DHEA is a fat soluble, steroid hormone, which is synthesized in the body mostly in the adrenal glands, and in small amounts in ovaries/testes, the brain and various other peripheral tissues, such as skin. It is a derivative of cholesterol metabolism as seen below:
Acetyl-CoA → Cholesterol → Pregnenelone → DHEA → DHEA-Sulfate
A great portion of DHEA in the body is derived from adrenal synthesis, which is controlled by ACTH (a signal from the brain), and can be severely reduced when the stress hormone cortisol is high or due to treatment with corticosteroids. The adrenals secrete DHEA in the blood stream, where it is converted back and forth to DHEA Sulfate, which is considered the body’s circulating reservoir of DHEA. Circulating DHEA is taken up by many tissues such as skin, bone, ovaries or testes and converted to various estrogens and testosterone (which can be further converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or estrogen).
Male and Female DHEA supplementation is dosed differently for each, and must be monitored by a health care practitioner for baseline and subsequent blood levels of DHEA, testosterone, DHT, estradiol, estriol and estrone.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT DHEA MAY SUPPORT WEIGHT CONTROL
Stimulates fat burning, reduces abdominal fat storage
Increases metabolic rate through the stimulation of thermogenesis and by supporting the lean body mass.
Reduces insulin resistance
• Reduces the stress hormone cortisol and reduces some of its catabolic effects on bone and muscle
DRUG TREATMENT SUPPORT
• Reduces the side-effects from corticosteroid therapy
• Enhances female libido
• Supports erectile function through improved nitric oxide levels and facilitated testosterone binding to albumin
• Increases epidermal thickness and hydration, sebum production, decreases facial skin pigmentation
• Improves immune response to infections and reverses its age-related decline
• May reduce the severity of auto-immune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, psoriasis
• Alleviates allergies
• Improves the sense of well being and reduces certain types of depressions
• Has a mental stimulating effect (counteracts the inhibitory effects of GABA neurotransmitter)
• Reduces hot flashes, supports vaginal tissue
• Supports bone health
• Sense of well being, libido
• Restores declining IGF-1 (growth hormone) levels
• Corrects age related changes in immune system, skin, bone & muscle strength and sexual health.
Causes of DHEA Deficiency:
• Decreased production
• Menopause & Andropause
• Smoking (nicotine inhibits the production of 11-beta-hydroxylase, an enzyme needed to make DHEA)