Dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA, is a natural hormone produced primarily by the adrenal gland. It circulates in the body in its water-soluble form, called DHEA-sulfate or DHEAS. First isolated in 1934, it has, for many years been considered of little importance.
It is now known to be an essential component in a vast number of physiological functions in the body, including metabolic conversion to both male and female sex hormones (androgens and estrogens), and to have an inverse relationship to the production of stress hormones.
As levels of stress hormones rise, levels of DHEA drop. Blood levels of DHEA start rising before puberty and usually peak between the ages of twenty and thirty. At that time DHEA is the most abundant hormone in the body.
Unlike other adrenal steroids, such as cortisol, DHEA begins to steadily decline with age, suggesting that DHEA may be a measure of the aging process itself.
DHEA levels have been found to be higher in healthy individuals than in unhealthy men and women, which has initiated research linking DHEA to healthy aging.
More than 5000 research papers have appeared over the last three decades, suggesting a connection between DHEA levels and a great variety of diseases.
DHEA is currently the focus for some of the most interesting medical research of this century. DHEA does not seem to be controlled by a “feedback loop”, as with other hormones, and supplementation is not likely to stop the body’s own production.
Convince yourself of DHEA – DeHydroEpiAndrosterone – The Fountain of Youth.