The benefits of DHEA for antiaging are a controversial subject. However, scientific evidence exists to suggest that a DHEA supplement can have beneficial effects on health. DHEA levels seem to affect longevity as well.
What is DHEA?
DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone is a prohormone, which is a hormone that is used by the body to make another hormone, in this case androstenedione, which in turn is converted by the body into testosterone (male hormone), estrone, and estradiol (female hormones).
DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) is the sulfated form, which is made in the liver from DHEA taken orally. DHEA levels reach their peak in the morning, while DHEAS levels remain stable throughout the day.
DHEA can “aromatize” meaning it can be converted into estrogens as well as testosterone. 7-Keto DHEA is often used instead, as it cannot be converted to estrogens, but still retains some of the benefits of regular DHEA.
What Are The Benefits of DHEA?
This is a really controversial area, because some studies have shown health benefits and other studies have shown no benefit. Common sense would suggest that if it were truly ineffective, then ALL studies would show no benefit.
My feeling is that some of these studies were probably not conducted properly, or worse, involved deliberate tampering and or skewing of the results. This unfortunately is all too common in scientific research.
Some of the alleged benefits of DHEA are:
- Protects the cardiovascular system
- Protects the health of the brain
- Helps combat depression
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Enhances the function of the immune system
- Improves body composition
My own personal experience with DHEA has been positive. Within a few days of taking 25mg/day, I noted increased energy, and began to feel trimmer in the abdominal area. Still my response to DHEA seemed too strong to be just coincidence. I have experimented with lower dosages and even feel a positive effect from as little as 10mg/day!
Please note that one person’s experiences with a DHEA supplement cannot be considered proper scientific evidence to support claims about the benefits of DHEA. The scientific standard is “double blind placebo controlled” tests using a large enough number of people for the results to be considered valid. Please keep this in mind when reading about someone’s personal experiences with drugs or food supplements
DHEA and Antiaging
The famous Baltimore Study done on aging men seemed to point to DHEA levels being important in the aging process. That is, the higher the DHEA levels, the healthier the men remained into advanced age.
Three factors were noted in the study that all seemed to correlate with healthier aging:
- High DHEA levels
- High insulin sensitivity
- Lower than average body temperature
If you are considering using a DHEA supplement, please take the time to do some further reading and research. The use of hormones is more serious than vitamins or minerals, and so you will want to be sure you understand the risks as well as the benefits from doing so.
Scientists are still not sure how all these factors are related, however it has been noted that the relationship between insulin, cortisol, and DHEA is very important from an aging standpoint.
DHEA levels are one of the strongest predictors of healthy longevity!
While some studies have not shown benefits from a DHEA supplement, the weight of scientific evidence seems to indicate rather strongly that the benefits of DHEA are very real. For guidance in regard to taking DHEA, seek out the advice of an antiaging doctor, check out Dr. Ray Sahelian M.D.’s book: “Dhea – A Practical guide!”