DHEA is a hormonal supplement with dihydroepiandrosterone, a substance that affects many basic functions of body.
What is DHEA?
Dihydroepiandrosterone is a hormone produced by adrenals and brain. Its production is stable until we are 30, when its levels are gradually beginning to decrease. According to studies, in the elderly, DHEA levels are only 10-20% of the corresponding levels of young people, while levels seem to decrease more rapidly in women than in men.
Certain drugs like corticosteroids, contraceptive pills and various psychiatric drugs appear to have a negative effect on DHEA levels. Additionally, low levels of DHEA may be caused by inflammatory diseases, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease or depression.
The molecule DHEA that exists in dietary supplements is derived from diosgenin, a plant sterol of Mexican Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa).
Properties - Actions
DHEA, as a hormone, has many properties. The most important is the increase of sex hormones' production, as it is converted into the body either in androgens or estrogen. Because it can cause increase of testosterone's levels in body, it has often been said about its usefulness to people involved in body building activities. However, many studies have shown that DHEA have a significant impact on many other systems of body, which in turn raises the question of whether DHEA supplementation contributes to the treatment of various diseases.
Bone mineral density
Aging and some autoimmune diseases reduce bone density, resulting in bones becoming fragile and sensitive to lesions and impacts. There are many studies that claim that high levels of DHEA are associated with higher bone density, especially in women in the postmenopausal period.
Weight loss and metabolic syndrome
DHEA seems to have a roll in weight loss, as well. It seems that it helps increase metabolism by affecting body's thermogenesis, thus boosting body to burn fat, facilitating weight loss. In addition, it appears to reduce insulin resistance and abdominal fat (metabolic syndrome) in obese people. However, the results are derived from preliminary studies.
Supplemental administration DHEA is usually done by women who are in the menopause period, as it appears to relieve symptoms such as decreased sexual desire, skin weakness, flushing as well as vaginal dryness. In any case, because DHEA can be converted to estrogen in the body, supplementation should be avoided by people with a history of cancer.
Taking dihydroepiandrosterone appears to have a positive effect on sexual health and libido. DHEA supplementation contributes to improving sexual mood and experience, especially in women during menopause and in postmenopausal women. Correspondingly for men, decreased DHEA levels appear to be associated with errectile dysfunction.
DHEA daily dosage ranges from 20-200 mg, for up to 2 years. As DHEA production normally happens in the morning, it is advisable to take the supplement in the morning with the presence of the meal to mimic the normal production rate.
DHEA is available either in capsules or tablets, either as a mono-component or in dietary formulas. Many companies have the metabolite of DHEA, the DHEA 7 Keto, a steroid derivative, which retains the hormone's effects, but it is not directly converted to testosterone or estrogen, so it is preferable to be taken.
Contradictions - Interactions
Taking DHEA is contraindicated in people with a history of cancer or hormone related conditions, such as polycystic ovaries.
People with liver disease or people who take anticoagulants,have undergone hormone replacement therapy, have diabetes and take insulin or other antidiabetic medication, should not take DHEA.
In Vita4you you can find a great variety of dietary supplements with DHEA.