DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), is one of the circulating steroids in the human body and is found in abundance. DHEA hormone is produced in the adrenal gland, brain, and gonads. The adrenal glands are just above the kidneys and the gonads glands — testicles in men and ovaries in women. In relation to infertility, specifically in conjunction with IVF, a DHEA supplement would benefit women undergoing treatment for Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) — a consequence of natural female ageing or Premature Ovarian Ageing (POA). It can also prove to be helpful in depression, menopause, anti-ageing, and improving physical performance.
DHEA Hormone Benefits
DHEA plays a vital role in several bodily functions. Some of the most common DHEA uses or benefits include:
- It helps to slow or reverse the ageing process
- Studies show that it may help in slowing down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease
- It helps improve thinking skills in old people
- It improves physical performance
- It improves sexuality in men & women
- It helps correcting sexual dysfunction
- Improves well-being among men & women
- Helpful in improving insulin sensitivity and blood vessel function
- Helps treat vaginal atrophy
- Contributes in preventing metabolic syndrome
- Keeps you safe from diabetes
- Helps in preventing infertility
- Slows progression of Parkinson’s disease
- It helps treat osteoporosis
DHEA Supplement Benefits
We know that DHEA hormone is made naturally in the human body. Scientists have managed to produce DHEA in the laboratory using chemicals found in soy and wild yam. However, it is important to understand that there are no natural food sources of DHEA because our body cannot extract DHEA from food sources, not even from wild yam. Therefore, the only way we can improve DHEA levels in our bodies is through supplements.
There are many DHEA supplements available in the market. These supplements affect the male & female sex hormones and influence their production, efficacy, and function.
- Among the many DHEA supplement benefits, the main advantage is seen in improving libido as it increases free testosterone levels.
- DHEA supplement helps women too by enhancing ovarian reserve and improving egg quality.
- These supplements may increase estrogen and testosterone levels in pre & postmenopausal women to decrease menopausal symptoms. Therefore, they help improve their sexual well-being.
- When DHEA is taken for fertility, women have a higher chance of live birth than others.
- DHEA supplements take care of the skin in older people, help treat vaginal atrophy in women, and improve some of the psychological conditions.
- Women sometimes use DHEA inside the vagina to strengthen the walls of the vagina.
- A significant DHEA use is its role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. DHEA stimulates blood vessels to open wider resulting in improved blood flow. As a result, there is improved sex drive and a better mental state.
- Among the many DHEA Benefits for men, is its role in young men’s development. DHEA is known to contribute to male sexual characteristics like puberty, body odour, public hair, and oily skin. Improvement of these characteristics makes them more confident and attractive.
- People with HIV also take it sometimes to ease depression and fatigue. Some studies have shown that DHEA helps reduce abdominal fat and insulin resistance which is linked to type 2 diabetes.
- DHEA helps in slowing down the ageing process. It helps in the thinking skills of older people. DHEA use is also seen in the treatment and management of Alzheimer’s.
DHEA Daily Dosage
Doctors do not mention any standard dose of DHEA. However, studies say that people are prescribed a dose of 25 to 200 mg a day or sometimes a little higher. Ultimately, it depends upon the medical conditions of the person under treatment and thus the consulting doctor would be the best judge to decide upon the dosage.
DHEA Side-Effects and Precautions
Though we have discussed various benefits of DHEA hormone, it’s necessary to know the side effects of unsupervised or excessive use of DHEA supplements and the required precautions:
- DHEA may reduce high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol levels, so people with cholesterol levels should ask their doctor before starting the supplement
- The unsupervised use of DHEA may worsen psychiatric disorders & increase the risk of mania for those who suffer from mood disorders.
- Excessive use of DHEA may result in stomach upset, high blood pressure, changes in the menstrual cycle, acne, oily skin, unwanted male-pattern growth of body & facial hair, and fatigue.
- Since DHEA can raise the levels of both male & female hormones, there are chances of supplements having a negative effect on hormone-sensitive cancers like breast or prostate cancers.
- Men also may develop extra breast tissues or suffer from high blood pressure.
There are many benefits of DHEA hormone. It is naturally produced in the body but its levels remain normal for almost up to the age of 30 years. Thereafter, they start to drop. Although, a natural process, if the decrease in DHEA is affecting your health or chances of conception, try taking DHEA supplements. However, you must consult your doctor for the correct dosage and reliable brand to gain maximum DHEA benefits.