Propecia's effects in detail

DHT is a derivative hormone (metabolite) of testosterone that is considered to be the main cause of miniaturization and eventual destruction of hair follicles in male pattern baldness. DHT is a steroid hormone just like testosterone but more powerful.

Many dermatologists and research scientists specializing in hair loss believe DHT molecules may diffuse into the interior of hair follicle cells (the cytoplasm or cytosol) and bind with androgen receptors. This complex, both the receptor and the DHT molecule, then enters the nucleus of the cell. In the nucleus of the hair follicle cell this complex could then alter the rate of protein synthesis in men who are genetically predisposed to baldness.

However, DHT also plays an important role in the functioning of the central nervous system (the brain), the testicles and prostate, and almost everything but muscle tissue. In muscle tissue testosterone is the dominant hormone. (Some bodybuilders inject testosterone derivatives to gain muscle fast.)

* Propecia and Avodart cause a rise in testosterone levels because testosterone that would normally be converted into DHT remains testosterone. Continual high levels of testosterone in the body could possibly have negative side effects.

* Artificially low levels of DHT in the body could cause some unwanted conditions. DHT is an antagonist of estrogen. Men’s bodies also produce the female hormone estrogen in the adrenal glands although this is just one-tenth of the estrogen that premenopausal women produce in their ovaries. By reducing DHT with drugs a man’s protection from the effects of estrogen may also be reduced. Gynecomastia could be one result of this. Gynecomastia is abnormally large breasts in a male.

* Even though both finasteride and dutasteride were developed to combat benign prostatic hyperplasic by reducing DHT in prostate tissue, some scientists question the wisdom of using these 5-alpha reductase inhibitors in younger men who have no problem with their prostates. A research chemist, Pat Arnold - “Evidence is mounting that the existence of a high estrogen/androgen ratio - a condition common in older men - is highly correlated with the development of benign prostatic hyperplastic.”

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Possible health concerns