DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone in the human body, yet is ignored by the medical profession--because it is
available without a prescription and its benefits are not immediately obvious. With its sulfated form, DHEAS, it circulates in levels
that are 20 times higher than cortisol and 5000 times higher than testosterone in men or progesterone in women. It is co-
secreted with cortisol by the adrenal glands. Under stress, the adrenal glands secrete more cortisol and more DHEA--to
maintain their balance. DHEA is the body's primary cortisol-balancing hormone. Low DHEAS levels are an indicator of adrenal
insufficiency. Unlike cortisol, DHEAS levels drop by 50% by age 40 and continue to decline with age. This creates an imbalance--
a relative excess of cortisol's effects in most persons with age--promoting more belly fat, a weakened immune system, higher
blood sugars, bone less, etc. Cells throughout the body take in DHEA and DHEAS and convert them into estradiol and
testosterone. This "intracrine" hormone production is responsible for most of the androgen production in women. Unlike cortisol,
DHEA is anabolic--it helps to build and maintain our tissues. Any persons taking hydrocortisone or one of the pharmaceutical
steroids are actively suppressing their DHEAS levels, and this is a major cause of the negative effects of taking these steroids.
Any person taking a "steroid" (hydrocortisone, prednisone, Medrol, dexamethasone) long-term must replace their
DHEA to youthful levels in order to prevent steroid side effects and to maintain their health and quality of life.
There are thousands of scientific studies that demonstrate the importance of DHEA to our health and well-being. It
helps to reverse the effects of stress on the immune system. It reduces cardiovascular risk by increasing lipolysis or breakdown
of fat. It helps restore sexual vitality. It improves mood, memory, and mental acuity. It helps build muscle and bone. It reduces
pain by improving our natural endorphin levels. It improves insulin sensitivity, thus helping to prevent or alleviate adult-onset
diabetes. Higher DHEAS levels have been repeatedly associated with lower risk of heart attacks and death. DHEA may play a
role in helping to prevent breast cancer. (Labrie 2006). DHEA also improves fertility in older women. It also has some anti-
inflammatory effects; reducing levels of inflammatory molecules like interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. This is why
DHEA is an effective treatment for systemic lupus erythematosis, ulcerative colitis, and probably for many other
autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. Replacement studies have found no deleterious effects, even at very high doses. Restoring
DHEA to youthful levels makes all the sense in the world. Women can get pimples and oily skin if DHEA levels are raised to
quickly or too high. Women who have insufficient cortisol levels/effects (and there are a lot of them) may not tolerate DHEA
supplementation. They may experience increased pain, fatigue, brain fog or palpitations due to DHEA's anti-cortisol effects.
For more information on the benefits of DHEA, read this informative article from the Life Extension Foundation.
For Health and Quality of Life