What is DHEA?
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced by the body’s adrenal glands. The body uses DHEA to make androgens and estrogens, the male and female sex hormones. DHEA levels peak at about age 25, then go down steadily as you get older. By the time people are 70 to 80 years old, their DHEA levels are only 10 to 20% those in young adults.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA (C-19-H-28-O-2) is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands. It is the most abundant steroid in the bloodstream, and the most naturally-occurring hormone in the human body. DHEA is the precursor for the manufacturing of many other hormones, such as: estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisone, and others. These hormones are then used for the energy, vitality, and the natural support of most bodily functions that involve the endocrine system. Fat and mineral metabolism, stress control, and maintenance of the male and female characteristics are partially regulated by the DHEA level. Usually, the higher the level of DHEA, the healthier the individual is
Benefits of DHEA
“Studies show DHEA helps reduce abdominal fat and improve insulin resistance. Other studies suggest that DHEA helps reduce inflammation in the arteries and reduce arterial stiffness.”
“Studies link low DHEA levels with an increase in heart disease. Researchers aren’t sure whether supplementing with DHEA is safe or reduces risk.”
“Several studies have found that some people who take DHEA supplements may be able take less prescription medication. DHEA may also reduce the frequency of flare ups, enhance mental function, and boost bone mass in women with lupus.”
“Some research shows that taking DHEA by mouth increases the thickness and hydration of the top layer of the skin in elderly people. Also, early research shows that applying DHEA to the skin for 4 months improves the appearance of skin in postmenopausal women.”
“Most research shows that taking 30-500 mg of DHEA by mouth daily improves symptoms of depression. However, using lower doses of 5-20 mg daily over three weeks does not appear to improve depression.”
DHEA Side Effects
“DHEA is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, and used inside the vagina appropriately, short-term. DHEA has been taken by mouth for 12-24 months safely. DHEA has been safely applied to the skin for up to 12 months. DHEA has been safely used inside the vagina for up to 12 weeks. It can cause some side effects including acne, hair loss, stomach upset, and high blood pressure. Some women can have changes in menstrual cycle, facial hair growth, and a deeper voice after taking DHEA.”
“DHEA is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses or long-term. Do not use DHEA in doses higher than 50-100 mg a day or for a long period of time. Using higher doses or using for a long time period can increase the chance of side effects.”
“DHEA is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It can cause higher than normal levels of a male hormone called androgen. This might be harmful to the baby. Don’t use DHEA if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.”
“DHEA might make liver problems worse. Don’t use DHEA if you have liver problems.”
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), also known as androstenolone or prasterone (INN), is an endogenous steroid hormone. It is the most abundant circulating steroid hormone in humans, in whom it is produced in the adrenal glands, the gonads, and the brain, where it functions predominantly as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the androgen and estrogen sex steroids. However, DHEA also has a variety of potential biological effects in its own right, binding to an array of nuclear and cell surface receptors, and acting as a neurosteroid.