DHEA supplement may provide the elderly with numerous health benefits including more energy, strong muscles and bones, better mood, balanced hormone levels, improved sexual function, healthy immune function, and improved brain and heart health. It is no surprise that DHEA supplemntation is getting quite popular as an anti-aging tool.
Each capsule contains 25 mg of DHEA.
Take one capsule a day or as recommended by a healthcare professional. The usual starting dose of DHEA is 25 mg a day. Then, you can slowly increase it under the supervision of a doctor.*
What is DHEA anyway?
DHEA stands for DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE. It is a hormone which is produced mainly by the adrenal glands – two tiny structures sitting on top of your kidneys. It is also produced by the testis, ovaries, skin, and brain.
DHEA is produced from cholesterol. There is some concern that too low of cholesterol may decrease its levels.
DHEA is a hormone by itself but it a lso converts into testosterone and estrogen in both women and men.
Why do DHEA levels go down?
- Age – Your DHEA levels go down as you age. It is called “adrenopause”. By the age of 70–80 years, your level of DHEA may be as low as 10%–20% of your young age.
- severe systemic illness
- anorexia nervosa
- adrenal insufficiency
Symptoms of Low DHEA
- Chronic fatigue
- Weak muscles
- Weak bones
- Decreased sense of well-being
- Poor immune function
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Vaginal dryness and pain during sex in women
Potential Benefits of DHEA supplements
With DHEA supplementation we can boost our DHEA levels back into the healthy range. Numerous scientific studies support the following health benefits of DHEA supplements:
May improve muscle mass and prevent fracture
Most people break their bones after they take a fall. One of the major risk factors for falls in the elderly is muscle weakness. Your muscle mass decreases with age at a rate of 6% per decade, beginning around age 45. The risk for a bone fracture goes high as we age: 51% for women and 20% for men after the age of 50 are at risk of having a bone fracture.
Studies show DHEA supplementation may improve your body composition, muscle strength, and physical performance.1 Hence, decreasing the odds of a fall and bone fracture. In addition, improved muscle mass gives you more energy and keeps you active. In this way, you can ward off many medical issues that arise due to physical inactivity.
May improve bone density
Studies show a beneficial effect of DHEA supplementation on the bone density in the elderly men and women. For example, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA enrolled 10 elderly women and 8 men in the study. And gave them 50 mg of DHEA supplement per day for six months. At the end of six months, there was a significant improvement in the Bone Density of these individuals as compared to the control group.2
DHEA Supplements may improve depression
Results of several studies show that DHEA levels go down in depression.3 For this reason, DHEA supplementation may improve depression. Indeed, that is true according to several studies. In one such study, researchers from University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, USA observed a more than 50% improvement in the depression score of their patients who receieved DHEA supplement as compared to placebo-group. 4
Good for the cardiovascular health
Studies show low DHEA is associated with high risk for ischemic heart disease.5
This raises question if DHEA supplementation may reduce the risk heart disease and cardiovascular mortality. The answer is probably yes. Several animal studies have suggested a beneficial effect of DHEA supplement against atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries. 6
What about human studies in this regard. There are several studies in humans that show its beneficial effect on the heart. In one study, an increase of DHEA levels by 100 μg/dL was associated with a reduction of all cause mortality by 36% and cardiovascular mortality by 48%, which is quite impressive.7
DHEA supplements may improve sexual function in men and women
Low DHEA levels have been related to a higher risk for erectile dysfunction in the aging men.8 For this reason, researchers from University of Vienna, Austria decided to give DHEA supplement – 50 mg per day – to 20 elderly men with erectile dysfunction at their impotence clinic. There was a control group of 20 elderly men who received a placebo pill. All these men were otherwise healthy. The study lasted six months. The results were encouraging: There was a significant improvement in erectile function, desire, sexual interest, sexual activity, arousal, and fantasy.9
In one study from Laval University Hospital Research Center and Laval University, Quebec, Canada, researchers decided to administer DHEA (Prasterone) intra-vaginally in 216 postmenopausal women with moderate to severe symptoms of vaginal atrophy. The results were impressive. There was a significant improvement in all aspects of sexuality: improved sexual arousal, sensation, lubrication, orgasm, and relief of pain during sexual activity.10
Use of DHEA supplement is generally safe.
In women, only minimal adverse effects have been reported such as mild acne, seborrhea, facial hair growth, and ankle swelling.
However, you probably should avoid DHEA supplements if you have – or a history of – breast or endometrial cancer. Along the same line, men with prostate cancer should avoid DHEA supplements.
Discuss with your healthcare professional before taking DHEA supplement.
Usual dose of DHEA supplement is 25-50 mg per day. Doses up 100 mg have been used in clinical studies and found to be safe. It is a good idea to start low such as 25 mg dose and then increase slowly.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product in not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.