DHEA is a favorite of both men and women looking to feel better and look more youthful. It's anti-aging and energy-boosting benefits are worth paying attention to.
What Is DHEA?
DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone, which is a type of hormone produced by the two adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys, as well as the brain. DHEA is a precursor to the male and female sex hormones. Our DHEA levels are at their highest in our 20s, but will deplete as we age, beginning at age 30. Women will lose DHEA more quickly than men. The loss of DHEA can have many physical side effects, which DHEA supplements may be able to correct.
Many people like to refer as DHEA supplements as a fountain of youth, and there may be some truth to that. Taking DHEA can help you counteract some physical changes that are common in aging adults, including menopausal symptoms. Here are some of the main reported benefits:
Weight Management -- DHEA helps maintain lean muscle mass within the body and control the amount of stored fat. It can help you better build lean muscle and get your weight under control if your metabolism seems to be slowing.
Energy Booster -- As we get older, our energy levels and stamina will naturally decline. DHEA helps you stay more alert and may improve endurance so you can challenge yourself physically to stay active.
Mental Health -- DHEA can assist you in remaining alert and focused so you can get through your day in a more productive manner, without feeling cloudy or sluggish, as mentioned in the previous point. It may also be able to boost mood and improve memory.
Sexual Wellness -- Another unfortunate side effect of getting older and experiencing decreases in sex hormones is lagging libido. DHEA can help counteract this effect, especially in men with erectile dysfunction, so you can maintain a healthy sex life with your partner.
Disease Prevention -- According to the Mayo Clinic, being deficient in DHEA can put you at greater risk for diseases like Alzheimer's, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. It can also help strengthen the immune system. While it won't completely prevent these conditions, maintaining properly levels of DHEA is a smart preventative measure.
Research continues to examine the benefits of DHEA supplementation. A study published in 2010 in the medical journal Progress in brain research supported the use of DHEA as a form of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women because it had fewer risks than other estrogen-based treatments. A study published in 2013 in the European journal of applied physiology showed oral DHEA helped elevate levels of free testosterone in middle-aged men and kept it stable even after high intensity interval training. Both of these studies show how well the body recognizes and utilizes DHEA in supplement form.
Boosting Your DHEA
If you're interested in taking a DHEA supplement, check with your doctor, especially if you've been diagnosed with a medical condition. Your doctor can determine if you're deficient in DHEA by examining your blood and saliva. They may then recommend you begin taking a DHEA supplement. Normally produced from yams or soy, DHEA supplements are typically taken in low dosages, no more than 25 mg per day to start with. Your doctor should continue to monitor your DHEA levels during treatment. Possible side effects include acne, facial hair growth in women and fatigue. Don't make any changes to your medication routine, especially if you're undergoing hormone replacement therapy, without first consulting our doctor.
We carry a variety of DHEA supplements at eVitamins to suit your needs. Check back tomorrow for the latest health news and information!
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