Your Cart

No items in your cart

The Science of DHEA

With numerous functions all round the body, DHEA is often touted as the 'anti-aging' hormone, since it is the major precursor hormone that helps create both testosterone and estrogen in our bodies. Studies into DHEA in older adults, as well as women who are post-menopausal, have found that higher DHEA levels are associated with greater immunity, greater muscle mass, lower cortisol (thus stress), and much more! This particular study was a comprehensive review of these other studies - let's take a look!

The authors of this study did note two overall issues with all the studies on DHEA; firstly DHEA is unpredictable in how it affects women, thus getting consistency in outcomes can be very challenging, and secondly, studies have varied wildly in delivery mechanism (Oral or topical), dosage, and purpose. However, they did note some overlap in the results.

  • Vulvovaginal atrophy = whilst oral DHEA has no effect, topical DHEA has been found to greatly help with VVA, likely due to the increases in estrogen (and the end stage estriol).
  • Cardiovascular = there is a correlation between low DHEA and cardio diseases; DHEA is inversely associated with cholesterol levels, obesity, and diabetes as well. Whilst more studies need done, preliminary research suggests DHEA is associated with heart health.
  • Metabolism = Whilst there is a growing body of evidence that suggests DHEA's effects on sex hormones helps metabolic rate, this one is harder for researchers to pin down. It seems that DHEA plays a role in lipid levels and insulin resistance, but not weight loss.
  • Immune system = A number of studies reported the improvement in well-being, such as mood, fatigue, and energy in DHEA users. For those with autoimmunne disorders, whilst DHEA would not be advised as a treatment alone, it certainly shows promise as a supplementation regime.
  • Cognition = In terms of cognitive effects, studies show DHEA may enhance the sense of well-being. Research found that low levels of DHEAS correlate with the degree of dependence in daily activities, and are seen in people with poor health due to stress-related immunological dysregulation.
  • Muscle Mass = DHEA replacement can cause small increases in testosterone, which assists muscle strength and massIn addition, DHEA replacement can decrease intra-abdominal fat, increase insulin action and glucose tolerance, and increase muscle mass and strength caused by resistance training.
  • Well-Being = Multiple studies have found lowered serum concentrations of DHEA in patients with poor life quality, psychosocial stress, and functional impairment. Higher concentrations of DHEA have been connected to better functioning, greater enjoyment of leisure activities, and overall higher life satisfaction. In another study, 80% of postmenopausal women undergoing DHEA treatment reported improved well-being and vitality!
  • Stress = DHEA can exert both anti-glucocorticoid and anti-inflammatory effects in response to acute stress, and has a positive correlation with cognitive function. Likewise, when there are lower levels of DHEA, one is more likely to be depressed or subject to psychiatric disorder. In a nutshell, DHEA can definitely help with stress levels!