Most women have heard about HRT, hormone replacement therapy, and possibly about the dangers that have come to light in recent years. However, have you heard about DHEA therapy? This little known and only recently heralded hormone precursor is getting a bit of bad publicity in recent years by some, but here are some facts to back up its use and desirable benefits.
The recent studies about DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) have shown many surprising things about this chemical, which is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands and is a precursor for several different hormones in both men and women. It wasn’t even discovered until 1934, and for years was thought to be of no or little use. The general public did not learn about DHEA until 1996, when the benefits were exposed by the news media. The medical establishment took it more seriously when the New York Academy of Sciences published a book called “DHEA and Aging”. That book provided solid, scientific evidence of the many life-extending effects of DHEA.
It has been proven that serum levels of DHEA start to decrease with age, and by the mid-60’s most men and women have lost around 80% of this chemical production in the body. In youth, the peak production is around age 25. This is just one hormone of many that decreases with age, but taking supplements of DHEA is a proven safe and effective way to boost almost all of the other hormones. The real benefits of DHEA are that this hormone only increases other hormones as needed by the body, it is like a “master” hormone that keeps the others in check. Thus taking up to 50 mg. of DHEA poses no health risk, but will help to raise the female hormones estradiol and progesterone only when they are already low. It also raises testosterone levels in both men and women, which is the main hormone that increases the libido in both.
Studies have been done to prove the safety of this hormone, which is why it is sold over the counter in most pharmacies and grocery stores. A year-long study known as the DHEAge study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Their conclusion was that these test “confirmed the lack of harmful consequences of this 50 mg/day DHEA administration” over one year. They further concluded that the therapy helped to “normalize” the effects of aging in the subjects. Sounds pretty safe, doesn’t it? In addition, the benefits to menopausal women are unbelievable. An increase in bone density, increased libido, reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, and lowered cholesterol levels.
Why don’t doctors recommend this miracle cure for women then? Some do, although since they gain nothing from women taking it (since it’s an OTC medicine) they would rather stay the course of pharmaceutical therapies which are still in use. Ask your doctor about it, and then try it yourself. Soon you may be singing it’s praises too!