In the beauty and alternative medicine markets, men and women, alike, are searching for the quick solution to improve the appearance of aging while slowing the aging process of the internal organs. For many, the use of DHEA, a steroid hormone supplement, has become common. Considered the master of all hormones supplements, DHEA has hit mainstream society by storm claiming to improve aging and provide health benefits from weight control to the prevention of cancer and heart disease. Understanding the health implications associated with DHEA, will provide for a more educated consumer in terms of health, aging and longevity.
In today’s research, DHEA is believed to be a closely related steroid based hormone which connects to estrogen in women and testosterone in men. Produced from cholesterol and the adrenal glands, DHEA peaks during the 20s and 30s with a decline thereafter. A sort of bell graph development, DHEA begins to develop in early childhood, peaking in early adulthood and then tapering with age.
At present, DHEA hormone supplements are sold over the counter. However, the FDA often waivers on the sale approval of DHEA and, in the past, placed regulation to require a prescription. Because the use and side effects of DHEA are unknown, the FDA is in a quandary as to what to do with the DHEA supplements.
For anyone considering the purchase of DHEA supplements, over the counter, the common consensus among most healthcare professionals is to limit the consumption of this steroid based hormone to no more than 5 milligrams. Because the excessive use of DHEA has been linked to cardiac disorders, such as arrhythmias, any use of DHEA beyond 5 milligrams is highly discouraged.
For individuals seeking weight loss, DHEA provides a precursor to the development of the sex hormones estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. In balancing the sex hormones, DHEA may attribute to a better sense of well being and improve metabolic response. However, DHEA is not shown to directly produce a weight loss effect. In theory, DHEA can improve weight control through indirect processes by placing a direct impact on hormones, thereby improving mood and, consequently, decreasing in fatigue allowing for the individual to feel more energized and able to perform exercise routines more effectively.
When choosing to use 5 milligrams of DHEA, a combination approach to health should be implemented including improved dietary intake and an increase in exercise. With these three components, health may improve dramatically over a three month period. But, without the proper diet and exercise, DHEA has not been proven to provide a therapeutic benefit alone.
As with any hormonal supplement, both prescribed and non-prescribed, consultation with a healthcare professional is always recommended. For more information regarding DHEA, visit www.fda.gov.