DHEA

Allergies, arthritis, depression, emotional instability, fatigue, loss of libido, memory loss, stress, vaginal atrophy and dryness are some of the symptoms that may be caused by DHEA deficiency.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is one of the hormones mainly secreted from the adrenal gland and to a lesser extent from the gonads (ovaries and testicles). DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone circulating in the blood. It can be converted to other hormones as Testosterone and Estrogen, hence the label ‘mother of hormones’.

The functions of DHEA were not clearly understood until recently where studies have shown that DHEA has an antidepressant, memory enhancing, bone and muscle building effect. In addition to being a precursor of male and female sex hormones, DHEA can help improve sexual performance and libido in men and women.

Many studies have proven that DHEA has a cholesterol lowering effect and may protect against the development of obesity and abdominal fat accumulation. DHEA may also play a role in weight loss through increasing energy levels, muscle strength and physical activity tolerance.

DHEA levels decrease markedly with aging. This decrease led some scientists to call DHEA the Anti Aging hormone. Restoring DHEA levels through supplementation may help alleviate some of the symptoms of aging. This may be contributed to DHEA’s ability to improve skin thickness and texture as well increasing the sense of well being. A noticeable improvement in sexual abilities, memory, thinking skills, energy levels, muscle power have been noticed in people supplementing with DHEA.

DHEA has also been used with success in some autoimmune diseases as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. In some patients, DHEA supplementation helped to reduce the number of flare ups and brought relief from some of the physical symptoms. This effect was translated into a reduction in the total amount of medication normally required by such patients.

Due to its energy and mood enhancing effects, DHEA has been used in patients with adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. DHEA can also be used in patients with anorexia nervosa to improve their bone mineral density and their sense of well being.

Some recent studies have demonstrated that DHEA has anti tumour, anti proliferative and chemopreventetive effects in many tumour cells specifically cervical and breast cancer cells. However these results are preliminary.

Bioidentical DHEA supplementation is similar in structure to the DHEA our body produces. In New Zealand , DHEA is a prescription only product however many practitioners may not be aware of it.

Please feel free to contact us should you require any additional information about DHEA and where to obtain it in New Zealand or if you would like to speak to a Pharmacist by phone 0800 HORMONE (NZ) or email info@pharmaceutical.co.nz