Simple, Non-invasive Test For Adrogenic / Estrogenic Tone

haidut

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One of the core issues in modern endocrinology is the relatively weak correlation between serum levels of steroids and the overall activity in the organism associated with a particular steroid. For example, post-menopausal women have very low levels of estradiol yet very high whole-body estrogenicity due to the deficiency of progesterone that menopause induces. Even in younger women and males, the serum levels of estradiol are rarely indicative of whole-body estrogenicity and it is quite common to observe low serum estradiol levels in people with obviously very high estrogenic tone manifested by gynecomastia (gyno) in males, central obesity, muscle atrophy, uterine hypertrophy (in females), etc. Prolactin has emerged as a much more reliable indicator of whole-body estrogenicity (as well as serotonin dominance), but it is a still a blood test and requires a trip to the doctor and a painful/risky venous blood draw.

The study below provides a possible alternative to the blood tests. It demonstrates that the rate of sebum production increases when whole body androgenic tone increase, and decreases when estrogenic tone increase. More importantly, the composition of the sebum also changes, and the ratio of palmitic/stearic acid increases when androgenic tone increases and decreases when estrogenic tone increase. Based on the data the study presents, it seems a palmitate/stearate ratio above one (1.0) is indicative of androgenicity and below one (1.0) is indicative of estrogenicity. It is worth noting that while administration of androgenic steroids increased the ratio several-fold, administration of prolactin decreased the ratio below even the control/untreated group. Using the newly discovered metric of androgenicity, the study then scores (Table 3 in the study) several androgenic steroids according to their potency in changing the fatty acid ratio and arrives at an estimate of those steroids' androgenicity that is strikingly similar to the already published data using other methods such as prostate, seminal vesicle, and preputial gland hypertrophy. This strongly suggests the metric of androgenicity/estrogenicity using fatty acid ratios in sebum is quite accurate. Using this information, a person can easily do a swab of their face with a piece of cotton or bandage dipped in alcohol (vodka, rubbing alcohol, whiskey, etc would all work) and then dip the cotton in small container of alcohol so that the sebum collected by the cotton/bandage can dissolve into the liquid. The liquid can then be sent to any chemical lab doing HPLC/MS tests and a person can ask the lab to analyze the liquid for the presence of palmitic and stearic acids and then calculate their ratio. No needles or doctors needed!

Effects of androgens and prolactin on the rate of production and composition of sebum in hypophysectomized female rats - PubMed
"...The administration of 1 mg testosterone propionate/4 days (Table 1, group F) to 12-week-old female rats, hypophysectomized when 3-4 weeks of age, brought about a significant rise in the rate of production (from 13-6 to 34-3 mg/100 g body weight/2 days) and in the palmitate : stéarate ratio (from 0-82 to 3-70) of the skin surface lipids. Simultaneous treatment with prolactin did not further increase either of these parameters in 33-week-old hypophysectomized animals receiving testosterone (Table 2)."

"...Androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone were found to have 68 and 61 % of the activity of testosterone propionate, respectively, when the androgens were administered i.m. in doses of 100 mg three times weekly for 7-11 weeks. In the present study, the potencies of these androgens (Table 3) were only 6-17 % and 25-33 % of the potency of testosterone propionate, respectively. These figures are of about the same order of magnitude as those reported by Dorfman & Dorfman (1962, 1963), who assayed the effect of these androgens on the weight of the chick comb as well as on the weight of the seminal vesicles and the ventral prostate of the rat."
 

Philomath

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@haidut , how would that relate to acne? Some of the more comedogenic products contain versions of palmitate (isopropyl palmitate, ethylhexyl palmitate), yet Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) is supposed to decrease acne (maybe it’s the retinoids rather than the palmitate)
I do know that the saturated fats are more antibiotic, and antibiotics are effective against acne. I would assume the lower stearate percentage would decrease the antibiotic effect, unless Palmitic Acid is just as antibacterial.
Your thoughts?
 

Mauritio

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How does the amount of sebum relate to androgens ? A few months ago I started getting a lo of sebum in my hair , where i had to wash my hair every or every other day whereas before only once a week .
Also I got some pimples on my forehead
 

haidut

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@haidut , how would that relate to acne? Some of the more comedogenic products contain versions of palmitate (isopropyl palmitate, ethylhexyl palmitate), yet Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) is supposed to decrease acne (maybe it’s the retinoids rather than the palmitate)
I do know that the saturated fats are more antibiotic, and antibiotics are effective against acne. I would assume the lower stearate percentage would decrease the antibiotic effect, unless Palmitic Acid is just as antibacterial.
Your thoughts?

Eating palmitic acid or having higher gonadal androgens actually protects from acne. Acne, unless triggered by use of AAS, is usually driven by higher estrogen and/or low gonadal function causing compensatory adrenal hyperactivity, and increased skin production of steroids. That's one reason only specific antibiotics work for acne - the tetracycline family, which is anti-estrogenic. I don't know of anybody who got acne as a result of eating saturated fats but I do know of women on BC containing estrogen + synthetic progestin getting breakouts.
 

lvysaur

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I don't know of anybody who got acne as a result of eating saturated fats
This is true, however I maintain that certain extremely low-quality dairies are acnegenic.

A decade ago, I noted that whenever I went to Ialian restaurants and ate bread+butter, I'd always develop a painful welt 2 hours later somewhere on my face. Usually near the ears.

This happened at least a hundred times like clockwork. I also noticed that it happened to a milder extent with store-bought milk/cream at home. Didn't happen with yogurt. Happened with land 0 lakes butter, but not kerrygold.

All of this was in 2008-2012. That was around the time that dairies started phasing out rBST in their milk. Fermentation isn't desirable, but it probably does inactivate hormones. Since then, I haven't had the acne, even from conventional cheap milk. But I still think those butter pats at Italian restaurants are still around, and it might be wise not to consume them.
 

L_C

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@haidut
Since I've moved to dry climate I hardly produce any sebum. My skin is dry, my scalp is dry. How do I get to produce more sebum, without moving out. Thank you.
 
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So my takeaway from this (just for me) is to keep checks on prolactin. It was at 14 last time :-(. I will have to keep trying.
 

yeggim

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Based on the data the study presents, it seems a palmitate/stearate ratio above one (1.0) is indicative of androgenicity and below one (1.0) is indicative of estrogenicity
I'm confused about that ratio. Am I right in deducing that 1.0 is the same as a 2 to 1 ratio?
 
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