DHEA, the Rejuvenating Molecule.
How Much Do You Have Left?
By the NaturalsPro Staff
For years, they called it names. A junk steroid, they sneered. They left it on the shelf. They said its only value was as a “mother” steroid---a pathway to testosterone and estradiol steroid synthesis.
But what a mother! DHEA just may be the Queen Mother of steroids that are manufactured by cholesterol in the body. DHEA is the mother of all steroids because it is the most common steroid in the human body. In addition, it is the mother to 18 different downstream molecules essential to ageless health. DHEA’s scientific name is dehydroepiandrosterone. It is produced by the adrenal glands, but unfortunately, its adrenal gland output declines every year after our early 20s.
DHEA has finally come down off the scientific shelf to dazzle a whole new generation of scientists seeking the mother lode of youth serums---and by serums I do not mean anything cosmetic. The fanfare has been deafening and the press coverage has been extensive. DHEA and its sulfated derivative DHEA-S certainly seem to have profound inhibitory or rejuvenating effects on many of the body’s aging mechanisms. Researchers have found that heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity are just some of the things DHEA combats or controls in animals (1).
The body uses DHEA to manufacture many other steroids, peptides, and amino acids which control or direct various essential life processes in the body. The downstream steroids created by DHEA are used almost everywhere---the testes, ovaries, placenta, fetus, lungs, skin and brain.
A Stress Controller
Adequate levels of DHEA in the bloodstream help control stress, maintain proper mineral levels, balance the production of testosterone and estradiol that maintain male and female characteristics, and help build lean body mass while reducing fatty tissue.
DHEA achieves this control by using a triage process that distributes DHEA and its downstream steroids mentioned above. This triage works as long as sufficient DHEA is supplemented or produced by the adrenal glands. Without sufficient DHEA, our organs and the cells of our body begin to deteriorate.
Early studies indicate that DHEA may possibly help to thwart Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and memory loss as we age.
DHEA can reduce infection and protect the immune system. And there is evidence that DHEA modulates obesity, stress fatigue, hypertension, memory, collagen, skin integrity, and depression (2). Researchers believe DHEA may strengthen bones, muscles, and the immune system, while providing a new weapon against lupus and diabetes.
Now, if we could only figure out how. The biological role of DHEA in human aging remains undefined or, as researchers say, “its physiological importance is unclear,” and most of the research has been done on lab animals.
Remarkable Biomarker of Human Aging
This much we do know: DHEA is our most significant endocrine biomarker, decreasing in the human body as we progressively age. It reaches its highest concentration by our early 20s and declines precipitously as the body ages. By the time you reach 60 years of age, your DHEA levels have decreased significantly. Because of DHEA’s dramatic decline in our aging bodies, many researchers have concluded that these declining levels are a major factor in aging and the onset of age-related diseases.
There are few studies involving human subjects; therefore, a recent yearlong study on 16 human subjects by Dr. Samuel Yen, M.D. of the U.C. San Diego Medical School has received a lot of focus (3). This double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study involved eight men and eight women over the age of 50.
“DHEA correction has both psychological and physiological benefits for the aging population,” Yen reported. “DHEA correction may, at a future date, be applicable for clinical use in the aging population.”
Impressive Results with DHEA
The goal of Yen’s study was to measure DHEA’s effect on several biological endpoints. Each patient took either a 100 mg dose of DHEA or a placebo for the first six months, and they crossed over to take the opposite for the second six months. The results were impressive.
Fully 84 percent of the women and 67 percent of the men reported an increase in perceived psychological and physical wellbeing and increased ability to cope with stress. DHEA blood levels were restored to those found in young adults within two weeks of DHEA corrective therapy and stayed at those levels throughout consistent DHEA use.
Blood levels of IGF-1 (or insulin-like growth factor) increased significantly in both women and men. This growth factor declines with age and is important for promoting cellular growth and metabolism as well as modulating the immune system. DHEA also decreased blood levels of IGFBP, a protein that is an IGF-1 inhibitor. With its inhibitor out of the way, IGF-1 activity increased. Translation: cell rejuvenation.
Both the men and women in the study experienced an increase in muscle mass and muscle strength. Interestingly, although immune function in men improved, with a significant increase in the functioning of natural killer cells (immune system cells that fight viruses), this change was not observed in women. There was no change in libido, body fat percentage, or insulin sensitivity, which is involved in diabetes.
Yen’s study is one of nearly 5,000 in depth scientific and medical studies done to date on the use of DHEA, all of which have been conducted and completed in the laboratories of some of the top universities and medical research facilities in the world.
A Powerful Steroid Molecule Affecting Aging and Wrinkling
Just what is DHEA? DHEA is a powerful steroid molecule created in the body by cholesterol, one of the key building blocks of the body.
DHEA is an androgen, a class of steroid that has the tissue-building characteristics normally associated with male testosterone and female estradiol. Both testosterone and estradiol (an estrogen) can be made biochemically in the body from DHEA. In fact, before puberty, DHEA is a major raw material for these essential steroids. This is important because testosterone and estradiol also are involved in growth and repair of our bodies.
For example, the vertical lines on the upper lips of older women and men are caused by a lack of these two steroids. Indeed, a lack of the adrenal steroid, aldosterone causes periorbital rhytids or crow’s feet. Thus, applying our unique aldosterone lotion, AldoMax, to crow’s feet and lips will cause these signs of aging to diminish and eventually disappear. AldoMax is an all-natural way to eliminate some signs of aging without unpleasant surgical intervention.
DHEA is available throughout the body and is converted to stronger androgens, like testosterone, or estradiol, as required by a triage process. (Note that testosterone and estradiol are two sides of the same coin. Namely, chemically speaking, testosterone is the oxidized form of estradiol, and estradiol is the reduced form of testosterone.) Before puberty, the adrenal cortex manufacturers DHEA from cholesterol. This is why we must have a minimal amount of cholesterol, namely 150 milligrams per deciliter on a blood test, for normal health. Without this minimum, we would be lacking in DHEA and possibly 18 other vital downstream molecules that sustain us. At puberty, the male testes take over androgen production, far outstripping the adrenal cortexes production capacity. This brings on the adolescent growth spurt in boys, when skeletal muscles suddenly grow at a much greater rate under the influence of this new endocrine supply of male testes production (4).
The testes keep producing androgens for life, but unfortunately, this decreases at a rate of at least one or two percent per year after age 20. (This means at age 60, an average person will have lost about half of their DHEA production essential for normal health and lifespan.) Woman, however, must rely on the adrenal cortex for their androgenic molecules, which are needed for their tissue-building activities.
DHEA is released into circulation as a sulfate conjugate, DHEA-S, which is the most abundant steroid in the bloodstream. Several studies suggest that insulin might cause a decrease of DHEA-S secretion and, as insulin levels increase with age, this mechanism might contribute to the decrease in DHEA-S levels in older people.
Supercharging Your Life With A Steady-State Dose Of DHEA
Higher DHEA levels are associated with longer survival. Innovative health care providers are now prescribing DHEA for many patients. However, the proper physiologic dose is often unknown to practitioners. Therefore, we strongly recommend not taking DHEA at a dose of 50mg or higher daily. Second, we do not recommend doses taken “bolus” or all a once. A smarter approach is to use only 15 to 30 mg daily and consume it in a “sustained release tablet.” A sustained release tablet maintains a steady and even blood level of DHEA 24/7. Medical researchers call this ongoing maintenance process “steady state.”
For example, a sustained release tablet such as used in our product DHEA-Max, will slowly release into the bloodstream in a steady-state process and not be released all-at-once. Thus, DHEA-Max is a smarter supplemental approach to improving and maintaining your body’s 24/7 supply of DHEA without risk of overdose.
Because DHEA is classified as a food supplement, there are no FDA restrictions on it. Until there are more long-term studies on the effects of DHEA, smaller, sustained release doses are the most prudent way to take advantage of the anti-aging and life-enhancing qualities of this mother of all steroid molecules.
DHEA is shaping up as a potent weapon in the battle against advancing age and age-related diseases. Researchers are still studying its wide range of clinical uses. In the meantime, add it judiciously to your own private arsenal to ensure your continued good health and youthful vitality.
Buy DHEA-Max and AldoMax today and see if you don’t feel and appear more energetic and youthful!