[ Nutrition ]

Health Benefits and Risks of DHEA Supplements

DHEA (5-Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a natural steroid produced in the adrenal glands, the gonads and the brain. Forty-two women were examined, they did not use contraceptives for at least three months prior to the examination. Commercial distribution prohibited. The primary source for DHEA is the adrenal glands and the ovaries or testes. Advocates of DHEA recommend it to prevent the effects of aging. These fats are the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids molecules. Scientists noted that DHEA had prevented oxidative stress in other studies and wanted to test its effect in diabetes.

In the skeletal muscle, expression and translocation of GLUT4 protein, phosphorylation of Akt and PKC zeta/lambda, and phosphofructokinase and hexokinase enzyme activities increased significantly by DHEA injection. During the operation at Kyoto University Hospital, part of the mother’s pancreas was removed and the insulin-producing islet cells were collected. Central obesity was present in women with fatty liver (p = 0.039). Increased blood levels of DHEAS have been associated with increased blood pressure30 and other cardiovascular risk factors in some,31 but not all,32 studies. Do not use DHEA in doses higher than 50-100 mg a day or for a long period of time. You probably already know that! DHEA is a potent estrogen agonist.


After four weeks of supplementation, significant improvements were noted in insulin sensitivity, endothelial function, and blood clotting factors—all independent risk factors for heart disease. In men it may cause aggression, breast enlargement, testicle shrinkage, and urinary urgency (3). However, DHEA is a prohormone that is made by the adrenal gland and somewhat by the ovary and testes. (Penguin Putnam, August 2001) recommends that your blood be drawn before 9 a.m., and that you don’t eat or drink anything besides water that morning. Studies have shown that supplementing with DHEA may benefit: the immune system, blood sugar metabolism and weight management, brain and bone health, heart health, estrogen and testosterone levels Factors that contribute to low DHEA levels include: – Aging, Sugar, Nicotine, Caffeine, Alcohol, Nutritional imbalance, A vegetarian diet low in cholesterol and healthy fats. We therefore investigated the relationship between degree of urinary albumin excretion and serum DHEA-S concentrations in male patients with type 2 diabetes. However, it could be argued that aging itself is, in a sense, a chronic inflammatory state.

The levels of various chemical mediators of inflammation, such as IL-6 and TNF, increase as we age. At the same time, our production of DHEA plummets with aging. Maintaining youthful levels of DHEA means less chronic inflammation. It should be pointed out that chronic inflammation is known to play a critical role in the development of the killer diseases of aging: heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer (4). Most studies on the use of DHEA for depression support its use for this purpose. I added a natural progesterone product called Progessence, which was very beneficial in relieving many symptoms but my sleep was still very disrupted. Higher-quality, long-term studies are needed before firm conclusions can be made (5).

All subjects were Caucasian. However, using lower doses of 5-20 mg daily over three weeks does not appear to improve depression (8). Aging and diseases such as lupus (an autoimmune disorder that affects the skin and organs) and anorexia may cause bone loss. Aesthetic dermatology should contribute to “healthy aging” not only in cosmetic means by trying to erase time vestiges in skin but by also playing a significant part in prevention, regeneration, and delaying of skin aging combining knowledge of possible local and systemic therapy, instrumental devices and invasive procedures, filling the lack of scientific investigations and becoming one of the important focuses of the aging research. Research reports that DHEA supplements may help increase bone density. It is a wonderful diuretic that improves the sleep patterns and normal relaxation, great for anti‐depression and PMS symptoms. Thanks to these qualities, it is easily absorbed and transported into many organs and systems within the body, for example, the brain, liver, and nerves.

DHEA supplementation may benefit people with decreased libido (6). Evidence clearly shows that DHEA is an important source of sex steroids in men and even more in women (9).

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