What is DHEA?
It’s no wonder they call DHEA the “mother of all hormones.” We need it to help us reach maturity – and to keep our systems on track. Secreted by the adrenal gland, it is the most abundant steroid in our bodies and serves as the foundation for male and female sex hormones (androgens and estrogens). DHEA is a precursor hormone, meaning that it plays a role in the production and function of many other hormones throughout the body. Being that DHEA is so critical to our delicate interplay of hormones, DHEA imbalances oftentimes lead to imbalances of other hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone and cortisol.
After the age of 30, DHEA levels begin to decrease, which “helps” the aging process. In fact, by age 70, we only produce about 10% of what we did as 20-year-olds. That certainly explains a lot!
What Does DHEA do?
Low levels of DHEA can cause symptoms including:
- Loss of strength and muscle mass
- Aching joints
- Decreased sex drive
- Impaired immune function
On the other hand, adequate DHEA levels can help:
- Increase testosterone levels
- Restore muscle mass
- Improve the body fat ratio
- Improve memory
- Boost the immune system
- Promote flexibility
- Raise endurance levels
In addition, DHEA can help combat auto-immune disorders, obesity, senile dementia, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.