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DHEA is an essential hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is a key player in sexual development, metabolism, and energy levels.
Experts believe that our bodies produce less and less DHEA as we age. This can lead to a host of problems, including sexual dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, and more. But don’t start worrying just yet.
The good news is that DHEA levels can be easily restored with supplementation. DHEA supplements are available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, creams, and more.
If you are looking for a way to boost your energy levels, lose weight, or improve your sex life, consider trying a DHEA supplement.
Today we’ll be looking at how DHEA is essential to your overall health.
What is DHEA?
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a building block for estrogen and testosterone. It is a key player in sexual development, metabolism, and energy levels.
One question I get all the time is what the difference is between DHEA and DHEAS. Well, they are the same yet different at the same time.
Let me explain.
Both DHEA and DHEAS promote glutamate and dopamine release. Both activate serotonin receptors and inhibit GABA A, D2 dopamine, and glycine receptors. In short, both regulate cognitive function and work as building blocks for estrogen and testosterone. DHEA and DHEAS work as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective hormones.
Differences Between The Two
The difference is that DHEAS works like a slow-release tablet working for the long-term, consistent result. DHEA works instantly. This is because DHEAS is sulfated. Close to 97 percent of all DHEA found in the bloodstream is sulfated (DHEAS), which is why the DHEA Sulfate test only tests that form of the hormone.
So, in this article, I’ll be using them both interchangeably, but I’m referring to them as a whole, not as one being different from the other.
Men and DHEA
DHEA is found in men and women and works similarly. DHEAS enhances the health of male sex hormones by increasing testosterone levels. A 2013 study discovered that taking 50 milligrams of DHEAS per day increased free testosterone levels in middle-aged men who perform high-intensity interval training.
DHEAS regulates other hormone secretion in the adrenal glands.
Women and DHEA
DHEA is a common ingredient in anti-aging and hormone replacement therapies for women. A recent study showed that DHEA supplementation increased bone density and improved the quality of life in postmenopausal women.
Other studies have found that DHEAS can improve sexual function, reduce abdominal fat and hot flashes, and increase muscle mass in postmenopausal women.
A one-year study proved that DHEA supplementation improves bone density in women but not in men. The study was performed on 225 healthy adults between the ages of 55 and 85. Subjects either took DHEA supplements or a placebo.
After the one-year mark, the women who took the DHEA supplement had an enhanced bone density level. On the other hand, men showed no significant changes in mineral bone density.
Enhances Ovarian Reserve
Since DHEA supports the production of estrogen and testosterone. It is a driving force in egg quality, which means the likelihood of conceiving is much higher. Not to mention, DHEA is necessary for the brain development of the fetus.DHEA increases bone density and supports the production of estrogen and testosterone in women. Click To Tweet
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfates are endogenous androgens that are produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA sulfates are the most abundant circulating androgens in humans.
DHEA sulfates can be converted into testosterone and estradiol. These hormones play essential roles in sexual function, muscle mass, and bone density.
DHEA Sulfate Test
The Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate test works by measuring the DHEA sulfates in the blood. The test is useful because it helps you determine if your adrenal glands are working as they should. It can also determine disorders in the testicles and ovaries.
Believe it or not, the DHEA sulfate test can even diagnose tumors in the adrenal glands. The test is done via a blood test. It’s a simple process that requires no special preparation or fasting.
The blood sample is then analyzed to determine your test results. Most receive their test measures in a few days. If you’re interested in getting the DHEA sulfate test, talk to your doctor. They can order the test for you and help you understand your results.
Let’s talk about adrenal glands and the vital role they play in one’s overall health.
The adrenal glands are two small, triangular-shaped glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They produce a variety of hormones that help regulate many essential functions in the body, including metabolism, blood pressure, and stress response.
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that can occur when the adrenal glands become unable to produce enough hormones. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, and mood changes.
One of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands is DHEA. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. It plays a role in maintaining energy levels, immune system function, and cognitive function.
Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA and Cognitive Function
Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA positively impacts cognitive function and can improve memory formation.
DHEA has been found to protect the brain from age-related damage and to improve cognitive function in elderly people. It is also being studied as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
DHEAS may be a good option for people looking to maintain or improve their cognitive function as they age.
Let’s talk about gender differences in cognitive functioning with DHEAS supplementation.
Studies show that men and women with higher DHEAS blood levels have better global cognition. They performed better on tasks that measured memory, attention, and executive function.
However, when it comes down to women, increased DHEAS levels led to more enhanced verbal fluency, working memory, and attention than men.
DHEA and Immune System Function
DHEA plays a role in immune system function and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.
DHEAS stimulates the secretion of IL-2, which is an essential cytokine for the immune system. It also increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection.
DHEAS has been shown to be helpful in treating conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, both of which are autoimmune diseases.
DHEA supplementation has also been shown to improve symptoms of Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease.
The evidence suggests that DHEAS can be beneficial for people with autoimmune diseases and other conditions characterized by inflammation.
DHEA and the Pituitary Gland
DHEA is also involved in the regulation of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is responsible for releasing several hormones, including growth hormone and prolactin. It is well known as the “master gland” because it regulates the body through the hormones it secretes.
Adrenal insufficiency is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones. Some serious side effects may include fatigue, low blood pressure, and dark circles under the eyes. Treatment options include hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle changes.
Many believe that it is the underlying reason for female sexual dysfunction that results in low serum androgen levels. Therefore, incorporating the supplementation may indeed help with vaginal dryness, mood changes, irregular periods, and even chills and hot flashes.
DHEAS is not recommended for use in children or adolescents as this is when natural DHEA levels are highest. If you are considering taking DHEA, talk to your healthcare provider to weigh the risks and benefits.
Healthy Levels of DHEA
Here are the healthy levels of DHEA by age and gender.
DHEAS Levels in Women
18-year-old women have a standard range of 145 to 395 micrograms per deciliter. Then DHEAS begin to decline with age. Women in their 20s typically range between 65 and 380 mcg.
The normal range for DHEAS for women in their 30s is 45 to 270 mg/dl, dropping again in their 40s to 32 to 240 mcg/dl. As women continue to age, the normal level of DHEAS continues to decrease.
Once they reach the age of 50, the normal range of DHEAS is 26 to 200 mcg/dl. After 60, DHEA levels are 17 to 90 mcg/dl.
One thing I’d like to mention here is that these are ranges are “considered” normal. That doesn’t mean these are the DHEAS levels you will experience.
As always, the better you take care of your body, the more it will take care of you. I do and will always believe that people who eat healthily, rest adequately, and manage their stress will see slower declines as my clients and I have. Getting your body to a place where it’s self-healing and taking care of you is not hard, but it does take practice.
I am here to help you master that practice. Contact me anytime and I will help you create a program that not only gets you the results you want but help you create a healthy lifestyle that you can stick to for years to come.
DHEAS Levels in Men
Men have different levels of DHEAS as they age. An 18-year-old man has a standard range of 145 to 395 micrograms per deciliter. In their 20s, the normal range is still high at 65 to 380 mcg/dl. The 30s bring a decrease in the normal range to 45 to 270 mcg/dl.
Once they reach their 40s, DHEAS levels decrease even more to 32 to 240 mcg/dl. The 50-year-old man has a standard range of 26 to 200 mcg/dl. After 60, the average level decreases again to 13 to 130 mcg/dl.
Low Versus High Levels of DHEAS
Low levels of DHEAS may indicate that the person has a deficiency of the adrenal gland. Symptoms may include fatigue, low blood pressure, and dark circles under the eyes.
Tumors can cause high levels of DHEAS on the adrenal gland or ovarian cancer. It can also be caused by taking certain medications such as testosterone and prednisone.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with low or high levels of DHEAS, talk to your healthcare provider. They will be able to diagnose the condition and recommend the appropriate treatment.
The dosage for DHEA can vary depending on the condition being treated. The dosage is typically 5-15 mg per day for adrenal insufficiency.
The recommended dosage is 25-200 mg per day for healthy adults. It should be taken with food.
If you are considering taking DHEAS, talk to your healthcare provider to weigh the risks and benefits. Dosage may vary depending on the condition being treated.
Supplementing with DHEAS
DHEA supplements are available over-the-counter and online. It is important to choose a reputable brand. Look for a brand that uses Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and is third-party tested.
Before taking a DHEA supplement, talking to your healthcare provider is important. DHEA can interact with other medications, which may not be safe for everyone. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should not take DHEA supplements.
Pregnant women who supplement with DHEAS run the risk of several congenital disabilities, including ambiguous genitalia.
My Experience with DHEA Supplementation
I’ve been taking DHEA since I was in my early 20s. I am currently 39 years old. I’ve only had positive experiences with the supplement. I’ve never had any side effects from taking it. I take it every day, and I think it has helped me in several ways.
My energy levels are more regulated. I’m able to retain muscle mass. Another thing that I notice is that my skin is smoother. I don’t get acne, my hair is growing, and my memory is sharp even when I’m tired.
I also think DHEA has helped me cognitively. Even when I’m tired, I’m able to think more clearly. I credit all of this to the regular supplementation of DHEA.
While I believe wholeheartedly in DHEA supplementation, you need to do your own research to determine if it is a good option for you long-term.
Before taking DHEAS, I recommend talking to your healthcare provider, as it may not suit everyone.
Also, if you are interested in managing your testosterone levels more effectively or know someone who wants to, check out my ebook, Masculine Awakening, A Simple Guide To Improving Testosterone Levels. It is a great way to better understand how testosterone levels are impacted and what natural steps you can take to become healthier.
I hope that you find this article useful and that it provides information that you didn’t know before about DHEA. It is a great supplement that can enhance your overall health. Let me know your thoughts and experience with the supplement in the comments below.