May 29, 2014

The Health Benefits of DHEA

Health Benefits of DHEA

There’s a pretty good bet that something found in abundance in the body must play an important role in our overall health.  And, that’s exactly what we see with DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone – the most abundant steroid hormone in the body. And, that’s why the health benefits of DHEA are numerous.

A major reason why the health benefits of DHEA are many is that DHEA is involved in the production of several hormones including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol. The first three are sex hormones, while cortisol is the stress hormone.

Given all the health benefits from optimizing sex hormones it should be no wonder that DHEA might have several health benefits. For many women DHEA supplementation alone can effectively raise testosterone levels without the need for direct testosterone treatment.

When under prolong stress, DHEA is called to aid in the production of cortisol. This diminishes that amount of DHEA available for conversion into the sex hormones providing one reason why stress adversely affects our health and accelerates the aging process.

DHEA is felt to have anti-aging effects. There is evidence that DHEA might stimulate growth hormone production (the so-called anti-aging hormone). In a study involving 71 women and 13 men it was shown that supplementation with 50 mg of DHEA daily for three months led to significant elevations of IGF-1. Many of growth hormone’s effects are mediated through IGF-1 which is made from growth hormone (primarily in the liver).

In that study 84% of the women and 67% of the men reported improved physical and psychological well-being, better sleep, increased energy, better ability to handle stress, and improved relaxation. And, it may be through its effects on growth hormone and IGF-1 that DHEA exerts its anti-aging effects.

Another study using 50 mg of DHEA in 280 participants showed significant improvement in bone mass, skin thickness, and skin pigmentation along with improved libido in men and women.

DHEA is linked to a sense of well-being and improved memory. It is now known to stimulate neurotransmitter receptors throughout the brain providing a possible explanation as to why DHEA improves memory and well-being.

Side effects of DHEA are rare and respond to simply lowering the dose. They include oily skin, acne, growth of unwanted hair (face, chin, underarms) especially in women. Rarely, DHEA can cause rash or liver dysfunction.

Don’t miss out on the health benefits of DHEA.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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