Conversion Routes For 4-DHEA - Mind And Muscle


Many people want to know about the perfect cycle and the perfect prohormone because there is so much misinformation about what each prohormone is used for and why they should be taken a certain way.

This article is about 4-DHEA which is a prohormone to androstenedione (3bHSD) and androstenediol (17bHSD) and testosterone (both combined). Being a 4-ene steroid, it can convert into almost any hormone in the body because, like 5-DHEA, it is one of the master hormones.


Via various enzymes, we can get conversion into testosterone and other androgens. Here is a short list of some of the androgens that can be created with 4-DHEA and their action along with the enzymes:

  • Testosterone – (3bHSD,17bHSD) this is the main androgen in the body for building muscle and also impacting sex drive. It’s one of the main reasons for supplementing 4-DHEA
  • 4-Androstenediol – (17bHSD) this is a weaker anabolic than testosterone but still has some activity in muscle
  • 4-Androstenedione – (3bHSD) this is a non-active prohormone to testosterone that is available to convert to other hormones
  • estradiol – (Aromatase, 17bHSD) the body’s strongest estrogen which helps stimulate muscle growth by activating IGF-1 pathways in the ER-beta receptor
  • estrone – (Aromatase, 3bHSD) a weak estrogen with little to no activity
  • Epiandrosterone – (5aReductase) a weaker 5a reduced steroid and a prohormone to DHT. Has activity in the brain
  • Androstanediol – (5aReductase, 17bHSD) a stronger 5a reduced steroid that can bind and activate the androgen receptor
  • Androstanedione – (5aReductase, 3bHSD) a weak 5a reduced steroid with no AR activity but is active in the brain
  • 11-Keto-Androstenedione – (11-Hydroxylase, 17bHSD) a natural cortisol reduction hormone with some slight androgenic activity


This is the magic question that everyone wants to know: How much 4-DHEA gets converted to testosterone? Unfortunately, the answer is “it depends” and that means that it really depends on the person. If they have unusually high aromatase levels then you may get some estradiol. If there are lots of the HSD enzymes, you could get a huge bump in testosterone. It really depends on the individual, but some studies have shown up to a 30% conversion with prohormones – which is significant.


Since it converts into so many compounds in the body, the best way to use 4-DHEA is as a small cofactor in your cycle. 4-DHEA shouldn’t really be the primary prohormone in your stack. It’s best used in combination with other prohormones like 1-DHEA in a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio (depending on your body type – ectomorphs should use 2:1, while endomorphs should use 3:1).

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