Does DHT Cause Prostate and Erectile Problems?

Nelson Vergel

Elevated DHT has not been associated with increased risk of prostate disease (e.g., cancer or benign hyperplasia) nor does it appear to have any systemic effects on cardiovascular disease safety parameters (including increased risk of polycythemia) beyond those commonly observed with available T preparations. Well-controlled, long-term studies of transdermal DHT preparations have failed to identify safety signals unique to markedly elevated circulating DHT concentrations or signals materially different from T.

DHT molecule.jpg

Perhaps the most controversial area with regards to the nonprostate-related effects of DHT in male health is in the area of sexual function, particularly with respect to the reversibility, or lack thereof, of sexual side effects that are attributed to the 5AR-Is. Multiple large studies have reported sexual dysfunction in men with BPH taking finasteride or dutasteride, including three large, placebo-controlled studies. Overall, use of 5AR-Is is associated with a 5% to 9% prevalence of new-onset erectile dysfunction and decreased libido. These data strongly point to a role for endogenous DHT in the maintenance of normal sexual and ejaculatory function and sexual desire. And, in fact, this has been shown to be true in healthy young men in whom serum DHT concentration was revealed to be the sole independent predictor of orgasm frequency, a surrogate for overall male sexual function.

DHT studies: Click here
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