The benefits of DHEA are very impressive, especially for people that are 40 or older. Should you consider supplementation? Consider the evidence and decide for yourself.
DHEA is a steroid hormone that is made by the adrenal glands. Your body converts DHEA to sex hormones which are important for optimal health. Peaking when adults are in their 20s, DHEA levels decline as we age. If you are 40 or older, you should assume that you are deficient in DHEA.
A deficiency can lead to problems with immune function, inflammation problems and an increased risk of heart problems and even certain cancers. You've probably heard a lot of hype about DHEA being and anti-aging supplement. Therefore, it is important to know the real benefits of DHEA.
There have been many studies done on DHEA that show it to have many benefits. Most studies are based on a dose of 50 mg per day. However, the dose you need could vary from 15 to 75 mg a day divided into three doses, taken a half hour before meals. It should be noted that extremely high doses of DHEA have been linked to liver damage as a side effect, however, you would need to take 20 times the recommended dose to do such damage.
Men who are considering supplementation should be sure to test for prostate cancer first. Studies have shown various results in men with prostate cancer, so if you have it, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before you begin supplementation.
About six weeks after you have started supplementation, you should take a blood test to determine your levels. You may be able to reduce the amount you are taking, or you may discover that you need more. In either case, it is a waste to take if you are not taking the correct dose for your body.
The Benefits of DHEA
DHEA has been shown to offer many benefits, from improving fertility in couples unable to conceive to easing symptoms of depression to improving mental clarity and feeling of well-being. Here are some other benefits:
One study shows DHEA to improve cardiovascular health in men but oddly, not for women. The study showed men between 40 and 70 years old with the lowest levels of DHEA were more likely to develop ischemic heart disease. Another study found that DHEA protects blood vessels from atherosclerosis in the elderly.
If you consume a high-cholesterol diet, you may also benefit from DHEA as it protects your blood vessels from plaque build up. It also has an antioxidant effect. For cardiovascular disease, DHEA is shown helpful as an anti lipidemic and anti inflammatory while it also increases hormones to normal levels. It may also aid in glucose control for those with Diabetes, but as always, your doctor should be consulted before using it in this manner.
DHEA can be very helpful for those who suffer from inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as reducing inflammation related to autoimmune diseases including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, Crohn's Diseases and Sjogren's Syndrome.This is because DHEA inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, including an inflammatory factor called IL-6 which contributes to bone loss and damage to joints. Interestingly, while most autoimmune diseases are characterized by a person's own antibodies attacking them, one study found that a DHEA supplement could reduce this by 50 percent! It has also been found that women suffering from SLE (systematic lupus erythematosus), may be able to reduce the steroids taken for relief. It also helps improve mental function and increase bone density when taken in a [[DHEA Creams|cream].
There are many other potential benefits to supplementing with DHEA. It has been shown to help with depression, improve mood and sex drive in people with adrenal deficiency, Research is also being done to determine DHEAs role in aiding with Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and some types of cancer. If, upon examining the evidence, you feel supplementation would benefit you, be sure your doctor is aware. DHEA can interfere with certain medications and this would need to be examined before supplementation could begin. To find a list of some of the studies involving DHEA, visit Life Extension Magazine.