DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is the most abundant anabolic steroid (protein-building hormone) in the body, produced mainly by the adrenal glands, but also by the brain, the gonads, and the skin. Despite the fact that we have so much of it in our bodies, it’s often overlooked, and has long been undervalued and misunderstood.
We’ve know for a long time that DHEA is a precursor (basically, an ingredient) of other hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. But we’ve only recently discovered that it has its own benefits, and quite a few of them, at that.
So what does DHEA do?
DHEA is an immune system stimulator, it helps elevate mood, energy, it has anti-cancer properties. It increases insulin sensitivity, which means it allows your body to integrate sugar into its cells more easily and prevents diabetes. It helps increase joint flexibility, strength and muscle mass, as well as a healthy sex drive. In other words, it’s no minor player; it’s a critical hormone!
Symptoms of low DHEA are pretty much indicated by the absence of all the above: fluctuating mood, stiffness, low sex drive, and so on. Unfortunately, most people experience drops in DHEA levels beginning at around age 20. In fact, by age 40, most have only half of the DHEA they had when they were 20.
This is doubly bad news when you consider that optimal DHEA levels are one of the two unambiguous markers for longevity (the other is caloric restriction). That means optimal DHEA levels are a definitive factor for living longer.
What can I do if my DHEA levels are falling?
First, get your levels checked!
At The Body Well, aside from assessing possible low DHEA-related symptoms as well as other key hormonal deficiencies, we do test for levels of DHEA-sulphate (the measurable form of DHEA in the bloodstream) during our initial blood work. If we find that you do have low DHEA, there’s a simple enough solution: supplementation.
Although supplements are readily available, it’s important to find the right ones! You can go to your local grocery store and find DHEA in the health & nutrition section, but over-the-counter DHEA may not be pharmaceutical-grade and often has fillers and additives that can interfere with efficacy or even be unhealthy to consume. That’s why it’s essential to get pharmaceutical-grade or custom compounded DHEA.
For an evaluation of your DHEA levels and to take the first step in optimizing your health, call The Body Well today at (323) 874-9355 and schedule an evaluation. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.