Aging Misconceptions

DHEA (i.e. Dehydroepiandrosterone)

DHEA is short for dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone made by the adrenal glands located just above the kidneys. Scientists have known about this hormone since 1934 and there have been thousands of articles published about it since then. However, only a small percentage of these studies have involved human subjects.

More than 150 hormones are known to be synthesized by the adrenal glands. However, the most abundant hormone made by the adrenal glands is DHEA. After DHEA is made by these glands it goes into the bloodstream, and from then on it travels all over the body and goes into our cells, where it is converted into male hormones, known as androgens, or female hormones, known as estrogens.

DHEA and other hormones have been touted as having anti-aging potential. There have not been any long-term human studies at this time to prove whether replacing DHEA as we age will help us live longer. However, when used appropriately, most people do notice improvement in their quality of life, including mood, energy, sexual drive, memory, and even enhancement of visual and auditory perception. In animal studies, life was prolonged and at high quality. Because DHEA is sold over the counter, there is virtually no likelihood that longterm human tests will be conducted soon.

Too much DHEA is NOT OK. Studies on humans have shown a few side effects occurring at dosages of about 100mg/day. Consulting with your physician about taking DHEA is recommended.

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