DHEA, Dehydroepiandrosteron is asteroid that is produced by the adrenal gland and is known to be a precursor to estrogen, testosterone, androgen and other types of sex hormones. In the cell, the hormone pregnenolone is produced by the mitochondria from cholesterol and then converted into DHEA, cortisol steroids and progesterone. The body then converts DHEA into sex hormones which play a significant role in maintaining the general health of the body.
As we grow older, DHEA levels in the body falls and at the age of 40, one may be deficient in DHEA. This deficiency may result to several health problems such as poor immune system, inflammation, high risks of heart problems and certain types of cancer.
Role Of DHEA?
The main role of DHEA in the body is regulating the balance of stress hormones. Stress hormones can interfere with the memory, mental recognition, attention span, blood pressure, blood sugar balance, and heart rate. Chronic and cumulative stress increases the corticosteroid levels in the body making the T “helper” cells inefficient and unable to protect the body from diseases. With time, increased corticosteroid levels results to shrivel of the thymus glands making the body to produce less T cells. DHEA has been reported to inhibit the shrinking action of the thymus as well as the immuno-suppression that is caused by corticosteroids.
Corticosteroids tend to block eicosanoids role in preventing aging and DHEA inhibits the biological action of the stress hormones, corticosteroids especially cortisol. A balance of both “bad”and “good” eicosanoids is important in the body and eicosanoids imbalance has been linked with hypertension, heart disease, inflammation, adult diabetes, depression, cancer and autoimmune diseases. A balance in eicosanoid and adequate amount of DHEA helps to increase energy, lower heart disease risk, improve memory, cognition and mood, reduce fat and promote proper function of the immune system. Therefore, as DHEA levels decline with age, the body losses the buffer to fight against stress-related hormones.
Enhanced Brain Function
DHEA enhances the function of the brain as it is known to be closely involved in protecting brain neurons from senility linked degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The brain tissue consists of 5-6 times more DHEA than other tissues in the body and when the level of DHEA in the brain is very low, neuronal degenerative disorders are likely to occur. A number of studies have shown that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have 48% less DHEA level in the blood stream as compared to a matched control of a similar age group. This evidence provides hope that DHEA may be beneficial in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.
DHEA may help to prevent inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and also reduce inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases including Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Sjogren’s Syndrome and Crohn’s Diseases. It does so by inhibiting the action of pro-inflammatory cytokines including the action of IL-6 which is an inflammatory factor that causes bone loss and joint damage.
A recent study from Pisa University in Italy has revealed that DHEA plays a significant role as an alternative to the conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy. Small doses have been found to increase sex drive and prevent hot flashes especially for women who have been affected by menopause.
- Why Choosing 7-Keto DHEA Over Standard DHEA (vitanetonline.com)