This is like the "campfire legend" of the PH/DS world. Will we ever have 100% confirmation? Maybe, but as of today I don't think I've ever found anything even remotely close to conclusive.
Henry's article, amongst others, mainly state that epi must react with heat in order for the sulfur bond to drop and also undergo oxygenation to acquire a double bond at C2 to convert to phera. My question is at what temperature and for how long? Are there other factors involved, like certain enzymes, etc?
Secondly, how much of an epi dose (minimum) is required to even fulfill a worthwhile venture to produce enough phera to illicit effects? Is this dose researcher dependent, or is there a common ballpark figure?
Third, for starters, I think analyzing metabolites would be a way to know if epi is even producing phera. Articles state that a study done analyzing metabolites for epi detected phera but weren't sure if it was epi that produced it. This was said because the product they tested also had a trace amount of phera already present, so that was pretty much worthless.
What needs to really be done is to first start by acquiring pure, 100% 17a-methy-epithiostanol without any contaminants whatsoever. Then research this using healthy subjects (rats of course) and analyze their urine at certain intervals using the best detection methods. This would ensure better assurance for what will and what will not be expected to be detected as metabolites.
Lastly, I always wondered if one can just take raw epi and convert it to phera outside the body (in vitro) first using specific reactions and such. I'm not saying or condoning to engage in this act; as you need to be pretty skilled in that field. However, I'm just saying can it be done? And I assume the short answer to this would be, yes.