The first of it's kind, VitaMEN provides you with key insight into your unique genetic variations for the metabolism of male hormones and detoxification.

What is DNA?

DNA is your body’s unique instruction manual, controlling every single function from when you were made up of only a few cells, until now. DNA looks like a twisted ladder, made up of two halves.

Each “rung” of the ladder contains two “letters” of DNA code called nucleotides which bond together in pairs: A (adenine) and T (thymine) bond together, as do C (cytosine) and G (guanine).

Genes are portions of the ladder containing combinations of the nucleotide code which are “read” as instructions to perform a specific function.

Genes tested

  • 5aR1
  • 5aR2
  • APOE
  • AR
  • ESR1
  • F5
  • FSHB
  • GSTM1
  • GSTP1
  • HSD-b2
  • NOS3
  • SHBG
  • SOD2
  • UGT2B15
  • VDR

Androgen Production

Androgens (including T & DHT) are produced in the body via a series of steps from cholesterol. In males this occurs predominantly in the Leydig cells of the testes, and to a lesser extent in the adrenal glands. Androgens are hormones that regulate the development and maintenance of male characteristics in the human body. DHEA, androstenedione, testosterone, and DHT are all examples of androgens. Testosterone is the most abundant androgen in males, while DHT is the most potent. The HSD family of enzymes play a large role in the production and maintenance of androgen levels in the body.

About 50-60% of T is bound and carried in the blood to target cells such as the prostate, muscles, skin and hair follicles by SHBG. About 1-2% of T circulates unbound (free T). About 10% of free T (fT) is converted to DHT by the enzyme 5a-reductase (5aR). DHT can then be converted into the metabolites 3a-diol and/or 3b-diol which are not androgens. 3a-diol can be converted back into potent DHT which is why it is not considered positive, whereas 3b-diol is reported to have a protective effect against prostate enlargement and tumours.

Separately, FSH works together with T to stimulate the production and development of sperm.


Testosterone is the main steroid hormone (androgen) in men responsible for sex drive, enlargement of the penis, sperm production & development, increased muscle mass, fat distribution, red blood cell production and lowering of the voice. Most of the testosterone in men is produced in the testes, while a smaller amount is made by the adrenal glands.

Luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are two hormones produced in the brain which stimulate the production of testosterone and sperm respectively.

Once produced, testosterone is bound and transported in the blood by the protein, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and, to a lesser extent, by albumin. To become active, testosterone must be released from SHBG and bind to androgen receptors (ARs) in target tissues.

Testosterone is also converted into two other important hormones: 5a- dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estrogen.

DHT is about 3-5 times more potent than testosterone because it binds more strongly to the ARs. While DHT is important for developing and driving normal male characteristics, its strong androgenic action is also responsible for increased hair growth and eventually loss, acne and enlargement of the prostate gland in later life.

Sample report

Sample type

Buccal (cheek) swab

Processing time

3 weeks