In the 500 years since Juan Ponce de León went searching for the fountain of youth, an antidote for the aging process has continued to be a holy grail. With 17% of the North American population aged 60 or older, antiaging medicine remains a fast-growing industry, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplements have been touted as an antiaging "magic bullet" and cure for myriad health problems. Does the hope match the hype, or are consumers getting more—or less—than they expect when buying DHEA over the counter?
DHEA is a steroid prohormone that the human body transforms into androgens (including testosterone) or estrogens…
In America, land of the youth-obsessed, you can pick up DHEA at any pharmacy and, unsurprisingly, it is extremely popular with women in their 50s like me (I'm 51).
Low doses of DHEA can help sexual function and menopausal symptoms and may be used as a hormone replacement therapy alternative.
DHEA is a powerful hormone and supplement with potential to do a lot of good. Like everything else in the body, balance is the key. If you are considering DHEA supplementation, I recommend performing a salivary DHEA-cortisol test to see if you need it.
The researchers ended on a high note. DHEA, they wrote, may reverse the age-related accumulation of abdominal fat in the elderly. They also dangled out the possibility that the hormone could be used to prevent the development of prediabetic syndromes. If either came true, we'd be celebrating a fairly significant medical advance.
For women suffering from painful sex due to estrogen plummeting during perimenopause and menopause, listen up, there might be a new option on the horizon soon! A new DHEA vaginal suppository for treating vaginal dryness may be one step closer to government approval!
It sharpens the mind (brain fog, anyone?), improves sleep patterns and generally increases vitality and energy. In other words, ladies, DHEA is your friend.
As a supplement that can improve mood, libido, memory, and possibly alter body composition (i.e., increase muscle, improve bone density, and reduce bodyfat), DHEA appears to be a winner for women. Most of the research has been done in DHEA deficient populations, but data – and real world experience- suggests it’s also a benefit to women not medically deficient in this hormone.
How DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, came to enjoy legal protections granted by Congress -- at the very moment that steroid abuse was grabbing national headlines, and just months before Congress itself held hearings on the use of body-building drugs in professional baseball -- is a study in skillful political maneuvering, according to participants in the deal.
Snake oil or magic bullet? Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a biochemical precursor to the sex hormones androgen and estrogen, has been touted in the last few years as the next cure-all for various ailments associated with aging. Human epidemiological and pilot clinical studies suggest that elevated levels of DHEA in the blood may be beneficial in preventing heart disease, improving immune function and well-being in the elderly, and combating depression.
In the 500 years since Juan Ponce de León went searching for the fountain of youth, an antidote for the aging process has continued to be a holy grail. With 17% of the North American population aged 60 or older, antiaging medicine remains a fast-growing industry,1 and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplements have been touted as an antiaging "magic bullet" and cure for myriad health problems. Does the hope match the hype, or are consumers getting more—or less—than they expect when buying DHEA over the counter?