DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone that is made by the adrenal glands that acts on the body much like testosterone and is converted into testosterone and estrogen. DHEA plus its sulfate (DHEAS) are plentiful in the body, but their regular roles are not completely understood. The blood levels of DHEA and DHEAS decline with age.
Studies have shown DHEA has been able to improve cardiovascular health in men. Men between 40 – 70 years old with the lower levels of DHEA were more likely to develop ischemic heart disease. It has also shown to protect blood vessels from atherosclerosis in the elderly. Those who eat a high-cholesterol diet may benefit from DHEA as it protects the blood vessels from plaque build up. It acts like an antioxidant in the blood stream. For those with cardiovascular disease, it has shown to be helpful as an anti lipidemic and anti inflammatory. It can also increase hormones to normal levels if they were low and aids in glucose control for people with Diabetes.
A DHEA supplement can be very beneficial for those who suffer from inflammatory diseases like as Rheumatoid Arthritis; it also will help reduce the inflammation with autoimmune diseases including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, Crohn’s Diseases and Sjogren’s syndrome. It will inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, which results in most bone loss and damage to joints.
DHEA may play some role in protecting against depression. It is a cholesterol metabolite, which supports the relief of stress. Stress encourages the body to secrete cortisol and DHEA, which increases the chances of infectious diseases. It interacts with serum cortisol to continue a balance between them. An interruption between the two of them can lead to stress disorders. Major stressors like as critical illness, cortisol is increased and DHEA is suppressed. It aids in weight control; the hormones created from DHEA influence fat and mineral metabolism, blocking these enzymes and cause the reduction of body fat. While it redirects glucose from anabolic fat-production into catabolic energy metabolism, it creates a better metabolism. It is thought that DHEA supplementation for weight control is not dependent upon a person’s diet.