What is Dehydroepiandrosterone?
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone produced by the human adrenal glands. The steroid hormone has different functions in the body. It takes part in the synthesis of estrogen and androgen sex hormones.
Dehydroepiandrosterone is one of the most abundant hormones in the body. The hormone is also secreted in the testes. Once it is synthesized, the hormone is converted into several other hormones in the body. Dehydroepiandrosterone is also called the ‘parent hormone’ of other hormones found in the body.
Dehydroepiandrosterone works as a natural anabolic steroid. It promotes the production of other hormones that are involved in the growth of human muscle. It is also involved indirectly in the breakdown of excess fats in the body.
As a result, the hormone is commonly given to bodybuilders and athletes as supplements. Besides improving the body’s composition, Dehydroepiandrosterone also helps improve the bone density and mass in the body. The hormone also promotes cardiovascular health as well as regulating cholesterol levels in the body.
The levels of dehydroepiandrosterone decline after the age of 30. At that age, most people begin to experience weight gain and reduced libido, among other symptoms. One of the major causes of these symptoms includes inflammation which results from reduced amount of dehydroepiandrosterone in the body.
Uses And Health Benefits Of Dehydroepiandrosterone
Improvement Of Bone Density And Muscle Mass
Dehydroepiandrosterone hormone promotes muscle growth and bone health. The hormone helps to prevent aging effects such as osteoporosis and fractures that are common among the older population. Bone loss is also common among patients diagnosed with autoimmune disorders.
Others who are at risk of developing bone conditions include people on a poor diet, individuals with a sedentary lifestyle, and those having hormonal imbalances. According to the results of a study that was conducted on dehydroepiandrosterone, the hormone helps improve the levels of estrogen. The hormone estrogen helps promote the development of higher bone mineral density in post-menopausal women.
The hormone helps the muscle to repair and recover after intense training and physical activity. The dehydroepiandrosterone hormone facilitates the muscle uptake of nutrients such as glucose for energy production. The hormone also supports various functions of metabolism and promotes the breakdown of excess fats such as the visceral fats.
Activity Against Depression, Mood Swings, And Cognitive Decline
Scientists have shown that increased levels of dehydroepiandrosterone in the body can help fight symptoms associated with depression. Research has found that the hormone can be used to improve the overall stability of a patient diagnosed with depression.
According to researchers, supplementing 25 to 200 milligrams of the hormone can help fight mood swings and depression. However, the dose administered should be determined by the individual case of the patient. The hormone helps improve symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, lack of appetite, and demotivation that are common in depressed patients.
The hormone is also involved in the synthesis of other hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. The sex hormones are needed to maintain a positive outlook and motivation. The sex hormones also help to prevent the risks associated with many health conditions and symptoms. They may include sexual dysfunction, adrenal insufficiency, and weight gain which may cause depression.
The National Institute of Health recommends the use of dehydroepiandrosterone to slow cognitive decline in individuals at risk. Individuals going through the aging process are at a higher risk of developing a cognitive decline.
The hormone helps improve their critical thinking skills as well as their memory retention capability. Dehydroepiandrosterone is also thought to reduce the risks that are associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, administration of a high dose is required for activity against Alzheimer's.
Helps Lower Inflammation In The Body
Inflammation is the most common cause of most diseases. Almost all disorders that are related to aging may result from inflammation. Dehydroepiandrosterone has the ability to lower the levels of inflammation in the body.
As a result, it helps promote youthful qualities among the older population. The hormone's ability to balance the body facilitates higher energy levels, giving one a leaner body and increased vitality. When the hormone is taken in the form of supplements, it helps improve the levels of sex hormones such as testosterone in the body.
Scientists have also claimed that individuals who have low levels of dehydroepiandrosterone in the body tend to have a metabolic syndrome. The term metabolic syndrome refers to disorders such as obesity, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and high blood pressure as a result of increased inflammation in the body.
Studies have also shown that people who are obese produce less dehydroepiandrosterone than those with a normal weight. Scientific evidence has also shown that low DHEA levels can lead to autoimmune disorders such as arthritis.
A study that was conducted on women with autoimmune disorders concluded that low levels of DHEA can cause damage to internal organs such as the skin and the immune system. Supplementation of the hormone is also thought to alleviate pain and aches that may result from conditions such as arthritis.
Improves Sex Health And Libido
Studies have shown that DHEA hormone can help improve symptoms associated with infertility such as erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and hormonal imbalances. The hormone can also be used to improve symptoms associated with menopause such as vaginal dryness.
Men with erectile dysfunction produce low levels of dehydroepiandrosterone. Supplementation of the hormone can be beneficial to both men and women who have symptoms that are associated with hormonal imbalances.
Low levels of testosterone in men have been linked to several problems, including pain, aches, fatigue, weight gain, and sexual issues, among others. Evidence suggests that the use of DHEA hormone for six months can help reduce those symptoms.
Improves Cardiovascular Health And Lowers Risks That Are Associated With Diabetes
Increased levels of DHEA hormone in the body has been linked to reduced risks of clogged arteries, hypercholesterolemia, and blood clots. The hormone also helps improve heart health in adults.
Dehydroepiandrosterone helps prevent the development of diabetes and promote a healthy cardiovascular system by lowering the level of inflammation in the body. It also promotes a healthy metabolic process as well as the production of sex hormones.
Individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus have been found to have low levels of dehydroepiandrosterone. The levels of this hormone reduce as the disease progresses.
A study found that supplementation of HIV patients with the DHEA hormone helps improve their mental health. However, there is no study that has shown if the hormone can boost the performance of the immune system in these patients.
Dehydroepiandrosterone is one of the hormones that are synthesized by the adrenal glands. Adrenal insufficiency is a condition whereby the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient amounts of hormones, including DHEA and cortisol. The problem may be caused by damage to the pituitary glands or on the adrenal glands.
Adrenal insufficiency results in various symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, and depression. Experts have advised that administration of DHEA hormone may help improve these symptoms.
Women diagnosed with anxiety and mood swings have reported improvement after taking the hormone’s supplements. However, an individual who has adrenal insufficiency should only take it after a doctor’s prescription.
Risks And Side Effects Associated With Dehydroepiandrosterone
DHEA has a potential for side effects as well as interactions with other drugs when they are taken together. It is advisable to use these supplements only under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Individuals who are below 40 years old should not take the hormone unless they have been advised by a medical doctor. Individuals diagnosed with low levels if the hormone should be checked after every six months to determine their response to treatment.
Patients with cancer of the breast, prostate, adrenal, ovarian, and testicles should not take DHEA supplements. The hormone promotes the synthesis of estrogen and testosterone which may worsen the conditions.
The use of DHEA may also worsen other hormone-related conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Individuals with the history of depression and bipolar disorders may experience side effects such as irritability from the use of DHEA supplements.
High doses of the hormone are toxic to the liver cells. High amounts of the hormone may also stop the body from making the hormone endogenously.
People undergoing diabetes treatment should avoid using DHEA supplement unless directed by their doctor. The hormone may lead to insulin resistance.
Top Products Containing Dehydroepiandrosterone
DHEA 50 mg Supplement
This product is manufactured by Zhou Nutrition. It is designed to support balanced hormone levels. It also promotes healthy aging by preventing symptoms that are associated with the aging process. Zhou Nutrition's 50 mg DHEA has an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of a possible 5 stars on Amazon. It is sold at $14.72.
Extra Strength DHEA 50 mg Supplement
This product is manufactured by Havasu Nutrition. It helps balance the levels of hormones in the body. It also boosts metabolism as well as the performance of the body’s immune system. The supplement has an overall rating of 4.6 stars out of a possible 5 stars. It is sold at $13.97.
Swanson Premium DHEA 25mg
This product is produced by Swanson Premium Brand. It provides the precursor that promotes the production of sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen in the body. The product has an overall rating of 4.1 stars out of a possible 5 stars. It is sold at $8.12.
DHEA is naturally produced in the body. However, its levels begin to decline after the age of 30. Individuals with low levels of DHEA may experience symptoms related to sexual dysfunction and inflammation.
DHEA supplementation helps reduce these symptoms. However, not everyone who uses DHEA supplements sees improvement and some may experience side effects. It is advisable to seek doctor's advice before taking DHEA supplement.