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5α-Dihydroprogesterone (5α-DHP) Is Androgen/Progesterone Agonist And Pro-hormone For DHT

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    If you take a look at a standard diagram of steroigenesis and metabolism you will see that the androgen DHT can be synthesized via only one route, namely DHEA->Androstenedione->Testosterone->DHT. Recently, some studies have shown that DHT can also be synthesized via an alternative pathway, still using DHEA as a precursor, namely DHEA->5α-Androstanedione->DHT. Both of these routes have negative feedback mechanisms, which keeps DHT synthesis relatively low and as such levels of DHT are usually only 10% of plasma testosterone levels.
    However, even more recent studies have shown that progesterone can also serve as a precursor to potent androgens and it is not through the classical pathway involving androstenedione (see above). In this backdoor pathway, progesterone is first acted upon by the enzyme 5-AR and that generates the steroid 5α-Dihydroprogesterone (5α-DHP). The 5α-DHP then gets metabolized into allopregnanolone, and allopreganolon can get converted into androsterone and other androgenic intermediates that serve as precursors to DHT. An important distinction is that unlike the two pathways listed above, this alternative pathway apparently does NOT have e negative feedback mechanism. This is likely due to the nature of progestogens, as they are not typically used by the organism as androgen precursors and no negative feedback mechanisms have developed for them. However, when supplied in sufficient quantities these progesterone metabolites (i.e. 5α-DHP or allopregnanolone) can serve as significant sources of androgen synthesis as apparently they are the preferred raw material (substrate) for some of the androgen-synthesizing enzymes. As such, a steroid such as 5α-DHP may be used to raise DHT levels without incurring the typical risks of negative feedback such as other steroid synthesis inhibition as a compensatory mechanism.
    The studies below, and the attached screenshots, describe the pathways and mechanisms through which 5α-DHP can serve as a quite effective pro-hormone for potent androgens such as DHT, androsterone, androstanedione and androstanediol.
    Finally, what is rather unique about 5α-DHP is that is acts as an agonist of both the progesterone and androgen receptors. I suspect that its saturation is the reason for the androgenic activity, as the study I posted recently on saturation/androgenciity demonstrated. Saturated steroids tend to be androgenic, while unsaturated ones tend to be estrogenic. The degree of unsaturation determined largely the respective strength as androgen or estrogen. So, given the benefits of androgens and progestogens on health and metabolism 5α-DHP may be unique among steroids (except maybe allopregnanolone) in conferring the benefits of both worlds.


    Acne, dairy and cancer: The 5alpha-P link. - PubMed - NCBI
    "...A search into the endocrine pathways that lead from cholesterol through five enzymatic steps to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) revealed that Dr. Darling's hormones (progesterone, 5α-A and 5α-P) were all part of the DHT production pathway (Fig. 1) and so could conceivably be metabolized to DHT right in the pilosebaceous unit, if the necessary enzymes were present."
    "...But efficient though it is in reducing endogenous DHT, the 5α-P and 5α-A in dairy products provide the prostate's intracrine system with DHT precursors that are already 5α-reduced."
    "...A paper from the mid-1980s may hold the answer to this relationship. Backstrom demonstrated that the human corpus luteum secretes 5α-P, cyclically and in significant quantities.24 This is one of the 5α-reduced DHT precursors that Darling found in cow milk, and Backstrom showed that the luteal phase of each menstrual cycle was associated with about an 8-fold rise in this hormone above the follicular phase level. Thus, we have a late-cycle DHT precursor, capable of becoming an androgenic hormone, available to the circulation and thus to mammary gland tissue, for up to four decades as women pass through their reproductive lifespan."
    "...So how does dairy consumption relate to the induction of abnormal cellular activity in target tissues? I suggest that a problem arises when this incomplete (or non-existent) feedback system is bypassed, for example when the system is invaded by DHT precursors in dairy products. Some of the DHT precursors are already 5α-reduced so they need not go to 5α-reductase for reduction to DHT. This supply of DHT does not rely on serum T, so endogenous serum T is not consumed, serum T stays high, and even if this steady level of serum T and DHT signals no need for further production of more T, it matters little because the cow-sourced precursors, progesterone and both 5α-A and 5α-P, can go directly to the production of more DHT without any negative feedback influence from the hypothalamus and pituitary."


    http://store.elsevier.com/Cellular-Endocrinology-in-Health-and-Disease/isbn-9780124081345/
    "...The alternative of "backdoor" pathway leads from 17OHP to DHT without going through androstenedione or testosterone as intermediate steroids. This pathway is initiated by the 5α reduction of either progesterone or 17OHP by type-1 5α-reductase. The resulting 5α-reduced C21 steroids, dihydroprogesterone (5α-pregnane-3,20-dione) and 5α-pregnane-17α-ol-3,20-dione, are then readily catalyzed by reductive 3αHSDs to yield allopregnanolone (5α-pregnane-3α-ol-20-one; Allo) and 17α-hydroxylated Allo (5α-pregnane-3α,17α-diol-20-one; 17OH-Allo). Dihydroprogesterone and Allo are excellent substrates for the 17α-hydroxylase activity of P450c17, and 17OH-Allo is the most efficient substrate known for the 17,20-lyase activity of human P450c17. Furthermore, unlike the conversion of 17OH-Preg to DHEA, the cleavage of 17OH-Allo to androsterone is minimally dependent on cytochrome B5. The resulting androsterone may then be 3α-oxidized to DHT by retinol dehydrogenase (RoDH), the microsomal 3α-HSD, 3(α β)-hydroxysteroid epimerase (also known as 17βHSD6) (Figure 13.6). The presence of 5α reductases in steroidogenic cells does not preclude the production of C19 steroids, but rather paradoxically enhances the production of DHT. The "backdoor" pathway thus enables production of C19 steroids from 17OHP, despite the poor 17,20-lyase activity of human P450c17 for 17OHP, by using 17OH-Allo as the substrate for the 17,20-lyase reaction. The "backdoor pathway" is also relevant to normal and abnormal human steroidogenesis. In normal male sexual development, both the conventional pathway of androgen production (via DHEA, androsterone, and testosterone to DHT) and the fetal testicular "backdoor pathway" are required for development of normal male genitalia. Similarly, when 17OHP accumulates in 21-hydroxylase deficiency and POR deficiency, the "backdoor pathway" is responsible for a portion of the overproduction of androgens.


    The metabolic fate and receptor interaction of 16α-hydroxyprogesterone and its 5α-reduced metabolite, 16α-hydroxy-dihydroprogesterone. - PubMed - NCBI
    "...Both 16OHP4 and its 5α-reduced metabolite, which would be rapidly formed upon reaching peripheral tissue, activated the PR-B as weak partial agonists while DHP4 activated both the PR-A and PR-B as a partial and a weak partial agonist, respectively, exhibiting significantly lower activity than P4. A similar trend was observed regarding the AR."


    Binding of 5 alpha-dihydroprogesterone to proteins in human pregnancy serum. - PubMed - NCBI
    "...From the present investigation it can be concluded that DHP in comparison with progesterone, is more accessible to peripheral tissues and this may compensate for a lower affinity for the progestin receptor (Leavitt et al. 1978). Evidently, DHP is likely to exert some biological function in the mother or in the foetus either as a hormone agonist or antagonist. It is also interesting that DHP can be a substrate for the formation of active 5a-reduced androgens in immature testis of the mouse and rabbit (Matsumoto etal. 1976).


    Steroid 5alpha-reductase 1 promotes 5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol synthesis in immature mouse testes by two pathways. - PubMed - NCBI
    "...5alpha-Androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol (androstanediol) is the predominant androgen in immature mouse testes, and studies were designed to investigate its pathway of synthesis, the steroid 5alpha-reductase isoenzyme involved in its formation, and whether testicular androstanediol is formed in embryonic mouse testes at the time of male phenotypic development. In 24-26-day-old immature testes, androstanediol is formed by two pathways; the predominant one involves testosterone --> dihydrotestosterone --> androstanediol, and a second utilizes the pathway progesterone --> 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone --> 5alpha-pregnane-3alpha-ol-20-one --> 5alpha-pregnane-3alpha,17alpha-diol-20-one --> androsterone --> androstanediol. Formation of androstanediol was normal in testes from mice deficient in steroid 5alpha-reductase 2 but absent in testes from mice deficient in steroid 5alpha-reductase 1, indicating that isoenzyme 2 is not expressed in day 24-26 testes. The fact that androstenedione and testosterone were the only androgens identified after incubation of day 16 and 17 embryonic testes with [3H]progesterone implies that androstanediol formation in the testis plays no role in male phenotypic differentiation in the mouse."


    ScienceDirect
    "...The unsolved issue is how the expression of 5a-reductase, an enzyme with a Km around 1 lM [15] and a low activity (about 0.4 pmol/mg protein), shifts the major pathway of androgen synthesis from the formation of androstenedione and T to a pathway in which androsterone and Adiol are synthesized directly from 5a-reduced C21-precursors. One clue derives from the observation that both progesterone and 17a-hydroxyprogesterone are better substrates for 5a-reductases than androstenedione and T [15]. However, the existence of an alternative pathway to Adiol via 5areduced, C21-steroids implies that cytochrome P450c17 (CYP17, 17a-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase) must catalyze both the 17a-hydroxylation and 17,20-lyase reactions with 5a-reduced steroids. Consistent with this hypothesis, it has been reported that a fusion protein with bovine CYP17 and rat cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) can 17a-hydroxylate 5a-pregnan-3,20-dione [16], but the 17, 20-lyase reaction was not studied in detail. To define the mechanism for the direct formation of 5a-reduced androgens from C21 precursors in the gonads, we studied the binding and metabolism of 5apregnan-3,20-dione, 5a-pregnan-3a-ol-20-one, and their 17a-hydroxylated derivatives by human CYP17 (hCYP17)."

    "...Our results show that 5a-pregnan-3a,17a-diol-20- one is the best substrate yet identified for the 17,20-lyase activity of hCYP17 and identifies 5a-pregnan-3a,17adiol-20-one as a plausible intermediate in a direct pathway to Adiol in higher mammals as well."
     

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  2. Dante

    Dante Member

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    So Drinking milk causes cancer. I always thought that naturally occurring steroids in milk would be low enough to not cause any endocrine balance in an adult human.
     
  3. X3CyO

    X3CyO Member

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    So... if people abuse 5a-dhp, theyll get abnormal growths.
    How much abuse are we talking here?
    It sounds more like an issue for people who arent physically active and all these hormones have no place to go.
     
  4. paramax

    paramax Member

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    Hi @haidut,

    you need to correct the link to this product on your lab page, the link goes to Progestene instead of this one, at least on my case, regards!

    Max.
    .
     
  5. Wagner83

    Wagner83 Member

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    As I understand it the author (like many docs) thought dht was the culprit for cancers, and so his explanation was that the supraphysiological levels of dht made possible by the absence of any negative feedback loop was the reasons for abnormal growth.
    However dht has been shown , correct me if I'm wrong, to be protective rather than anything else when it comes to cancer (e.g. prostate).
    I'm not sure if the author actually proved there was no feedback mechanisms of if it was his suggestion, kind of similar to low dose dht not causing suppression. He seems to talk about 5 alpha reduced androgens/precurors, what would be different between your new compound (haidut) and regular dht?
     
  6. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I don't think it does. The article is just like the studies on androgens and prostate cancer. If 5α-DHP is the primary progesterone circulating during pregnancy, and if pregnancy is so protective against breast, uterine and ovarian cancers than that theory is likely bunk.
     
  7. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Where did you see comments about abnormal growths from 5α-DHP? Again, it is the primary circulating progesterone during pregnancy, and these women do not get abnormal growths but quite the opposite.
     
  8. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Thanks, we fixed it.
     
  9. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I think he is suggesting that some precursor do not activate the negative feedback mechanism. The classical ones like DHEA, androstenedione, T all do but the alternative pathway based on progesterone apparently does not. I have seen people with 3 times the upper limit DHT and no signs of suppression of either T or DHEA. So, there are definitely real world examples of this happening. Somehow, some precursor can keep raising DHT without incurring feedback (to a point).
     
  10. Wagner83

    Wagner83 Member

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    @haidut What were these people using ?
    So far it seems to me he was trying to explain the abnormal growth through dht and therefore suggested there was no negative feedback mechanism, but what facts suggest this is true ? (second study? it's hard to understand for me)
    Some people have reported suppression with rather lowish doses of dht while other have not I wonder why.

    I'm curious why they say dairy has been linked with breast and prostate cancer, lots of people on here have a high dairy intake .
     
  11. Dante

    Dante Member

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    Another reason why 5α-reductase is so important for both males and females. Are you aware of any pathology associated with slightly increased expression of 5-alpha reductase other than MPB (let's not get into a debate on 5alpha and MPB) ?
     
  12. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I don't know of any pathology related to true excess of 5-AR activity. In some adrenal conditions and tumors there is overproduction of DHEA, which then increases DHT levels but also estrogen levels. So, it is a factor of the increased DHEA production and not 5-AR overactivity. The people that I know with very DHT, and normal estrogen, T and DHEA are all ridiculously healthy. No prostate of balding issues, no bone issues or insulin resistance as mainstream medicine claims. As a "saturating" enzyme I expect 5-AR to be rather good. It is also crucial in degrading cortisol so suppressing it can give you Cushing syndrome even if everything else is healthy. Yet another reason you want it working well.
     
  13. tca300

    tca300 Member

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    Im a little confused because you have mentioned allopregnanolone can cause men to become "edgy" and that it has "anti-sexual effects". If allopregnanolone does significantly raise DHT you would think it would have the opposite effects. Also if Pregnenolone itself converts heavily into allopregnanolone, wouldn't it have basically the same effect? If 5a-DHP converts into allopregnanolone, wouldn't it lose its "saturated" benefits which seem to be the main factor in its Pro androgenic activity? Thanks!
    P.S Do you think 5a-DHP is like progesterone in the sense that it has no negative feedback loop of Progesterone production? It worries me that the system might detect a large byproduct ( metabolite ) of progesterone and therefore down regulate the bodies natural production of Progesterone. Thanks again!
     
  14. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    There are a few studies that showed 5a-DHP actually stimulated progesterone synthesis. Allopregnanolne is also a saturated progesterone, as it is derived from 5a-DHP. Pregnenolone and progesterone are both precursors to allopregnanolone but the conversion depends on function of 5-AR, which is downregulated in most hypothyroid people and goes down with aging. Taking Finasteride or being under severe stress also downregulates it. This is all explained in the main 5a-DHP thread. So, but giving a precursor that is already 5-AR reduced (and is also on step away from allopregnanolone) you guarantee raising allopregnanolone. Taking progesterone and pregnenolone depends on quite a few other variables for proper conversion. Allopregnanolone has pro-sexual effects as mentioned on the Wikipedia page. The studies are all animal but still. The Wikipedia page talk about the edginess but I don't remember saying it has anti-sexual effects. Can you point me to that comment?
    Allopregnanolone - Wikipedia
    "...Allopregnanolone possesses a wide variety of effects, including, in no particular order, antidepressant, anxiolytic, stress-reducing, rewarding,[20] prosocial,[21] antiaggressive,[22] prosexual,[21] sedative, pro-sleep,[23] cognitive and memory-impairing, analgesic,[24] anesthetic, anticonvulsant, neuroprotective, and neurogenic effects."

    "...Increased levels of allopregnanolone can produce paradoxical effects, including negative mood, anxiety, irritability, and aggression.[28][29][30] This appears to be because allopregnanolone possesses biphasic, U-shaped actions at the GABAA receptor – moderate level increases (in the range of 1.5–2 nM/L total allopregnanolone, which are approximately equivalent to luteal phase levels) inhibit the activity of the receptor, while lower and higher concentration increases stimulate it.[28][29] This seems to be a common effect of many GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulators.[25][30] In accordance, acute administration of low doses of micronized progesterone (which reliably elevates allopregnanolone levels), have been found to have negative effects on mood, while higher doses have a neutral effect.[31]"

    By giving a steroid that is already 5-AR reduced you make the conversion to DHT, androsterone, androstanedione, and androstanediol much easier as other enzymes do not seem to be downregulated in aging and disease compared to 5-AR. I have tried 5a-DHP in very high doses and the effects are very pro-sexual. This may be due to the strong antagonism to estrogen and prolactin, but the net effects (even if it does not convert much into DHT) are pro-sexual, pro-mood, pro-cognition and not only no negative feedback but increase in synthesis of pregnenolone and progesterone.
     
  15. tca300

    tca300 Member

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    Pansterone - Liquid Dietary Supplement For Rejuvenation
    " Higher dose pregnenolone converts into pregnenolone sulfate (PS) and allopregnanolone, both of which have anti-sexual effects. PS was found to increase prolactin release in vivo while pregnenolone suppressed it. So, another reason not to overdo the pregnenolone. I think Ray's advice on 100mg - 150mg is spot on unless a person has a serious disease that needs full suppression of cortisol and estrogen."

    @haidut Thank you very much for the reply!
     
  16. X3CyO

    X3CyO Member

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    It must be the overall effects outweighting allopregnenolone that overcomes its anti-sexual effects.
     
  17. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Sorry, this needs a small correction. The PS probably does have antisexual effects due to raising prolactin. The allopregnanolone seems to have pro-sexual but anti-gonadotropin effects (i.e. it suppresses LH release) just like progesterone.
    Allopregnanolone - Wikipedia
    "...The action of allopregnanolone at these receptors may be related, in part, to its neuroprotective and antigonadotropic properties.[13][15] Also like progesterone, recent evidence has shown that allopregnanolone is an activator of the pregnane X receptor."
    Progesterone receptor A (PRA) and PRB-independent effects of progesterone on gonadotropin-releasing hormone release. - PubMed - NCBI

    However, the above study (in mice) cites a study in rats that observed the exact opposite effects - increase in LH and FSH. It was all due to GABA agonism, which allopregnanolone does pretty well and the same effect has been observed for taurine, which is also a potent GABA agonist.
    Gamma-aminobutyric acidA receptors mediate 3 alpha-hydroxy-5 alpha-pregnan-20-one-induced gonadotropin secretion. - PubMed - NCBI

    So, allopregnanolone is simply a potent GABA agonist and depending on the dose it can either stimulate or inhibit gonadotropin secretion.
     
  18. Wagner83

    Wagner83 Member

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    So if high doses can inhibit LH there's a negative feedback mechanism after all no?
     
  19. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Like I said, the study in mice found suppression, but the study in rats found stimulation. Also, the studies were with allopregnanolone and not 5a-DHP. The 5a-DHP actually stimulates synthesis of both pregnenolone and progesterone. One of the studies in the neurosteroid thread talks about that.
     
  20. johnwester130

    johnwester130 Member

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    Let's put this into perspective,

    how much will this raise DHT compared to dhea, androsterone, pregnenolone, zinc , taurine etc ?
     
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