The nutritional world is jam-packed with lengthy, acronym-based names, and DHEA is one of them. Dehydroepiandrosterone (maybe just stick with DHEA), is the most prevalent hormone in the human body, even more than testosterone or estrogen.
DHEA has been strongly associated with aging because of the lack of this particular hormone in humans and animals at the end of their lifespan. As we age, the amount of DHEA produced by the adrenal gland decreases, leading researchers to explore the correlation between low DHEA levels and the aging process.
This association has led researchers to consider the potential long-term vitality boosts of DHEA, and its use as a treatment to combat the common symptoms of aging we experience as older adults.
Let’s learn more about DHEA and what it can do for our overall wellness.
How Does DHEA Help Our Bodies?
DHEA’s prominence in the human body speaks to the scope of its influence. Research has indicated that the presence of DHEA in the body is linked to key areas of our physical well-being, including muscle strength, bone density and bone mineral density, hair growth, body fat, libido, skin elasticity, not to mention aspects of our mental well-being as well. As we age, we lose naturally occuring DHEA.
People who have DHEA insufficiency, usually stemming from adrenal production issues, report higher cholesterol levels, lower sexual satisfaction, poor physical performance, and degenerative bone density. When DHEA supplements are used to replenish DHEA deficiency, the science indicates that these symptoms are reversed, giving us insight into how DHEA affects the body long-term.
With effects on everything from muscles, bones, body fat, skin, athletic performance, and mental and sexual well-being, DHEA is involved in quite a bit of the human body. And that’s why we’re so excited about this amazing hormone, which you can learn more about on our website. In the meantime, let’s take a deeper look into DHEA and how this hormone can help us operate at our best.
Alleviates Menopausal Symptoms
As we enter later stages in life, our production of DHEA diminishes.
Menopause is an example of physical changes that might correlate with DHEA levels of women who approach their 50s. By the time we are 30, our production of DHEA and female sex hormones slows down. By the time women reach menopause, DHEA levels are decreased by 60 percent.
This has led to the study of DHEA as a potential solution to menopausal symptoms. Menopause tends to induce a certain set of symptoms that have been quantified by the Blatt-Kupperman scale, a metric that rates the degree of intensity of these symptoms. Studies have shown that women who take supplemental DHEA reported lower scores on the Blatt-Kupperman index, indicating that the additional supplement alleviates their symptoms by replenishing deficient levels of DHEA.
Increase of Muscle Mass in Older People
Try as we might, our bodies just can’t make the muscle in our older years like it could when we were 18. However, studies indicate that DHEA supplements can produce a positive effect in increasing muscle mass in athletes and older people, particularly men.
One study had participants, consisting of men and women ranging from 50 to 65 years old, take 100 mg of DHEA daily for six months. The amount of DHEA circulation within the bodies of the participants was shown to increase to levels similar to folks from a much younger demographic amongst the women.
The presence of DHEA manifested in different ways between the sexes involved. There were noted increases in body fat mass, knee muscle strength, and lumbar back strength in the participants. This may indicate that supplemental DHEA, in this context, maintains the health of muscle mass in males at this particular age.
A big takeaway from this particular study is the resilience of muscle and fat mass in men. Supplemental DHEA used responsibly, as was the case in this study, can restore DHEA circulation in the body to a younger person. In men, that can result in an increased level of muscle mass and body fat.
The ubiquity of DHEA has spurred researchers to see how it relates to mood changes to determine how effective supplemental DHEA can be to help rebalance and restore healthy mood.
Some research shows that a DHEA deficiency may contribute to emotional dysregulation, in which supplemental DHEA that restores normal DHEA levels can help restore emotional balance.
DHEA and its relationship with mood health, the correlation of lower DHEA levels as a predictor of depression and PTSD, and its positive effects on mood when used supplementally are promising.
DHEA Potential Side Effects
As with any hormonal supplement, it’s integral that you consult your physician or a medical professional before incorporating DHEA into your diet. While its health benefits may be encouraging, it is very important to use hormonal supplements responsibly.
Here are some of the potential side effects of using DHEA sulfate, especially in high doses:
Use caution taking DHEA supplements if you are:
Have high cholesterol
Have a history of heart disease
Are at higher risk of stroke
Have a history of thyroid disorders
Is It Worth Taking DHEA?
Is DHEA the anti-aging fountain of youth it’s cracked up to be? Well, nothing’s ever that simple. However, when used responsibly, DHEA has been shown to improve health and longevity and promote overall well-being.
If you are looking into starting a supplement that contains DHEA, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. More than anything, Lifeforce wants to ensure that you’re well-informed on supplements like DHEA.
Our product, Lifeforce DHEA is a proven supplement that bolsters your hormones improving your sexual wellness, supports your metabolism and weight loss goals, enhances your heart health and immune function, and so much more.
For all you burning questions about supplements, we encourage you to learn more about Lifeforce membership. You’ll get access to a Lifeforce clinician who will help you build a personalized performance plan with supplements that are right for your needs.
Learn more at our website.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): hypes and hopes | PubMed
DHEA, important source of sex steroids in men and even more in women | PubMed
Six-month oral dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation in early and late postmenopause | PubMed
The effect of six months treatment with a 100 mg daily dose of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on circulating sex steroids, body composition and muscle strength in age-advanced men and women | PubMed
The effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the treatment of depression and depressive symptoms in other psychiatric and medical illnesses: a systematic review | PubMed
DHEA Enhances Emotion Regulation Neurocircuits and Modulates Memory for Emotional Stimuli | NIH
Precipitous Dehydroepiandrosterone Declines Reflect Decreased Physical Vitality and Function | NCBI
Menopausal Symptoms: Comparative Effectiveness of Therapies | NCBI Bookshelf
DHEA Enhances Emotion Regulation Neurocircuits and Modulates Memory for Emotional Stimuli | NCBI