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    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormonal agent produced by the body’s adrenal glands. The body utilizes DHEA to make androgens and estrogens, the male and female sex hormonal agents. DHEA levels peak at about age 25, then go down progressively as you get older. By the time people are 70 to 80 years of ages, their DHEA levels are only 10% to 20% those in young adults. [1]


    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormonal agent that is become male and female sex hormonal agents in the body. Prescription DHEA is used to deal with thin vaginal tissue.

    DHEA is made by the adrenal glands and by the liver. DHEA levels seem to decrease as individuals get older. DHEA levels appear to be lower in individuals with anxiety and after menopause.

    Individuals commonly use prescription DHEA for vaginal tissue thinning. DHEA supplements are utilized for aging skin, depression, infertility, muscle strength, cardiovascular disease, erectile dysfunction (ed), and numerous other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support a number of these other uses.

    DHEA is banned by the nationwide college athletic association (ncaa), the international olympic committee, and the world anti-doping firm (wada). Do not puzzle DHEA with 7-alpha-hydroxy-DHEA, 7-beta-hydroxy-DHEA, and 7-keto-DHEA. These are all different forms of DHEA but are not the like DHEA. [2]



    DHEA is produced in the zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex under the control of adrenocorticotropic hormone (acth) and by the gonads under the control of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh). It is also produced in the brain. DHEA is manufactured from cholesterol by means of the enzymes cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (cyp11a1; p450scc) and 17α-hydroxylase/ 17,20-lyase (cyp17a1), with pregnenolone and 17α-hydroxypregnenolone as intermediates. It is derived mostly from the adrenal cortex, with just about 10% being secreted from the gonads. Roughly 50 to 70% of distributing DHEA stems from desulfation of DHEA-s in peripheral tissues. DHEA-s itself comes from practically exclusively from the adrenal cortex, with 95 to 100% being secreted from the adrenal cortex in females.

    Increasing endogenous production

    Regular workout is known to increase DHEA production in the body. Calorie restriction has actually likewise been revealed to increase DHEA in primates. Some think that the increase in endogenous DHEA brought about by calorie constraint is partly responsible for the longer life expectancy understood to be connected with calorie limitation.


    In the blood circulation, DHEA is generally bound to albumin, with a percentage bound to sex hormone-binding globulin (shbg). The little rest of DHEA not connected with albumin or shbg is unbound and free in the flow.

    DHEA quickly crosses the blood– brain barrier into the central nervous system.


    DHEA is changed into DHEA-s by sulfation at the c3β position via the sulfotransferase enzymes sult2a1 and to a lesser degree sult1e1. This happens naturally in the adrenal cortex and during first-pass metabolic process in the liver and intestinal tracts when exogenous DHEA is administered orally. Levels of DHEA-s in circulation are around 250 to 300 times those of DHEA. DHEA-s in turn can be transformed back into DHEA in peripheral tissues through steroid sulfatase (sts).

    The terminal half-life of DHEA is short at only 15 to thirty minutes. On the other hand, the terminal half-life of DHEA-s is far longer, at 7 to 10 hours. As DHEA-s can be converted back into DHEA, it functions as a circulating reservoir for DHEA, thereby extending the duration of DHEA.

    Metabolites of DHEA consist of DHEA-s, 7α-hydroxy-DHEA, 7β-hydroxy-DHEA, 7-keto-DHEA, 7α-hydroxyepiandrosterone, and 7β-hydroxyepiandrosterone, along with androstenediol and androstenedione.


    During pregnancy, DHEA-s is metabolized into the sulfates of 16α-hydroxy-DHEA and 15α-hydroxy-DHEA in the fetal liver as intermediates in the production of the estrogens estriol and estetrol, respectively.


    Prior to puberty, DHEA and DHEA-s levels raise upon differentiation of the zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex. Peak levels of DHEA and DHEA-s are observed around age 20, which is followed by an age-dependent decrease throughout life eventually back to prepubertal concentrations. Plasma levels of DHEA in adult guys are 10 to 25 nm, in premenopausal females are 5 to 30 nm, and in postmenopausal ladies are 2 to 20 nm. Alternatively, DHEA-s levels are an order of magnitude greater at 1– 10 μm. Levels of DHEA and DHEA-s decrease to the lower nanomolar and micromolar varieties in males and females aged 60 to 80 years.

    DHEA levels are as follows:.

    • Adult men: 180– 1250 ng/dl
    • Adult women: 130– 980 ng/dl
    • Pregnant ladies: 135– 810 ng/dl
    • Prepubertal kids (<< 1 year): 26– 585 ng/dl
    • Prepubertal kids (1– 5 years): 9– 68 ng/dl
    • Prepubertal children (6– 12 years): 11– 186 ng/dl
    • Teen kids (tanner ii– iii): 25– 300 ng/dl
    • Adolescent girls (tanner ii– iii): 69– 605 ng/dl
    • Adolescent kids (tanner iv– v): 100– 400 ng/dl
    • Adolescent women (tanner iv– v): 165– 690 ng/dl


    As almost all DHEA is originated from the adrenal glands, blood measurements of DHEA-s/DHEA work to identify excess adrenal activity as seen in adrenal cancer or hyperplasia, including certain types of genetic adrenal hyperplasia. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome tend to have elevated levels of DHEA-s. [3]

    Working system

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (3β-hydroxy-5-androsten-17-one, DHEA) and its sulfated metabolite DHEA-s are the most plentiful steroids in circulation and decline with age. Rodent research studies have shown that DHEA has a wide variety of effects on liver, kidney, adipose, reproductive tissues, and central worried system/neuronal function. The systems by which DHEA and DHEA-s impart their physiological effects might be direct actions on plasma membrane receptors, consisting of a DHEA-specific, g-protein-coupled receptor in endothelial cells; various neuroreceptors, e.g., aminobutyric-acid-type a, n-methyl-d-aspartate (nmda), and sigma-1 (s1r) receptors; by binding steroid receptors: androgen and estrogen receptors (ars, erα, or erβ); or by their metabolism to more potent sex steroid hormones, e.g., testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol, which bind with greater affinity to ars and ers. DHEA hinders voltage-gated t-type calcium channels. DHEA activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (pparα) and vehicle by a mechanism apparently involving pp2a, a protein phosphatase dephosphorylating pparα and cars and truck to trigger their transcriptional activity. We review our current research study showing DHEA triggered gper1 (g-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1) in hepg2 cells to promote mir-21 transcription. This chapter evaluates some of the physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of DHEA and DHEA-s activity. [4]


    DHEA is converted into male and female sex hormonal agents, such as estrogen and testosterone.

    Low levels of DHEA have been detected in some people with conditions like diabetes, breast cancer, heart problem, osteoporosis, and kidney illness. This has actually led to interest in using DHEA supplements as alternative solutions to treat or avoid those conditions.

    DHEA is sometimes used as a supplement by people with the following health issue. Nevertheless, a number of these are not yet supported by research study:.

    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome
    • Anxiety
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Tiredness
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Lupus
    • Menopausal symptoms
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Parkinson’s illness

    DHEA is also said by some to slow the aging procedure, improve sports performance, improve libido, promote weight-loss, and strengthen the immune system.

    In addition, DHEA supplements are frequently marketed as testosterone-boosting agents and used for such purposes as increasing muscle mass and minimizing fat mass.

    Significantly, the fda has not approved DHEA for the treatment of any condition.

    Advantages of DHEA

    Vaginal atrophy

    After menopause, some women experience vaginal discomfort during sexual intercourse or serious dryness of the vagina. Intravaginal administration of DHEA administered resulted in improved vaginal health and reduced pain.

    In 2016, the fda approved intrarosa, a DHEA suppository, for menopausal ladies with vaginal atrophy and pain throughout sex.

    DHEA has not been authorized by the fda for any medical use besides vaginal atrophy. Scientists are examining its capacity for a variety of other purposes, however larger and more powerful scientific trials are still required for all of them. Speak with your physician before using DHEA, and do not use DHEA in place of an approved medication or treatment.


    DHEA levels affect testosterone and estrogen levels because it is a precursor to these hormonal agents. Low DHEA is likewise associated with sexual dysfunction.

    Females often take DHEA as a supplement during menopause to increase their level of estrogen.

    Ovarian reserve is the capability for the ovaries to produce a healthy egg that is ready for fertilization. Women with poor ovarian reserve who likewise did not react well to ivf were provided DHEA. These females had a higher rate of pregnancy and greater ovarian reserve than the group who did not take DHEA.

    This study just included 30 volunteers. Larger and more robust scientific trials are needed to identify the role of DHEA in fertility.

    Brain function & & psychological health

    DHEA promotes nerve cells and inhibits cortisol. In humans, salivary DHEA increases with cognitive tasks and working memory.

    DHEA likewise takes part in the emotional regulation of memory and the connections between the amygdala and hippocampus (memory center).

    In a rat design of alzheimer’s, DHEA supplements decreased signs and enhanced memory.

    DHEA levels in the brain are likewise associated with visual processing, awareness, and attention.


    DHEA has anti-cortisol homes and secures versus anxiety.

    In a meta-analysis of 22 research studies, DHEA improved depressive signs in both old and young clients. Nevertheless, just 3 of these studies were concentrated on young clients. The authors of this analysis called using DHEA in anxiety “appealing,” but more robust scientific trials are still required.

    Aging skin

    Topical application of DHEA enhanced markers related to skin aging in a pilot research study of 40 postmenopausal females.

    In another research study of 280 older men and women, an oral DHEA supplement brought back blood levels of DHEA to levels expected in more youthful individuals and enhanced the appearance and structure of the skin.

    The arise from these studies were appealing, but they should be repeated in bigger and more robust trials.

    Heart health

    Low levels of DHEA are connected with cardiovascular disease in males.

    DHEA is manufactured from cholesterol, and DHEA levels gradually decrease as individuals age. One study found that DHEA relaxed the capillary (consequently decreasing blood pressure) and that DHEA levels were inversely connected with cardiovascular disease; the authors recommended that it could be a valuable hormonal agent in the prevention and treatment of cvd. Nevertheless, additional research studies are required.

    Weight management

    DHEA-s just had impacted the weight of obese guys, however not women. DHEA-s supplements caused weight loss and decreased blood insulin levels.

    Pets that took DHEA supplements lost more weight than ones that took a placebo. They also had lower cholesterol.

    DHEA supplementation resulted in big weight reduction in rats and likewise increased their energy usage.

    On the other hand, anorexic women treated with 100 mg of DHEA experienced higher improvements than those who got placebos. Their weight increased, as did their state of mind.

    DHEA may play a role in weight management and balance, but a lot more studies will be needed to expand our understanding of that role.

    Insulin resistance

    Senior humans that underwent six months of DHEA replacement treatment had actually decreased insulin resistance and improved glucose tolerance.

    In overweight rats, DHEA administration integrated with exercise assisted lower insulin resistance and increased weight reduction. Blood sugar and insulin level of sensitivity enhanced.

    A lot more clinical research studies will be required to clarify the impact of DHEA on insulin level of sensitivity.

    Sleep quality

    DHEA administration improved sleep quality in 10 young men. Rapid eye movement, which is associated with memory formation, increased.

    Since this is a single study on only 10 people in one demographic, a lot more medical studies will be needed to comprehend the function of DHEA in sleep.

    Bone density

    In a study of over a thousand south korean guys, DHEA increased bone mass and reduced the symptoms of osteoporosis.

    DHEA might increase bone (osteoblast) formation and inhibits bone (osteoblast) cell death, thereby increasing bone volume and bone mineral density. Some researchers have recommended utilizing DHEA in menopausal females with osteoporosis.


    Low DHEA levels are related to inflammatory states in human patients; however, it is currently uncertain whether taking DHEA could lower swelling.

    Animal and cell studies have been mostly promising, if restricted. DHEA stops swelling and brought back regular colon length. It balanced the immune reactions from bowel illness that trigger damage.

    DHEA minimized swelling due to hiv and prevented nerve cell degeneration.

    In the feline design of hiv (called fiv), DHEA also avoided nerve cell loss.

    DHEA tends to be minimized in people with asthma. According to some researchers, it might minimize inflammation in the lungs and avoid the active reactivity of the airways.

    Nevertheless, the exact function of DHEA in inflammatory states is uncertain. Extra studies will be required to clarify.

    Muscle repair

    In a cell study, DHEA safeguarded versus oxidative tension and avoided apoptosis (programmed death) in muscle cells. It increased the results of antioxidants and stopped the procedures that lead to atrophy.

    This effect has yet to be investigated in animals or humans.

    DHEA advantages for guys

    There are lots of claims out there about the possible health benefits of DHEA for guys. Throughout the years, DHEA supplements have actually been promoted for their ability to improve sexual function, improve energy, treat adrenal deficiency, and handle body fat and body structure.

    However, research study on the advantages of DHEA has produced combined results, and big, randomized trials are required to confirm DHEA’s possible advantages for well-being. Prior to starting DHEA, talk about the prospective benefits with your doctor.

    DHEA for impotence

    Given that DHEA develops into sex hormonal agents, it appears just natural that males would turn to the extra type to much better their sex lives. Numerous little research studies have actually suggested that DHEA can enhance erectile dysfunction (ed), a condition where a guy can’t get or keep an erection sufficient for satisfying sex.

    One research study in urology took a look at men with ed and found that those who took DHEA daily for six months had an enhanced capability to achieve or maintain an erection; however, it did not impact their testosterone levels. Other studies have actually disappointed that DHEA assists ed, so more research study is required.

    DHEA for muscle mass and muscle strength

    According to the nih’s report on dietary supplements for exercise and athletic efficiency, DHEA has not demonstrated any proven advantage for physical performance in terms of increases in muscle strength, aerobic capacity, lean body mass, or testosterone levels in men.

    DHEA for weight problems

    Some little research studies recommend that DHEA might help in reducing abdominal fat and insulin resistance, factors connected to type 2 diabetes. However, other research studies do not show that DHEA is effective for weight loss and treating weight problems.

    More research study is needed to determine an association between DHEA and obesity or weight reduction.

    DHEA for immune function

    Little evidence exists to describe DHEA’s potential impact on the body immune system and immune function. For the few immune diseases for which DHEA has actually been tested, like sjogren syndrome, the outcomes have actually not been promising. There is not enough data to understand whether DHEA can aid with other immune conditions like ulcerative colitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or crohn’s disease. [7]

    How to increase DHEA naturally in guys

    For people who need to know how to increase DHEA naturally, food sources loaded with this hormonal agent don’t exist. Wild yams feature a comparable substance, which is suggested to develop this hormone in the lab.

    The body is more than efficient in producing its own DHEA sources. But, there are some options that can supply a modest result at finest. Working on the hormonal imbalance can help with that.

    Specialists suggest you:.

    Get good quality sleep

    Sleep deprivation can set your vitality and hormonal agents in a down spiral. It also heightens the possibility of heart disease.

    Manage tension

    Stress is connected to a series of health concerns. It’s not surprising that it can impact estrogen, cortisol, and DHEA sulfate. The boost in cortisol results in raised blood pressure and heart rate. While the excess of estrogen sets off unneeded havoc through the body.

    Execute energetic physical activity

    Activities such as football, swimming, running, or weight training aid with DHEA production. They are also an excellent way to combat weight gain.

    When working with dehydroepiandrosterone, supplements is often the go-to choice. It can assist with adrenal imbalance. It may also have some result on obesity, anxiety, skin, and certain psychological conditions. But, research study is typically mixed and often contradictory.

    Make certain to talk to a doctor about DHEA replacement. Inquire about oral DHEA and whether it is right for your estrogen.

    Prior to you begin dealing with your DHEA shortage, adrenal deficiency, or any other issue you may have, the doctor will recommend you on the very best course of action to take with serum DHEA. This is an useful pointer for both males and postmenopausal women. [8]

    Side effects

    Many sources advise against utilizing DHEA, especially without first seeking medical suggestions, because of the possible negative effects.

    DHEA impacts the endocrine system, which indicates it impacts hormone activity. Hormonal changes can influence on a variety of body systems. As a result, a wide variety of negative effects are possible.

    In addition, DHEA has actually not been evaluated or commonly used over an extended period of time, so it is unclear what the long-term impacts might be.

    Adverse effects appear to differ in different age groups and between illness.

    They include:.

    • Intense breathing failure
    • Anxiety, agitation, nervousness, restlessness, and aggressive habits
    • Blood in the urine
    • Chest pain and abnormal heart rhythm
    • Crawling feeling on the scalp
    • Dizziness
    • Diarrhea
    • Eye problems
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • State of mind and psychological modifications
    • Sleeping disorders
    • Night sweats
    • Mania in people with bipolar illness
    • Rashes
    • Weight gain
    • Low high blood pressure
    • Acne
    • Bleeding and blood-clotting problems

    DHEA may affect men and women in a different way.

    Negative effects in women

    Females might experience the following:.

    • Smaller sized breast size
    • Deepened voice
    • Larger genital areas
    • Irregular or irregular menstruation
    • Increased discharge
    • Oily skin
    • Increased hair growth

    Adverse effects in males

    Men might experience the following:.

    • Smaller sized testes
    • Seriousness to urinate
    • Bigger or tender breasts

    A brand-new version of DHEA, known as 7-keto-DHEA is a natural by-product of DHEA. Since 7-keto-DHEA is not transformed to steroid hormones by the body, the threat of some of the hormonal negative effects is reduced.

    Although 7-keto-DHEA has actually been promoted as helping in weight-loss, constructing muscle and promoting the body immune system, evidence supporting any of these claims is limited. [9]


    The following doses have been studied in clinical research:.

    By mouth:

    For aging skin: 50 mg of DHEA taken daily for 12 months has been utilized.

    For anxiety: 30-450 mg of DHEA taken daily for 6 weeks has actually been utilized, either alone or together with antidepressant drugs. DHEA has also been utilized in increasing doses up to 500 mg daily for 8 weeks.

    Applied to the skin:

    For aging skin: a 1% DHEA cream has been applied to the face and hands twice daily for up to 4 months.

    Vaginal thinning: vaginal inserts containing 0.25% to 1% DHEA have been utilized daily for 12 weeks. A specific vaginal insert containing 0.5% DHEA (intrarosa, endoceutics inc.) Is a prescription medication used for this condition. [10]


    Possible interactions include:.

    • Antipsychotics. Use of DHEA with antipsychotics such as clozapine (clozaril, versacloz, others) might decrease the drug’s effectiveness.
    • Carbamazepine (tegretol, carbatrol, others). Use of DHEA with this substance abuse to treat seizures, nerve pain and bipolar disorder may reduce the drug’s efficiency.
    • Estrogen. Do not utilize DHEA with estrogen. Integrating DHEA and estrogen may trigger symptoms of excess estrogen, such as nausea, headache and insomnia.
    • Lithium. Use of DHEA with lithium might minimize the drug’s efficiency.
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Use of DHEA with this type of antidepressant might trigger manic signs.
    • Testosterone. Don’t use DHEA with testosterone. Integrating DHEA and testosterone might trigger signs such as low sperm count and enlarged breasts in guys (gynecomastia) and the advancement of usually male attributes in females.
    • Triazolam (halcion). Utilizing DHEA with this sedative might increase the effects of this drug, triggering excessive sedation and affecting your breathing and heart rate.
    • Valproic acid. Use of DHEA with this medication utilized to deal with seizures and bipolar disorder may decrease the drug’s effectiveness. [11]

    Preventative measure

    • Always contact your doctor prior to you use a natural item. Some items may not blend well with drugs or other natural items.
    • This product may hinder some lab tests. Make certain to talk with your medical professional about this and all drugs you are taking.
    • Do not utilize this item if you are pregnant or plan to conceive soon. Usage contraception you can rely on while taking this product.
    • Do not utilize this product if you are breastfeeding.
    • Do not use this item if you have health issue that are sensitive to hormonal agents. These are problems like breast cancer, prostate cancer, or endometriosis.
    • Take extra care if you are taking drugs that affect your hormonal agents. These are drugs like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, anastrozole (arimidex), exemestane (aromasin), fluvestrant (faslodex), letrozole (femara), or tamoxifen (nolvadex).
    • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (coumadin), heparin, or enoxaparin (lovenox).
    • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to liquify blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase (activase), reteplase (retevase), or streptokinase (streptase).
    • Take additional care if you are taking drugs to aid with swelling or swelling that can likewise increase your risk of bleeding. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids), aspirin, ibuprofen (advil), or naproxen (naprosyn or aleve).
    • Take additional care if you are set up to get the vaccine for tuberculosis. This product can make the vaccine less effective.

    Take additional care and check with your physician if you have:.

    • Kidney problems
    • Liver issues
    • Issues with your uterus or ovaries
    • High blood pressure
    • Cholesterol problems
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer, especially breast or prostate cancer
    • Low mood or other mood conditions
    • Mental health issue
    • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar. [12]


    DHEA is produced in huge amounts relative to hormones synthesized by other steroid-secreting organs, yet its exact role in typical homeostasis and pathophysiologic states stays a mystery. [13]


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