T Nation

Does Inhibited DHT Conversion + Inhibited Estroidal Conversion = More Free T?


#1

I’m taking less than 1 mg of Finasteride/day to hopefully stop my hair from falling out. If I understand how this works, I will have more free testosterone because it is not converting to DHT. I am also taking about .5mg of Anastrozole/week to deter any of this extra testosterone from aromatizing into Estradiol and to get my E2 closer to 22. It is currently 35.

So my question is, does this create a more anabolic environment for me because I have more free testosterone available?

Is there another component to this that I am missing?


#2

Did your doctor prescribe Anastrozole? Or tell you to take it for the reasons of a more anabolic environment? Did somebody tell you Finasteride would do something like that?

Wait, are you on cycle or anything besides Finasteride or Anastrozole?

Also, doubtful. What you are missing (unless I am missing parts) is that estrogen is important for your body to function. And crashing it may increase your test / estro ratio but it probably wont be a significant enough amount to mean anything other than health issues.

#NOTaDOCTOR or even an expert on steroid use but I think taking Anastrozole not on cycle is probably not a great idea. I actually plan my test dosage to avoid AIs.


#3

Most likely yes. Try it and do bloodwork.


#4

Are you taking anabolics? Or just natural and trying to raise free test?

The answer is you are missing something. Getting your E2 down is a good idea in any case, but the DHT conversion inhibition by finasteride does not automatically mean you will have increased free test. You might, but there is an enzyme youre not accounting for: SHBG, which binds test (hence the term “free” test) and also is regulated separately. There are feedbacks that intertwine of course, but it just isn’t that simple.

Short answer, do bloodwork and find out.

Also, if you’re taking arimidex 0.5 mg a week, I hope it is at least spread out into 2 doses rather than only one


#5

Just thought I would reply back here. A couple things you are missing–though of course they are not well known and so cannot be blamed on you:

  1. finasteride has been shown to elevate both E2 and testosterone levels in human clinical trials, by something like 10-15% (I don’t have the study at hand so I can’t recall exactly). The elevations of both hormones remained in the normal physiological range. This is probably the basis for the OP considering his method and question. However, to my knowledge the trials have reported total circulating test, not free test.

  2. the dose of arimidex hes using is extremely small for a week, and has been used before by men on HRT (as have larger doses). So he probably won’t crash his E levels.

I definitely agree though, E is very important for bodily functions and crashing is not a good idea. Also agree, the change in ratio will likely not be enough to matter much, even if free T does increase measurably. Much more likely the effects he will see will be attributed to getting estrogen under control, if that dose works for him.

OP, I think you should probably take 1 mg/day of finasteride. Less is not very effective at inhibition.


#6

I’m a natural. I’m taking A-dex in two doses a week of .25 mg each. I want my E2 closer to 22. It’s over 30 now. I have no desire to ‘crash’ my E2, just get it lower. My understanding is that the possible side affects of Finasteride can raise E2 from there being more testosterone avaliable that didn’t convert to DHT. Hence, the AI is there to negate that possibility.

No, I’m not on doctor’s orders for A-dex or Fin.

The goal is just to keep E2 in check and hopefully stop male pattern baldness from progressing. My initial post is wondering if it’s possible for there to be an added bonus of this creating a slightly more anabolic environment for my body.

I started a month ago and will test blood in another month.

I’ll respond a bit more tomorrow, gotta get to sleep now.

Thanks for feedback!


#7

The reason I am taking under 1mg/day is because of the following studies I came across…

According to these, 0.5 mg/day is very close to the same effectiveness as taking 1 mg/day.

I suppose I am going lower because I am still a bit fearful of potential side affects that I have read about in various people’s horror stories about their bouts with Finasteride.

Thank you for this. This is actually exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. I am new to learning about hormones and I thought I remembered reading something about SHBG but I couldn’t remember the term.

I guess the next step for me is to read up on SHBG because I have no clue how this works. I’m assuming SHBG binding to free test is a bad thing for someone who desires their body to be in the best anabolic state possible.

I guess the obvious question I would have is…

Is there any supplement or diet that can affect how much SHBG is binding to your free test?

If you have any links to any good reading on the subject, I would be grateful.

Thanks for feedback!


#8

Which study is the first curve taken from? I still have yet to find it anywhere and it looks like an excel curve rather than publiahed data. I suppose you could take 0.5 mg, its your call


#9

I couldn’t find the official study for that graph. Here is a published study.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?uid=15319158&cmd=showdetailview&indexed=google


#10

No offense, but that study is on a french publisher, and paywalled, and I know you didn’t read it. The study states that both 1 mg and 0.2 mg were superior to placebo in the proportion of people that improved, NOT that the 0.2 mg dose was close to the same effectiveness of the 1 mg dose. Like I said, I’m not trying to tell you to take more if you’re comfortable and seeing results, or just don’t want to. My personal opinion would be that I believe the effectiveness of 1 mg is probably the best, but that’s my opinion only. I just want to make sure you’re not accidentally misreading that abstract.


#11

I guess I am misreading it, I thought the following quote was showing the similarity in effectiveness between 1mg and 0.2/day.

"All efficacy endpoints showed significant improvement with finasteride therapy by 12 weeks (p < 0.05 versus placebo). At 48 weeks, 58%, 54%, and 6% of men in the finasteride 1 mg, finasteride 0.2 mg, and placebo groups, respectively, had improved based on assessments of global photographs."

I appreciate your input. You have caused me to look closer at the sources I was basing my logic on and I’m seeing that there isn’t published research that backs up some of the claims I’ve read on other forums.

I guess the only way to know for sure is to get my DHT levels tested. I just started taking Fin about a month ago and I haven’t seen any results yet, but I think it’s supposed to take some time before anything really changes.


#12

It’s no problem, it is a common thing to misread studies and it’s made worse because the conventions of scientific language and reporting are difficult to sort through no matter how intelligent you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it or that scientists are always right, just that it is a skill that takes time and exposure to the language to develop quick. I happen to work in research so that’s why I am asking all these questions of you.

The quote you are referring to is talking about the percentage of people that improved from the beginning based on before and after photographs. However it does not talk about how MUCH they improved at all. It would be like in baseball saying “The Red Sox and the Rays batters hit 58% and 54% of their first pitches compared with High school varsity hitting 6%”. What it doesn’t tell you though is where they hit them to,or how hard…Sox maybe hit line drives to the outfield for doubles, while the Rays hit infield grounders that went to double plays. Strange analogy but it’s late and I’m still working so apologies if that sounds forced.

Agree with getting your DHT levels tested as the way to know for sure. Finasteride has a cumulative effect over long periods of time, so yes it will take time to notice. Rather like gaining only 4-5 grams of muscle a day won’t be noticeable until years end when you’ve gained like 20 lbs. If your regimen is every day, and you stayed consistent on your regimen though your DHT levels should have adjusted to approximately where they will stay in equilibrium at the present dose, so a test should reveal what they are.


#13

I just got some blood work done and I thought I’d post my results as an ongoing update to this discussion…

Testosterone, Total, LC/MS 839.0 ng/dL (348.0 - 1197.0)
Adult male reference interval is based on a population of lean males
up to 40 years old.

Free Testosterone(Direct) 12.9 pg/mL (8.7 - 25.1)

Dihydrotestosterone 27 ng/dL
Reference Range: Adult Male: 30 - 85

T4,Free(Direct) 1.47 ng/dL (0.82 - 1.77)
TSH 4.860 uIU/mL (0.450 - 4.500 03)
Triiodothyronine,Free,Serum 2.5 pg/mL (2.0 - 4.4)

Estradiol, Sensitive 11.4 pg/mL (8.0 - 35.0)

I think my DHT is about where I want it. It’s not dead but pretty low. I am assuming that with it low, I would eventually see my male pattern baldness decline.

However, I think my free T is lower than I want, from a bodybuilding perspective.

E2 is probably a bit too low. I will probably space my A-dex doses out a bit more.

Any thoughts on these labs? Please feel free to comment, I’m experimenting and trying to learn.


#14

How are you feeling so far? Any changes in mood or libido?

LabCorp E2 sensitive assays for some reason show lower value than regular assays. Years ago I’ve tested E2 at 8 while regular Quest test came back at 36.

Your T looks good but your FT is relatively lower. This indicates a higher SHBG, for whatever reason, genetic or perhaps lowered DHT levels are not tying up SHBG as much anymore. Who knows.

Biggest question is how you are actually feeling.


#15

I feel pretty good. No problem with the libido.

In addition to taking the finasteride and A-dex, I also started taking Iodoral about the same time.

Someone suggested my low energy and plateau at fat loss might be due to iodine deficiency. I also had pretty low body temps at wake up and I would never get up to 98.6 during the day. I was also thinking that I should try to get my TSH down.

Well, I actually got more energy and I’ve seen more fat loss but my TSH actually went up! Go figure.
It was 3.5 before Iodoral and now it’s 4.5.

Here’s a couple pics just to show the fat loss change in the last month or so.

I wish I knew what was causing the SHBG to be so high. I do go low carb for periods of the day, I time them around cardio. But I make a point to carb up afterwards and have a couple days a week of extra carbs but keeping my overall calories reasonable. I say that because I read that insulin actually represses the presence of SHBG, at least the way I understood the article. I sleep 7-8 hrs a night although I can’t ever stay asleep, I generally wake up every 2 hours or so… very annoying. I think sleep is supposed to affect SHBG as well.

Do you have much insight into getting SHBG levels down?


#16

If you feel good, that’s what matters.

You have trim mid section which is good indication of good metabolism. Unless you are forcing your body with severe deficits and pure will.

Iodine loading will increase TSH temporarily. Once you seize iodine it will go back to baseline or improve if in fact you were deficient. I don’t think you are. Also, TSH is only one part of your thyroid snapshot. You will need ft3 and ft4 and maybe even rt3 if you want the whole picture.


#17

The free T4 and T3 are posted.

The T4 is in the upper range but the T3 is in the lower range.

Does that mean that rT3 could be stopping the T4 from converting into T3?


#18

Not a thyroid expert but I know that ft4 can either convert to ft3 or rt3. If ft4 is high and ft3 is low it makes sense that rt3 is elevated but you won’t know till you do blood work.

I’d recommend you find a good doctor who works with thyroid patients before going further or worrying about it.


#19

Your original post had E2 at 35, but if you used a different company and/or a different E2 test (sensitive vs normal, as lgs mentioned) then it could skew the values you saw. If it’s the same company and same test, then clearly you need to reduce total adex dose in the week.

The key is if you feel great, libido is good, and are leaner then you’re about where you want. Not everybody needs the exact same values and if you’re feeling good then that is the primary key. Make a note of where all your doses for everything are and then try a slightly spread out adex regimen–but if after about 4 weeks you don’t feel as good go back to what was working. Individually the quality of life is more important than the numbers on the lab (as long as they’re normal).

SHBG is higher because DHT is lower. DHT is a high-affinity substrate for the enzyme (more than testosterone). When DHT levels drop, it is to be expected that free test levels may drop due to more binding by un-filled SHBG.

Again though, you’re leaner and feel great, so I would make a note but not worry because feeling good is what it’s all about.


#20

Yea, I used a different company. This was with LabCorp and the original was done when I was overseas in Kenya.

I do feel pretty good. I think the Iodoral has helped my metabolism. I’ve seen my body temps go up… but that’s a bit off topic for this post.

I agree that feeling good is important, I want to be able to build muscle too though.
I guess I wish my free T was better, I’m not spending all that time in the gym because I don’t have anything else to do with my time… lol

I wish I knew a way to reduce the SHBG so more T could bind to receptors and help me grow.