Chronic Caffeine Ingestion Increases T And DHT Levels

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    There have been several threads on this forum about raising testosterone (T) levels in males, and especially dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. DHT is considered the "king" of male hormones since it does not aromatize into estrogen (E), has very strong anabolic (i.e. building muscle and reducing fat), and is actually a very potent anti-estrogen itself (it fully inhibits the aromatase enzyme, so prevents the conversion of T into E). I think Peat has written about it and considers it safe as opposed to regular T, which he has said is implicated in diseases such as ALS.
    After getting consistently higher libido and almost suspicious increases in weight lifting strength from doses of caffeine in the 200mg-400mg range, I suspected that it has an effect on DHT, T, and even serotonin. I did some digging around, and indeed there is a study with rats that shows chronic, moderate, caffeine ingestion increased T levels by 68% and DHT levels by 57%.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3521899/

    Approximate human dosage:

    "...The caffeine dose was chosen to simulate moderate human caffeine consumption (approximately 2–4 mg/kg/day)".

    While 68% increases in T are not something dramatic, a 57% increase in DHT would be very anabolic and something bodybuilders can only dream about achieving using steroids. Since a lot of us on this forum also take caffeine with aspirin, that may result in even bigger increases in these androgenic hormones.
    If anybody is taking extra caffeine and doing a blood test as part of their Peating experience maybe you can ask for T/DHT numbers as well. It would be helpful to know if this effect translates into humans, even though I suspect that for me it does.
     
  2. Vinero

    Vinero Member

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    I think i read somewhere that elevated DHT can cause hair loss.. Don't know for sure though. I am a male with quite long hair and don't wanna lose it. Do you know of any good stuff for healthy hair by the way?
     
  3. Vinero

    Vinero Member

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    By the way, Does weight lifting increase testosterone and/or DHT?
     
  4. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Vinero, I suggest you read the Danny Roddy blogs and some of Peat's articles on estrogen. DHT is NOT the cause of hair loss. Often, drugs that "treat" high DHT (5-alpha reductase inhibitors) are prescribed by doctors in the US for problems with hair loss and enlarged prostate. However, in France DHT is a prescription treatment to actually reduce prostate size. So, if the mechanism of hair loss and enlarged prostate is similar/same and DHT is actually treating the problem it is supposed to be causing then you know things are not as advertised.
    As far as weight lifting - yes, it has an effect on both T and DHT but describing how this happens would take an entire endocrinology textbook.
     
  5. Vinero

    Vinero Member

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    Awesome. Off to the gym than with a monster dose of caffeine.
     
  6. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    The daily dose used in the study was not a "monster" dose:):
    It's equivalent to 2mg-4mg per kg of bodyweight and since rats were drinking water all day, this means the caffeine they were ingesting in each dose was not very high. I'd say a cup of coffee 3 times a day is all you need, according to the study.
     
  7. pboy

    pboy Member

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    im wondering if caffeine and maybe even theobromine are methyl donors...they are methylated xanthines but im not sure and haven't read anything about them being able to donate the methyl group. I suspect they do. If that was the case, it would accelerate detoxing in the liver of molecules like homocystein and estrogen. Perhaps that's part of the effect...but perhaps it doesn't work that way
     
  8. nograde

    nograde Member

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    @Haidut: You wrote that DHT is a powerful aromatase inhibitor. After reading that in various forums again and again I tried to find studies for that claim. I found none, so I classify the antiestrogenic activity of DHT as nothing more than a self-perpetuating internet rumor. I would be very thankful if you could provide a study that researched that connection.

    Also, it is well known that DHT exerts no effect on muscle, only T does.

    Please also see my question on peatarian.com:
    http://peatarian.com/32973/dht-an-aroma ... r-promoter

    and one study showing that DHT promotes(!) aromatase (in fibroblasts):
    Stimulation of aromatase activity by dihydrotestosterone in human skin fibroblasts.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2943941
     
  9. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    @nograde, there are several studies claiming that DHT inhibits aromatase and that this is one of the mechanism behind DHT's effectiveness against gynecomastia. Here are some of the studies I have seen in the past:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17931384

    "...Administered at therapeutic doses, DHT directly reduces testicular aromatase activity that combined with its antigonadotropic effect leads to the gain in the symptomatic treatment of gynaecomastia."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7687444

    "...Testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are two potent androgens which have opposite effects regarding aromatase activity, an enzyme present in prostate stroma and suspected to have a pathogenic influence through local oestradiol synthesis. T is the main substrate for aromatase and oestradiol synthesis while DHT is not aromatizable and, at sufficient concentration, decreases T and oestradiol levels."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19215525 - "Inhibition of hypothalamic aromatase activity by 5 Beta-dihydrotestosterone"

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2121972

    "...Follicles from DHT-treated animals contained fewer granulosa cells and the cells from treated animals had lower aromatase activity than did cells from control rats. Taken together, these findings suggest that DHT reduces the ovulation rate by decreasing the number of granulosa cells/follicle and by altering the oestrogen synthetic abilities of the cells."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2448135

    "...However, while DHT has no effect during the induction period, it significantly inhibited the aromatase activity during the test period."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3084693

    "...The addition of 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) into cultures of FSH-stimulated cells during the induction period resulted in a definite dose-dependent inhibition (30-70%) of the aromatase activity expressed in the test period."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6693545

    "...After 24-h preincubation with AND, DHT, or 5 alpha-A-dione at concentrations of 10(-6), 10(-7), and 10(-8) M, [3H]androstenedione was added to the culture medium, and aliquots were removed at 0, 4, 8, and 24 h. An 8-h incubation period was found to be optimum for inhibition studies. In comparison to control levels of estrone (2.5%) and estradiol (0.35%) formation, inhibition of aromatization was evident with all three compounds at 10(-8) M, with 5 alpha-A-dione producing the greatest inhibition (50%). At 10(-7) M, inhibition ranged from 45% (AND) to 70% (5 alpha-A-dione), and at 10(-6) M, inhibition was greater than 90% for each compound. 5 alpha-A-dione produced slightly greater inhibition than AND or DHT at each concentration tested. Since each of these compounds was capable of inhibiting aromatization, the cumulative effect of these 5 alpha-reduced metabolites could be an important factor in the intracellular regulation of aromatase activity."

    Finally, it look like DHT can be aromatized after all. There is only one study on the topic, so I'd be very interested to see more if someone is aware of other studies.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7176650

    "...Ovaries from 17-day-old chick embryos were cultured in vitro in the presence of [3H]-5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5 alpha-DHT) and the formation of radiolabelled oestrone and oestradiol was investigated. Using thin-layer chromatography and crystallization to constant specific activity, the formation of both oestrogens has been demonstrated, although the yield may be considered very low. Aromatization of 5 alpha-DHT had not been previously reported. Further studies should be aimed at elucidating the metabolic pathway leading from 5 alpha-DHT to oestrogens. The isolation of the aromatase system should also be attempted."
     
  10. nograde

    nograde Member

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    @haidut: thank you!
     
  11. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    Caffiene intake is definitely linked to higher free testosterone levels. As this study shows, it is also a 5-AR catalyst, the enzyme which converts testosterone to DHT. All of this seems great for any male with impotence, low androgen levels, athletes, etc.

    However, please keep in mind some of caffienes other affects. Chiefly, as Peat demonstrates, it progesterone stimulator. Progesterone opposes DHT significantly, and testosterone somewhat. This may nullify the effect of T/DHT increase. I even suspect, perhaps, the androgen increase is a reactionary pituitary response to the more profound progesterone effect.

    I know it's mere anecdote, but as a Post-finesteride suffer I know all to well the abysmal, listless feeling of low-to-nonexistent DHT. When I consume copious amounts of coffee I definitely experience lower DHT levels, which have confirmed by lab assays performed on and off coffee.

    I do, however, feel good when I restrict my consumption to one or two cups a day. The point I would like to get across is that the actions of caffeine and mechanisms about which it influences can not be described as simple-nutrition and hormones are far from an exact science and there is much variability within individuality.
     
  12. pboy

    pboy Member

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    interesting point man...I think you might be right about it beinga reactionary response. Some of the aromatase inhibitors seem to keep more testosterone free, but when you look at those foods they usually have other molecules that bind to estrogen receptors...so maybe the aromatase inhibition is in response to an excess of estrogen activity. Either way though, caffeine seems to be beneficial...all the methylxanthines actually. It seems everyone has their own threshold for where it goes from beneficial to unpleasant. Some its 1 cup, some 10 or more, some drink only tea and no coffee, coffee and no tea (which might have other molecules that effect things besides the caffeine). Cant say ive ever met anyone who has like detested chocolate and coffee and tea, some might say they get too hyper but no one seems to complain of feeling weaker or like these foods causes hormone imbalance
     
  13. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    Yeah exactly...there is no one right solution for everyone. I think anyone in decent health should be able to handle caffiene. For many of us, however, there is a certain threshold like you said (which I think can vary depending on when you are drinking it and what other foods you are eating).

    I have DHT problems and the "moderate" coffee consumption seems to be helping quite well, actually. 2.5mg p/kg bodyweight (like in the study) seems to be a good starting place.
     
  14. pboy

    pboy Member

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    I think they should actually use coffee for the tests instead of purified caffeine, and then say that the results only apply to coffee. Because theres actually quite a big difference between a large quantity of tea or another caffeine containing food and coffee even when equal amounts of caffeine are used. I guess to me using isolate caffeine on rats doesn't say much about a human consuming coffee
    its a good study, but would probably only apply to taking caffeine supplement
     
  15. CellularIconoclast

    CellularIconoclast Member

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    Caffeine is a widely used bodybuilding and powerlifting supplement.

    I've always found it a mystery, because many people claim to use HUGE doses of caffeine (400+mg) even for evening workouts. Even as a heavy coffee drinker, I wouldn't be able to sleep at all if I did this.
     
  16. j.

    j. Guest

    I think it's often a matter of getting used to.
     
  17. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    Remember that, what's often the case with bodybuilder types, is a low carbohydrate diet. They are consuming very litte sugar through the day, are possibly glycogen deplete, and are quite likely ingesting those large dosages of cafiene on a near-empty stomach. That's essentially the opposite of Peat's advice on drinking coffee. He acknowledges that caffiene can and will ellicit a strong stress response when not supported by other foods.
     
  18. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that "moderate caffiene" usage was helping me feel more androgenic. Definitely not the case. Even a bit of coffee will seem to lower my DHT tangibly.

    Oh this affair with coffee has its highs and lows. It's like trading cognitive pleasure for libido.

    In any event creatine helps raise DHT and there aren't many side effects associated with it's use so long as the product is pure. Im running some trials on it atm.
     
  19. Zachs

    Zachs Member

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    Many weightlifters as in the Olympic lifts, use Caffeine and say that is helps lift bigger weights. Not sure if that would have anything to do with DHT, more likely is a neuro-muscular amplifying thing. Jacks the cNS and whatnot.
     
  20. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    As a former power-lifter, my input is that yes the strength increase from caffeine are likely from the nervous stimulation. Neural networking is responsible for power recruitment within the muscle fibers, and caffeine primes these nerves very well. I was always able to lift a bit more after dosing caffeine,

    However since having problems with androgen sensitivity and 5-AR inhibitors, using caffiene definitely has a cumulative negative affect on androgens. I think it increase progesterone, or at least has a very strong progesterone-like effect. Progesterone is chemically similar to finasteride and opposes DHT, so caffeine is not something someone struggling with low DHT/T levels wants to be using. I have incurred many panic attacks and symptoms after using caffeine since being low DHT, and looking at the science/chemicals involved that makes sense to me.

    Granted any increase in serum DHT levels, these are negligible considering the opposing progesterone affect.
     
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