What Can Luteinizing Hormone Values Tell Me About My Natural Testosterone Production?

Question: “I do blood testing frequently between steroid cycles, and my LH is all over the map. Values are different even when testosterone is the same. I’m always in the normal range, but want to be high-normal consistently rather than ranging all over. I’ve tried DAA (d-aspartic acid) to improve LH but can’t tell effect on LH because of results vary so much. I’ve also used HCG between cycles at 100 IU every other day with inconsistent LH results. What is happening with my measurements?”

Answer: LH is released in pulses from the pituitary, with blood levels fluctuating greatly between pulses. Where a person’s level is one value in a given blood draw, in another draw a few minutes later it might be many times higher, or a fraction as much.

It’s quite possible that DAA supplementation can increase LH production, at least where testosterone is low-normal. And low-dose HCG may well reduce LH production moderately. However, because of the high moment-to-moment variability in LH levels, small changes in daily production cannot be determined by ordinary testing.

To illustrate, suppose we want to know which of two baseball players, an outfielder and a shortstop, is the stronger hitter. The outfielder hits 40 homers a year with 100 RBI, while the shortstop’s stats are nowhere near as good.

Our test is, we’ll tape-measure the next fair ball they hit.

Will the outfielder necessarily hit the ball further that one time? No. It’s entirely possible he’ll have a weak hit while the shortstop hits it solidly. A single hit each will probably reveal nothing about their difference in power. The measurement would not be “statistically significant.”

It would take some number of at-bats to determine the matter to any confidence.

Now, while a single such measurement couldn’t tell reliably which major-league player was a stronger hitter than another, a single measurement could well be enough to tell the difference between say a grown man and a young child.

Somewhat similarly, a single blood draw can detect the difference between being shut down and having healthy LH production.

But where two values are both in the normal range, comparing them cannot tell accurately whether daily production is higher or lower in one case versus the other. One of the draws might have been at a time closer to or further from a blood peak than was the case for the other draw.

To tell what DAA might be doing for you, measure testosterone.

Moderate HCG use may be reducing your LH, but as your values are not obviously changed, whatever difference there may be isn’t anything to worry about.

High-normal LH values can give confidence, and low-normal values should not cause alarm if testosterone is good. Below-normal values are usually a true indication of problem.