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The buzz in the health and fitness industry over the last century has been around DHEA — but what exactly is it and how can we use it?
DHEA, or Dehydroepiandrosterone, is one of the most abundant hormones in our bodies, so it’s no surprise that it’s considered the mother of all hormones. This pro-hormone plays a role in hundreds of different metabolic functions, therefore, is a strong motivator for why many turn on to it with supplementation.
The adrenal glands are the primary producers of naturally occurring DHEA . Once produced, your body converts it to several other hormones, including androstenedione and several sex hormones. As we age, we start to lose the ability to lose DHEA, which can lead to many adults experiencing various symptoms of weight gain, sluggishness, and other symptoms caused by higher levels of inflammation. DHEA loss accelerates every decade, usually beginning at the age of 30. By the time someone reaches the age of 75, they only produce about 10 to 20 percent of the original DHEA they created in their early years.
Taking control of your DHEA levels can have major health benefits. So, let’s get caught up on what those are and why supplementation of this hormone might be something you need to consider:
As mentioned above, DHEA supplements are often used to help promote weight loss and to support athletic training, but that doesn’t mean that athletes are the only ones that can gain benefits from it. Preserving your muscle mass is an important part of aging as it protects you from possible diseases, provides joint support, and keeps you mobile. It’s certainly not a magic wand for weight loss either, but combined with the right lifestyle, DHEA can lead to promising benefits. While calorie intake and energy expenditure are the most important factors in determining your weight and body fat, hormones play a crucial role, too. DHEA helps improve the body’s natural ability to use energy and burn fat, two metabolic processes that naturally decline as we get older. It is also important to note that it is not a synthetic steroid or performance enhancer that promotes abnormal muscle growth but instead works for repairment purposes, helping the body recover from intense training and exercise.
It’s not news that inflammation is tied to just about every health problem and is a precursor for many diseases. Restoring DHEA production, both naturally with certain lifestyle habits and also through the use of supplements, can improve many qualities that you begin to lose as you age, such as the body’s ability to fight inflammation quickly. It has been known for a long time that DHEA can lower the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory cytokine (meaning a chemical messenger used by the immune system) that seriously escalates the inflammatory process, recruiting immune cells that often end up destroying healthy tissue as well . If you want a solution to fighting stress and giving your body what it deserves, it might be useful to look into supplementation with DHEA.
According to some studies, higher levels of DHEA may lower rates of stress and improve overall emotional stability. Research suggests that supplementing with DHEA can help lower mood-related symptoms, including loss of energy, lack of motivation, and inability to cope with stress. DHEA helps balance the production of other hormones needed to maintain a positive outlook and keep your energy levels where they should be throughout the day.
DHEA supplementation may help in promoting hormone balance for those above the age of 30, which is why it might be crucial to optimize those levels if they become deficient. It is generally considered safe when taken in low doses. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any supplementation regimen.