Introduction to DHEA
Dehydroepiandrosterone, mostly called DHEA, is a steroid
hormone produced in the adrenal gland. It is the most
abundant steroid in the bloodstream with higher levels
in brain tissue. DHEA has been shown to have anti-aging,
anti-obesity and anti-cancer influences. In addition,
it is known to stabilize nerve-cell growth and is being
tested in Alzheimer’s patients.
DHEA is made by the adrenal glands and secreted into
the blood, where it is converted into other hormones.
DHEA levels drop with advancing age, so most of the
benefits are noted in older people.
The book The Biologic Role of Dehydroepiandrosterone
(DHEA) states “DHEA modulates diabetes, obesity,
carcinogenesis, tumor growth, neurite outgrowth, virus
and bacterial infection, stress, pregnancy, hypertension,
collagen and skin integrity, fatigue, depression, memory
and immune responses.”
The claims about DHEA are that it increases muscle
mass, stamina, sexual vitality and feeling of well-being.
Some studies support these claims, and some do not.
DHEA and Sexual Funtion
DHEA is a precursor to numerous steroid sex hormones,
including estrogen and testosterone. Studies suggest
it may act as a “buffering hormone” thus
altering the state-dependency of other steroid hormones.
Studies have indicated that DHEA benefits:
- Anti-Obesity Factor - DHEA-treated
mice ate normally, they remained thin and lived longer
than control mice. Diabetes, a typical complication
of obesity, was also dramatically decreased.
- Glucose Metabolism - DHEA inhibits
G6PDH, an enzyme that breaks down glucose, and turns
it into fat. DHEA’s inhibition of G6PDH may
redirect glucose from anabolic fat-production into
catabolic energy metabolism, thus creating a leaner
metabolism. Toxicity factors still need to be assessed.
- Cancer Prevention - Early studies
suggested that DHEA was abnormally low in women who
developed breast cancer, as much as nine years prior
to the onset or diagnosis of the disease. DHEA has
demonstrated protective effects for cancers of the
skin, lungs, bowel, breast and liver in animals. Studies
continue as to whether the same level of benefits
will be realized in humans.
- Antiaging - ehancing brain function,
the immune system and acting as a buffering hormone
to retain other hormone llevels.
DHEA and Anti Aging
DHEA levels are known to fall dramatically with age,
falling 90% from age 20 to age 90. This is the largest
decline of an important biochemical yet documented.
The body’s production of DHEA drops from about
30 mg at age 20 to less than 6 mg per day at age 80.
According to Dr. William Regelson of the Medical College
of Virginia, DHEA is “one of the best biochemical
bio-markers for chronologic age.” In some people,
DHEA levels decline 95% during their lifetime —In
animal studies, DHEA extends rodent lifespans up to
50%. The animals not only lived longer, they looked
younger. The graying, course-haired controls could easily
be distinguished from the sleek, black-haired, DHEA-treated
Enhancing Brain Function - DHEA may
protect brain neurons from senility-associated degenerative
conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Eugene
Roberts found that very low concentrations of DHEA were
found to “increase the number of neurons, their
ability to establish contacts, and their differentiation”
in cell cultures. DHEA may also enhance long-term memory.
Enhance Immune Function - DHEA is
known to enhance general immune response, possibly utilising
skin tissue in the immune facilitating properties of
DHEA: The Buffering Steroid - DHEA
is the first example of a buffer action for hormones
making us more vulnerable to the effects of stress.
As DHEA declines with age, the level of this buffer
against the stress-related hormones declines. It is
the buffer action that [helps prevent] us from aging.
The decrease of DHEA with age may result in gradual
decline of a system for suppressing enzyme systems responsible
for creating the building blocks of new cells, like
lipids, nucleic acids (RNA and DNA) and sex steroids.
The resulting rise in enzymatic activity in advanced
age may be responsible for the proliferative events
(cancer) and degenerative disease that become more frequent
in advanced age. In this respect, DHEA might be best
considered to be an anti-hormone, which might “de-excite”
steroid-sensitive receptors that would otherwise lead
to enhanced metabolic activity.
Exact dosages for humans have not been clearly determined.
Daily dosages vary from 5 to 10 mg to as much as 2000
mg, with 5, 10, 25 and 250 mg being the range for typical
tablet and capsule sizes. DHEA is usually split into
2-4 daily doses, especially at the higher dosage levels.
Safe supplements dosages are considered to be around
10 mg for women and 20 mg for men.
Recommendations suggest that dosage be adjusted to
bring blood DHEA and DHEA-S measurements towards young-adult
levels. These blood tests can be ordered by your physician;
remember to get your first test before you start taking
- Those with a family history of breast or prostate
cancer should avoid this supplement.
- DHEA can also cause acne, increased sweating, and
increased facial hair in women.
- Experts recommend taking DHEA only if you’re
over 45 and have low levels of DHEA.
In Europe, DHEA is already available as a drug in
5 and 10 mg doses (although it has been hard to obtain).
It is used primarily for the treatment of menopause.
In the United States, DHEA must first be approved
as a drug by the FDA before it can be marketed for medical
purposes. Unfortunately, this costs up to 100 million
dollars and a decade to accomplish. Without a patent
to restrict competition, prices cannot be raised high
enough to recover the investment in the approval process.
DHEA is an unpatentable substance.
Key Amino Acids for Maximum Performance & Muscle
L-Arginine | L-Glutamine
| GABA | DHEA | HGH