DHEA, short for dehydroepiandrosterone, is the most abundant hormone produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA is converted to testosterone in males, and estrogen in females. The production of DHEA peaks in your early 20's, after which it begins dropping by approximately 10 percent each decade. The decline of DHEA is associated with age-related disease processes such as heart disease and bone loss. DHEA is said to be effective at improving and preventing many age-related health issues, thus it is often utilized as an anti-aging treatment. Men who take DHEA-containing supplements may see significant benefits.
Consult with your physician before embarking on a DHEA regimen.
DHEA reduces the risk of heart disease in men, assists with weight loss, reduces inflammation and increases metabolism. According to a 2003 study published in the "Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand," lowering inflammation in the body appeared to be one of the main ways in which the risk of heart disease was reduced. DHEA has been reported to lower high density lipoprotein, often referred to as "good cholesterol." Carefully monitor levels when taking DHEA as a supplement.
Osteopenia, or lowered bone density, increases the odds of fracture. If the density continues to lessen and fractures begin to occur, osteoporosis is diagnosed. In osteoporosis patients, bone fractures often occur in critical places such as the hip and spine, and can be debilitating. In a 2003 study in "Calcified Tissue International," DHEA was reported to improve overall spine density in men. It has also been reported to protect bone mineral density in women.
Erectile dysfunction can be an ongoing problem that negatively affects quality of life. As you age, testosterone levels decrease, which negatively impacts the libido, causing problems with erections. DHEA is a precursor to testosterone, and studies have shown it to be beneficial in raising testosterone levels, increasing sex drive and helping with erectile dysfunction. According to Nutrasanus.com, in a double-blind study, as presented in a prospective on the treatment of erectile dysfunction using DHEA, participants were given 50 mg of DHEA taken daily for six months. Results indicated that supplementing with DHEA improved erectile dysfunction.
Body Fat Reduction
DHEA may be also help to reduce your body fat and increase your lean body mass. Since DHEA can increase testosterone levels, critical to muscle tissue development, you may notice an improvement in your lean body mass. According to Nutrasanus.com, studies have shown DHEA to lower overall body fat mass. KCweb.com adds that DHEA can help the body burn calories for energy rather than store them as fat by blocking an enzyme named G6PD. This enzyme is not only essential for fat tissue production, but also promotes cancer cell growth. By blocking this enzyme you are able to reduce your body fat.