DHEA – or dehydroepiandrosterone
This is a natural hormone produced in our bodies by the adrenal gland. During our growth period, there are very high levels of it in our blood. The older we get, the more we seem to need, but its production often lags behind our own deterioration state.
DHEA is associated with youthfulness, energy levels, good memory, strong sex drive, good mood, active metabolism, and muscle tone. Yet as early as our 18th year, its levels start to drop, as aging begins.
Aging is often associated with falling libido, muscle wasting, bone loss, reduced strength and stamina…and not just a physical appearance of aging. It appears the DHEA targets just these elements.
DHEA and Scientific Research
The role of DHEA is being researched actively and internationally in the following areas:
Burn Out (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
Chrohn’s Syndrome (and Ulcerative Colitis)
Treatment of HIV
Treatment of Cholesterol
Aging Problems (especially of the skin)
There are another two special areas where DHEA is having focused interest. These are the areas of DHEA and the brain, and its role with fats.
The Brain and DHEA
While DHEA’s exact functions in the brain are (and they are under active study), there are some effects that are known, some of them very important. Firstly DHEA is a proven mood enhancer. This means that DHEA could be treatment for depression, and the symptoms affecting most people after the age of 50. A lot of that depression is associated with decreased libido, energy and motivation depravation, anxiety, and emotional imbalances. DHEA have been shown to positively effect these conditions, so DHEA may help postpone the aging process in general, and specifically, make it a harmonious transition.
In another important study, it was shown that brain stem cells (in the laboratory) grew about 1/3 faster in a medium that contained DHEA, than in mediums with out it. There are ideas now to correlate this phenomenon to possible treatment of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The Heart and DHEA
There is nothing that worries doctors more about heart disease than poor cardiovascular states. That means high cholesterol levels, platelet aggregation, high blood pressure, and high levels of triglycerols. Being overweight, and having too much fat on one’s body is a sure way to insure the above conditions.
DHEA has been shown to lower insulin levels. Lower insulin levels have themselves been linked to higher plasma ratios between lipolytic hormones and insulin. Also DHEA has been associated with a high efficiency level of lipolysis (weight loss of fat).