The ovary’s primary androgen is testosterone. Testosterone is produced by specialized cells in the follicles which surround the eggs, the theca cells. In women with PCOS, the theca cells are overactive and proliferate excessively, producing too much testosterone. As the follicles are often poorly developed in women with PCOS, they lack enough of another important component, the granulosa cells. The granulosa cells normally take testosterone and convert it into estrogen, in a process known as aromatization. In women with PCOS, the aromatzation process is not effective due to the poor development of the granulosa cells, and as such, there is a buildup of testosterone which was produced by the ovary.
Some minor background: I'm 25 years old, I weightlift regularly and eat healthy foods regularly (don't get much Cholesterol, no trans fats, ect.). Since I realized I don't get much cholesterol, I thought that could be a culprit to my low testosterone since it's a precursor to pregnenolone? My test results are listed below, since I had low test, I decided to convince my doctor to test my zinc, cortisol, Dhea, and magnesium. I tried to consolidate the results I thought were relevant. My logic behind these results are that my diet lacks cholesterol which is a precursor for pregnenolone which is a precursor for testosterone,DHEA, cortisol, seeing as all those ranges are on the low side. Also, that zinc plays an integral role in testosterone synthesis. I've been considering supplementing with 10mg pregnenolone, upping my cholesterol, and taking a bioavailable form of zinc.
Fig 6. Changes in DHEA, DHEA-S, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and androstenedione after 400 mg oral DHEA in a 72 year-old man. DHEA-S, mcg/dl. All others, ng/dl. 14
(click on thumbnail for full sized image) On the other hand, when pharmacologic doses of DHEA are administered (., doses that are far in excess of those required to restore levels to those of healthy young adults), testosterone and DHT levels do increase significantly. For example, in one elderly man, to whom 400 mg of DHEA was administered, significant and rapid rises were noted in DHEA, DHEA-S , testosterone and DHT (Figure 6). 14