Sex Hormones & DHT in Men & Women
The most famous sex hormones will be testosterone for men and estrogen for women.
Sex hormones such as testosterone and estradiol are produced from cholesterol via progesterone by the steroid pathway in men and women. Different types of androgens are involved in the pathway.
Steroid Pathway in Men & Women
Men and women use a common metabolic pathway to produce sex hormones.
That is to say, there is no big difference in the synthesis of sex hormones between men and women.
The metabolic pathway is called the “steroid pathway”. Sex hormones are produced by the steroid pathway in the both genders.
It is interesting to know that the same metabolic pathway is used to produce different sex hormones in men and women.
Men produce progesterone (a female hormone) in the steroid pathway, and then progesterone changes to testosterone (a male hormone).
Women produce dehydroepiandrosterone and testosterone (male hormones) via progesterone in the steroid pathway, and then testosterone is changed to estradiol (the female hormone).
Within the steroid pathway, male hormones can be precursors of female hormones, and female hormones can be precursors of male hormones.
It means that the male hormone (androgen) is synthetized via the female hormone (progesterone) in the steroid pathway.
The female hormone (estradiol) is also produced via the male hormone (testosterone) in the same metabolic pathway.
Male and female hormones can be alternating by small structural changes in the molecules.
It is amazing to know that small changes in one part of a molecule can make a big difference in its function.
Sex Hormone Balance determines Gender Differences
Men need not only male hormones but also small amounts of female hormones in the body.
Women also need not only female hormones but also small amounts of male hormones in the body.
Both male and female hormones are necessary for both men and women to maintain a healthy physical condition.
The differences in the body characteristics between men and women are determined by the balance of the final products of sex hormones.