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DHEA quick review
Hormone description: a natural steroid hormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, also produced in the gonads, adiopose tissue and the brain.
Biological functions: the precursor for the manufacturing of other hormones, including estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisone, and others.

Health benefits: optimal levels OF DHEA are associated with increased energy, healthy immune and cardiovascular function, improved memory and elevated mood.
Side effects : acne, increased facial hair, deepening of the voice, hirsutism and hair loss, and increased perspiration.
DHEA 25mg by Natrol
Who says the body has to slow down after 40? Our bodies produce dehydroepiandrosterone, and DHEA, a hormone precursor that is synthesized into testosterone and estrogen. After the age of 40, DHEA levels begin to decrease. But, Natrol DHEA is natural-identical, meaning the body treats it the same way it would DHEA produced in the body. Click here for more information.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Dehydroepiandrosterone, commonly abbreviated as DHEA, is a natural substance produced in the adrenal gland, gonads and brain. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a natural steroid hormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands found atop of the kidneys in the human body. DHEA is also produced in the gonads, adiopose tissue and the brain. DHEA is synthesized in the adrenal cortex in the region known as the zona reticularis. Cholesterol is the precursor to DHEA. Pregnenolone and 17-hydroxy
pregnenolone are intermediates, and oxygen and cytochrome P450a17 are involved in the reaction. DHEA is produced in the adrenal glands and is converted on command to specific hormones the body needs to maintain bodily functions, such as the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.

DHEA is the most abundant steroid in the bloodstream, and the most naturally-occurring hormone in the human body. DHEA is the precursor for the manufacturing of many other hormones, such as: estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisone, and others. DHEA is the most common steroid in humans. It can be transformed in the body into testosterone (the primary male sex hormone), estrogen (an important female sex hormone), or other steroids. Optimal levels OF DHEA are associated with increased energy, healthy immune and cardiovascular function, improved memory and elevated mood. Adequate DHEA levels give the body the building blocks necessary to produce these hormones. Levels of DHEA are inversely associated with coronary artery disease. DHEA is also responsible for producing hormones that control fat and mineral metabolism as well as stress.

Natural levels of DHEA hit peak levels around the age of twenty and then decrease as we age. Levels of DHEA are inversely associated with coronary artery disease. Taking DHEA may increase IGF-1 levels and increase the sense of well-being. DHEA levels decrease with age. In normal adults, DHEA levels are highest at about age 20, and then decrease steadily. HIV patients with lipodystrophy have very low levels of DHEA. After birth, the level drops sharply and remains low during childhood. It rises before puberty, and reaches high levels once again during young adulthood. From then on it progressively declines at a rate of 2% per year. The lower the level becomes, the more prone a person is to sickness.


Functions and health benefits of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA plays a role in the regulation and production of other hormones including testosterone and estrogen. DHEA appears to facilitate improved cholesterol profiles, loss of body fat, increased muscle gain, etc. DHEA is absorbed from the small intestine and is transported to the liver, where it is metabolized mainly to DHEAS by the enzyme sulfotransferase. DHEA and DHEAS are distributed to the various tissues in the body where metabolites, including androstenedione, testosterone, estrogens (estrone and estradiol), androstenediol and 7-oxo-DHEA, are synthesized. Improved DHEA levels have been correlated with improved sense of well being, reduce body fat and improve skin tone and moisture, increase sex drive, improve immunity, enhance memory, and increase bone density.

People with various diseases have levels of DHEA that are unusually low. DHEA has been used in the last thirty years or so to treat obesity, diabetes, and lupus. It has also been found to improve sleep. Many people who have taken DHEA report improved energy levels and a better sense of well being. DHEA levels decline with age, it increases the incidence of killer diseases. When the human body is about twenty years of age DHEA is abundant. But by the age of eighty, blood levels have declined as much as ninety-five percent, about ten to twenty percent of the amount at twenty years of age. Maintianing proper levels of DHEA is claimed to have an effect on a person's appearance. DHEA may also be intimately involved in protecting brain neurons from senility-associated degenerative conditions, like Alzheimer's disease.

DHEA may play some role in protecting against depression. DHEA is a cholesterol metabolite, it aids in the relief of stress. Stress stimulates the body to secrete cortisol and DHEA, and increases the incidence of infectious diseases. DHEA interacts with serum cortisol to maintain a balance between them. A disturbance between the two can lead to stress disorders. During severe stressors, such as critical illness, cortisol is increased, and DHEA is suppressed. DHEA has an anxiolytic effect on stress. These effects go to show that DHEA works to terminate the stress response, depending on the amount of DHEA. DHEA aids in weight control. Hormones produced from DHEA influence fat and mineral metabolism. DHEA has an ability to block this enzyme and cause the reduction of body fat. The blocking of G6PD redirects glucose from anabolic fat-production into catabolic energy metabolism, thus creating a leaner metabolism. It is believed that DHEA is a method of weight control that is not dependent upon a person's diet.

DHEA aids in the prevention of cancer. Low circulating levels of DHEA have been associated with a higher incidence of breast cancer in women. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a naturally occurring steroid synthesized in the adrenal cortex, gonads, brain, and gastrointestinal tract, and it is known to have chemopreventive and anti-proliferative actions on tumors. These effects are considered to be induced by the inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and/or HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) activities. Some people with HIV take DHEA in amounts designed to restore normal levels. This might help improve their energy levels. As part the body's response to attack by a virus, DHEA levels fall and production of another hormone, cortisol, rises. In the short term, the changes in DHEA levels seen in people with HIV may be part of this normal reaction. Over the long term, increased cortisol levels combined with low DHEA levels may play a role in the reduced immunity that is seen in AIDS. Although several lab experiments have found that DHEA has antiviral activity in the test tube, studies have not found it to have significant anti-HIV activity in people.

However, despite the reported benefits, the use of DHEA as a supplement for the treatment or prevention of any condition is not fully evidenced and agreed. Not enough information has been given about the effect of DHEA on stress and weight control, cancer, and other negative effects of aging to enable a person to make a positive decision on whether or not they should use DHEA. People should always consult a physician befor taking DHEA.


DHEA side effects

Few side effects have been reported when DHEA is used at recommended doses. Side effects at high intakes appear to be acne, increased facial hair, and increased perspiration. Various androgenic effects, including acne, deepening of the voice, hirsutism and hair loss have been reported in women using supplemental DHEA. If it abnormally increases testosterone, then testosterone side effects may be expected, including increased risk of prostate cancer. Women taking excessive doses of DHEA have reported acne and facial hair. DHEA can also be converted into estrogen, so high levels of DHEA can lead to estrogen side effects as well, including increased risk of breast cancer. Some studies suggest that people with HIV and Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) have very high levels of DHEA. Taking more DHEA might be harmful for these people.


Contraindications, interactions, precautions

DHEA may have additive adverse effects if used along with 4-androstenedione, 4-androstenediol, 5-androstenedione, 19-4-norandrostenedione and 19-5-norandrostenediol--all available as OTC sports supplements. DHEA may interact with certain seizure and pain medications, clofibrate and tamoxifen. Pregnant women, non-adults and people at high risk for or who have hormone-sensitive cancers should never use DHEA.