Having recently stumbled on an interesting research studying the effects of creatine supplementation on body levels of dihydrotestosterone I’ve decided to share it with you. Unbelievably lucky you are, my friend ;P
Creatine monohydrate supplementation and it’s effects on dihydrotestosterone
This study follows the selected androgen levels (dihydrotestosterone) of 20 rugby players during a 3-week period. Some of then supplemented on creatine monohydrate, while others received placebo (glucose). The study was double-blind, which means that the subjects of the study (rugby players) didn’t know whether or not they received the real thing (the creatine) and the researchers didn’t know either which subjects received the real thing, or the placebo. Those conditions are ideal in a study because they prevent any selective or unconscious bias by the researchers and also prevent the placebo effect in the subjects. Read on the optimal creatine dosage.
Results of the study on creatine supplementation and DHT :
- In the short-term, creatine supplementation raised DHT (dihydrotestosterone) by 56%. That is during the first 7 days of the study;
- In the longer term (for the remaining 2 weeks of the study), DHT remained 40% above baseline levels;
- DHT to T (dihydrotestosterone to testoserone) levels ratio increased by 36% and 22% respectively.
** On a side note I forgot to mention the rugby players proceeded to do a loading phase at the beginning of the study, which consists of taking 25 grams of creatine per day (way more than the recommended dose) to ensure optimized creatine levels in the body early on it the study. The subjects would then proceed to consume a maintenance dose of 5g of creatine per day. Check out does Creatine make you stronger?
Summary : Creatine monohydrate supplementation does raise dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, as well as elevate the DHT to T ratio.
Conclusion of the study :
Creatine supplementation may affect conversion rate of T do DHT. This results raises question as to the long-terms effects can have on the body’s hormonal system. Read about creatine and caffeine.
My opinion of the study :
While it’s very interesting to know that creatine could affect hormones such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, I think the study should have lasted long than three weeks to ensure the consistency of long-term results. It should also have included more subjects to ensure the results don’t come from statistical variance and pick subjects from different sports (endurance athletes for example), as well as subjects who don’t participate in any sport.
Anyway this is still a great opportunity to investigate this topic a little further and come up with more sound conclusions.
This study was done in september 2009 on pubmed and you can check it out here : pubmed study on creatine and dihydrotestosterone.
A quick word on the effects on DHT :
From the research I’ve done, it seems that the effects of lower or higher DHT levels, as well a ratio to testosterone levels and other hormones such as estradiol is not very well understood. And with good reason because if it was, scientists would already have solved male pattern baldness without screwing your libido forever. Some hypothetical facts about DHT :
- DHT is 3 to 10 times more potent than T (testosterone);
- DHT causes male pattern baldness (hair loss);
- It prevents the conversion of testosterone to estrogen;
- It can act as a mood booster.
Some of these claims are taken from Mike Mahler, who thinks DHT is the ”king of male androgen hormones”. His article here
Most of the hypothetical facts I’ve just stated about this hormone are stated are 100% true and verified by many professionals. While I’m not a professional myself (yet), I do know how complicated the human body is and I have my doubts on the validity of such claims. More research to be done on the subject soon. Read on does creatine make you look bulky?