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Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a male sex hormone (androgen). Androgens are endogenous steroid hormones consisting of DHEA, Androstenedione, testosterone and DHT. DHT is the most potent hormone amongst the androgens and because it is not converted to estrogen, it is considered to be a pure androgen. It is created from testosterone via the action of the enzyme 5alpha-reductase and is produced in the prostate gland, adrenal glands, liver, brain, and hair follicles. Its action is related to tissue in which it is produced. It is a more potent hormone than testosterone (approx. 1% circulated feely as unbound), it has a slow dissociation (approx. 5x less than testosterone) and long half-life (2x affinity to the androgen receptors).
During development and adult life in men, it promotes prostate growth, activity of the sebaceous glands, male pattern baldness and the development of characteristics that are typically associated with men (body hair, muscle growth, and a deep voice). In women DHT levels are associated with issues including hirsutism, amenorrhea, and increased acne.