Optimal Result: 200 - 1650 ng/mg.

Androsterone is a DHEA metabolite. The other 2 markers that make up total DHEA production are Etiocholanolone and DHEA-S (=Sulfate). In the DUTCH test it is important to see wheter the DHEA metabolites are pushed through the 5a or 5b pathway. A higher Androsterone level and low to normal Etiocholanolone level would indicate that the preferred pathway is 5a. The 5a pathway is more androgenic. 

What does it mean if your Androsterone result is too low?

Causes of low Androsterone levels: 

- Declines as DHEA declines

- adrenal insufficiency

- anorexia nervosa

- panhypopituitarism

If overall DHEA levels are low, please refer to the "Total DHEA Production" biomarker for more information. 

What does it mean if your Androsterone result is too high?

If Androsterone is elevated and Etiocholanalone is relatively low, the metabolism will tend to favor towards the alpha metabolism pathway. Alpha metabolites are more androgenic and beta metabolites are less androgenic.

When testosterone pushes towards DHT it has to go down the 5-alpha metabolite pathway. This can be the case in a female with, for example, PCOS. In this situation there is typically an insulin issue which pushes towards 5-alpha. When testosterone gets into the cellular space (ex. hair follicle or skin) it will shift towards DHT (via the 5-alpha pathway). DHT happens to be 3-times more potent than testosterone. In these women symptoms of high androgen, such as thinning scalp hair, facial hair growth or acne can often show. 

- Androsterone is a DHEA metabolite via the 5α-reductase pathway.

- 5α-metabolism makes androgens more potent, most notably 5α-DHT is the most potent testosterone metabolite.

High levels are often seen in PCOS or over-supplementation.

Possible symptoms:

- Acne, mild.

- decrease or increase in sexual desire or drive.

- hair loss or thinning of hair.

- increase in pubic hair growth.

- infection, pain, redness, or other irritation at site of injection.

- stomach pain.

- trouble in sleeping.

Other causes of high Androsterone levels:

- DHEA, pregnenalone supplementation

- Androgen producing gonadal tumors

- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

- Adult onset adrenal hyperplasia

- Serious illness/ shock - burns, etc.

If both Androsterone AND Etiocholanolone are high there is most likely too much DHEA producted. If this is the case refer to the "Total DHEA Production" biomarker for more information. 

If the metabolic preference is towards that 5-alpha metabolic pathway (Androsterone = high), we can look at the following supplements that are natural 5-alpha blockers. Please discuss any supplement routine with your doctor first:

- saw palmetto

- stinging nettle

- zinc

- EGCG from green tea

- reishi mushroom 

- pygeum africanum

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