hormone to prevent erectile dysfunction in rats (R).

5) DHT Promotes Heart Health

Higher levels of DHT were associated with lower amounts of fat deposits on the hearts of men with coronary artery disease (CAD) (R).

Lower levels of DHT and testosterone resulted in an increased risk for cardiovascular complications for men undergoing testosterone-lowering treatment for prostate cancer (R).

Observational data was obtained that suggested there is an ideal range for DHT levels in the body, that promotes against heart disease in elderly men (R).

Elderly men with higher levels of DHT were seen to have lower death rates from heart disease (R).

6) DHT Decreases Cancer Risk


Men with prostate cancer were found to have lower levels of DHT, when compared to those with normal prostates (R).

DHT was shown to restrain thyroid cell growth but not function, thus serving as a potential treatment for thyroid cancer (R).

There is evidence for the association between low levels of DHT in the body and a decreased survival rate for prostate cancer (R).

Binding of DHT to receptors in the prostate produces factors that control the growth and function of prostate cells (R).

7) DHT Increases Strength

DHT levels found inside the muscles of women were correlated with the women’s strength and power (R).

8) DHT May Be Effective In Treating Autoimmune Diseases

Sex hormones including DHT were found to be useful in treating a potential autoimmune disease by changing the balance of signals involved in the immune response (R).

DHT was shown to be effective in lessening the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) (R).

DHT exerts control over prostate cells by preventing them from creating an autoimmune/inflammatory response in the body (R).

9) DHT Maintains Healthy Cognitive Function


Declining levels of DHT and other sex hormones in older men were found to be associated with declining cognitive function (R).

10) DHT Can Help Treat Anxiety & Depression

Testosterone’s anti-anxiety benefits were shown to be a result of the actions of DHT in the brain (R).

The drug finasteride which lowers DHT levels in the blood was shown to possibly induce symptoms of depression in patients (R).

11) DHT May Be Pain-Relieving

DHT was shown to relieve pain caused by diabetes in rats (R).

12) DHT Promotes Bone Growth

DHT appeared to increase muscle mass in rats whose ovaries had been removed (R).

DHT was shown to be an important determinant in bone density and increased levels of DHT in the blood were associated with increased bone density in men (R).


DHT helped boys born with reduced penile function (R).

6 DHT Side Effects


1) DHT Causes Male Pattern Baldness

A study found that a group of men with male pattern baldness had higher levels of DHT (R).

Higher levels of DHT were found in blood samples obtained from men with premature baldness (R).

2) Increased Levels of DHT Can Cause Prostate Cancer

DHT is critical for the normal development of the prostate, but it can also result in cancerous prostate growth (R).

DHT can still cause prostate cancer even if testosterone production is stopped via removal of the testicles (R).

DHT enhanced the spread of prostate cancer cells (R).

3) DHT Increases the Risk of Breast Cancer

In the treatment of breast cancer cells with DHT, it was found that DHT increased the number of cancer cells and decreased the death rate of breast cancer cells (R).

4) DHT May Increase Depression In Women

Women being treated for major depression were found to have higher levels of DHT and other male sex hormones in their blood (R).

5) DHT May Increase the Spread of Acne

DHT may cause an increase in inflammatory acne (R).

6) DHT Can Cause a Male-like Hair Growth Pattern In Women

The application of finasteride, which inhibits DHT production was shown to be effective in treating women suffering from male-like hair growth (R).

How To Increase DHT


Everyone is different and our bodies can be complex. If you want to increase/decrease your DHT levels, it’s best to analyze them with Lab Test Analyzer. This tool will compute, based on this and your other results, the best steps you can take that will bring you back to optimal.


  • Testosterone (R)
  • Exercise (R)
  • Creatine – Creatine increased DHT levels in a study of college-aged rugby players(R)
  • Losing body fat (R)
  • Sprinting (R)
  • Green Tea (R)
  • DHEA — DHEA raised levels of DHT in healthy, older women to levels higher than those found in young adults of either gender (R)
  • Viagra (R)
  • Caffeine (R)
  • Dietary fat (R)
  • Zinc  (with meals) —  Oral administration of zinc displayed higher levels of DHT in men (R)
  • Tribulus (R)
  • Diosgenin (R)
  • Tongkat Ali (R)

How To Naturally Block DHT

  1. 5AR Inhibitors —  5AR Inhibitors like Finasteride and Dutasteride prevent testosterone from converting into DHT in the body (R)
  2. Testosterone Treatments   Testosterone treatments lowered DHT levels in elderly men with below-average testosterone levels and high DHT levels (R)
  3. EGCG  (R)
  4. Zinc and Azelaic Acid A combination treatment of zinc and azelaic acid was shown to reduce the creation of DHT in the body and could potentially serve as a treatment for damage caused to the skin by DHT (RR)
  5. Black Tea (R)
  6. Lowering Caloric Intake  (R)
  7. Flaxseeds (R)
  8. Fenugreek (R)
  9. Soy + Green Tea—A combination treatment of soy and green tea lowered DHT levels in mice  (R)
  10. Curcumin (RR)
  11. Red Ginseng (RR)
  12. Reishi (RR)
  13. Copper (high starch-based diet- do not supplement) (R)
  14. Nettle Root (R)
  15. PUFAs-especially GLA
  16. GLA – gamma-linolenic acid and myristoleic acid (R)
  17. Vitamin B2 (from diet) (R)
  18. Saw Palmetto (R)
  19. Pumpkin Seed Oil (R)
  20. Amla (R)

These are products that only inhibit the effects of DHT.

  1. Chyawanprash —  Contains certain tannins and omega-6 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and protect hair (R)
  2. Berberine (with meals) (R)
  3. Fo-Ti (R)
  4. Black pepper — contains piperine, which has been shown to inhibit androgens like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (R)
  5. Andrographis (R)

DHT on SelfDecode

Genetic Influences/SNPs

rs7594951 is a SNP that influences the metabolism of DHT. AA = more prone to having higher blood levels of DHT (R). 

Irregular DHT Levels?

If you have not yet tested your DHT levels, I recommend that you ask your doctor for it. If you already have your blood test results and you’re not sure what to make of them, you need to check out Lab Test Analyzer. It does all the heavy lifting for you. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your various blood tests.

People don’t realize that their blood test results contain a gold mine of information that’s waiting to be unearthed. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or the inclination to sift through dozens of research papers.

It’s super-simple, so that even if you don’t have any background in science, you will understand what your results mean, and what you can do to get them in the optimal range.

Lab Test Analyzer gives you up-to-date scientific information about your lab results. In addition, you will get both lifestyle tips and natural solutions to help you optimize your health. You can also rely on our science-based Optimal Ranges to prevent potential health issues and maximize your overall wellbeing.

All the content is backed by science and researched by a team of PhDs, professors, and scientists.

We’re all unique, so we deserve solutions that treat us that way.

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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  • Dorion

    Alex, free testosterone is the most important in men. The fact that it causes a 23% drop in free testosterone should be a very large concern. Free testosterone is required for the conversion into DHT .That’s essentially confirming the fact that veganism/soy consumption actually feminizes men.

  • andrea

    HI Scott, after taking hydrolysed collagen for a few months, I noticed my hair started to shed like crazy instead of becoming stronger. Some people also reported that effect on hair loss forums. After a lot of research, I found out that the most abundant aminoacid in Hydrolysed collagen, glycine, increases alpha reductase and DHT levels (Regulation of neurosteroid allopregnanolone biosynthesis in the rat spinal cord by glycine and the alkaloidal analogs strychnine and gelsemine. – PubMed – NCBI). This may happen only in people who have very sensitive DHT receptors. I think you should try high doses of glycine. In a forum they advised doses up to 16 g a day. Melatonin is also a strong aromatase inhibitor and increases testosterone ( iit also made my hair fall out).(

  • andrea

    HI Scott, after taking hydrolysed collagen for a few months, I noticed my hair started to shed like crazy instead of becoming stronger. Some people also reported that effect on hair loss forums. After a lot of research, I found out that the most abundant aminoacid in Hydrolysed collagen, glycine, increases alpha reductase and DHT levels (Regulation of neurosteroid allopregnanolone biosynthesis in the rat spinal cord by glycine and the alkaloidal analogs strychnine and gelsemine. – PubMed – NCBI). This may happen only in people who have very sensitive DHT receptors. I think you should try high doses of glycine. In a forum they advised doses up to 16 g a day. Melatonin is also a strong aromatase inhibitor and increases testosterone ( iit also made my hair fall out).(

  • Carl

    Go on a pro testo, no phytoestrogen, no DHT blocking diet for months. This is the only thing that will truly work. Let your body flush out that crap naturally. grass fed Beef, lamb, oysters, shrimp, dairy low phyto fruit and be careful with your veggies. Phytos in broccoli, etc.. DIM does not lower estrogen.. it’s BS

  • Armando B Martinez

    I suffer from the same problem due to finasteride . Have you tried D-aspartic Acid to boost testosterone levels?

  • Griff

    Scott – look in to urine therapy. I’m not kidding. Should reset you nicely after a few days. Combine it with a fast for a turbo-charged reset.

  • harsh

    Hey Scott Hieatt,
    testosterone is produced at optimal /high levels when a few conditions are met:
    Inclusion of fats.SFA and MUFA are great for testosterone production.
    Total intake of fat should land between 25-40% daily calories.
    (Increased intake of PUFA suppresses testosterone, likely due to lipid peroxidation)

    Goodnights sleep

    STRENGTH training. 95% of 1 repp max for 5 reps three sets is an example. Exercise incorporating all body muscles at high intensities and not volume. explosiveness over fatigue. fatigue oriented workout till exhaustion will wreck your hormonal profile, increasing cortisol ( will result in lean muscle gain and fat loss. both increase testosterone and DHT).

    Avoiding DHT and 5ar reducing foods and supplements( look at your multivitamin ingredients also)

    Screaming and dancing to tribal music helps unleash the inner man.

    don’t exceed 50mg zinc a day. Stick to 20mg from food if possible. Avoid phytic acid foods to prevent unavailability of minerals.

    Psychological- if it applies to you- try making sexual associations to humans instead of pornographic material and mentally accept yourself and work towards a healthier life slowly and positively. Mental barriers can be as strongly debilitating as physical ones

    Supplements- Try SHILAJIT. It will bring your libido back, if there are nutritional deficiencies.

    P.S- try reading books on how to optimize tesosterone to get an insight on how this hormone works. Sex is a primal characteristic of animals. Tap into the primal man within and unleash the beast!

  • Luis

    Most of your articles are pseudoscience at best, and dangerous at worst. I’d be wary about following your advice. You overcomplicate things, and all this research, to be honest, is 98 percent hamster wheeling.

    1. Evguenia Alechine

      Hi Luis, can you elaborate on the reasons for your opinion?

  • Toni

    Curcumin lowers DHT… What Bad News!!! Is there anything you could suggest that could replace curcumin without the DHT bocking Effekt?

  • Scott Hieatt

    Hi Dungeon, sorry if I’m confused, but was this reply to me regarding my below comment on the side-effects of Finasteride or specifically to Joe? Thanks!

  • Dungeon

    Hey Joe,
    I also suffer the same sides as you.

    Try cycling l tyrosine, sorghum,
    Or you could try cycling herbs aka: cd nuts protocol ,

  • Scott Hieatt

    I took Finasteride/Propecia for hair loss for a little over 2 months and now I barely have any sex drive and rarely get erections (this is 7 months after stopping the medication). Is there anything I can do? I would do anything to reverse the effects that Finsateride has had on my body and I’m really unsure what to do about it. I’ve exercised myself to death, I’ve lost over 12 pounds, now have a six pack and am in the best shape of my life, but nothing has changed in regards to my libido and ability to get erections. It is as if the Finasteride has has some permanent effect on the 5a reductase inhibitor. As if i can increase my testosterone all i want, but it will never get converted to DHT which is what I need for a sex drive. Before Finasteride, all I could think about was women (I’m 30) and I had an above average sex drive and constantly get strong erections.

    I understand that taking Cialis or Viagra temporarily cures these symptoms, but that seems to avoid the actual issue at hand, what the way that I can actually get my drive back to where it was before? Its been 7 months since I stopped taking the medication and there seems to be little change whatsoever, in fact my penis literally is shrinking. If anyone out there knows what to do please let me know.

    Things I’ve tried :
    – Extreme workouts to exhaustion
    – Both 5:2 diet and 16 hour intermittent fasting diet with only protein, vegetables and fruit
    – Grape seed extract
    – Zinc with every meal
    – Vitamin D
    – Heavy doses of Arginine

    Nothing from the above seems to have had any effect, not sure how I can kickstart the function of 5a reductace so I can get back to my base-level male again. As you can imagine, my entire identity has been crushed by this new reality. Extremely interested in any ideas anyone might have, your help here would be unbelievably appreciated.

    Thank you

  • jur

    I thought that excess amount of DHT can cause hair loss. But it seems like you are promoting higher DHT for men. Confuse.

  • Timmy

    That’s because you embrace a cisgender heteronormative stance. I love my head of hair, beautiful skin, hairless chest, small stature, and femininity as much as I love my masculinity. My sex drive is just fine and I am quite athletic as an endurance athlete. I’m married to a cis woman and quite happy with my gender identity and bisexuality. Nothing wrong with either embodiment of being male. What is important is our humanity and mutual respect.

  • Joey

    A Good read.
    just a note on green tea being in the wrong category.

    Green tea inhibits 5ar = blocks Dht

  • Eric

    Comment was intended as a reply to the guy eating tofu and flax and all the other estrogen foods

  • Eric

    Are you trying to castrate yourself. Why would anybody want to lower their testosterone and even their DHT. I’d rather loose my hair then subject my androgens to such a horrible diet…

  • Nathan

    Sulforaphane also lowers DHT.

  • worldcameraman

    Hi would like to talk more on that topic

  • Trent

    Hi Joe,
    I was wondering on what you thought of using tallow as a substitute for butter and other sources of saturated fat. I was to boost my DHT and have read that sources of monounsaturated fat such as avocado and olive oil reduce DHT, and the recommendations are to eat lots of butter and cocoa butter. Like you I have food too many saturated fats to throw me off, and I would like to not use butter etc. as my main source of fat and miss out on the good MUFAs. Tallow is about 50/50 monounsaturated fat and saturated fat so do you think this would be a good alternative?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Kamil W

    I still don’t know whether andrographis has impact on baldness or not. One of your source say that it increases testostoerone in blood and here it’s said that it’s good blocker for dht. Could you explain this?

  • Brett

    One well-known supplement that potently lowers DHT levels is astaxanthin. The studies that illustrate this use astaxanthin in combination w/ saw palmetto – but anecdotal web reviews on bodoybuilding sites describe it “crashing the sex drive” and my own personal experience suggest that it astaxanthin alone has a finasteride-like anti-androgen effect. At 8mg / day it is very noticeable.

  • Paul

    Vegans produce slightly less testosterone than their omnivore counterparts. When I became a vegan my male pattern baldness cleared up on it’s own. But also, by happy coincidence, I also started eating more soy, flax, drinking green tea and started taking turmeric (which contains curcumin) daily with a couple shakes of black pepper to increase it’s absorption.

    1. Alex

      Hi. Where do you’ve got this vegan produce slightly less testosterone info from? Studies have shown that vegans have about 7% more overall testosterone but they have about 23% less free testosterone. But as far as i know it’s not just about how much testosterone someone produces. It’s about how much you convert into dht or how your hair follicles react to it. Theres something like an autoimmune reaction where your hair follicles react to dht . so if this reaction is very strong in your body your testosterone/dht levels don’t have to be abnormally high.

      Good thing the vegan diet worked for you though 🙂 i’m vegan (1 1/2 years) but i still lose hair :/ (i also drink green tea, eat tumeric and soy sometimes)

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