Saturday, March 21, 2009

DHEA: the "anti-aging hormone"

“Dehydroepiandrosterone” is quite a mouthful. Maybe that's why we call this hormone “DHEA” for short. Whatever you choose to call it, it's the most prevalent steroid hormone in the body, and like progesterone, may be metabolized into other key hormones to achieve proper balance. DHEA levels tend to decrease once a person hits thirty years old, dropping more dramatically as you age. Lowered levels of DHEA have been associated with a range of diseases, including AIDS, anorexia, kidney disease, type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer's and others – which clearly indicates that the more optimal a person's DHEA level, the healthier he or she is. This has caused some to call DHEA the “anti-aging” hormone, since the gradual decline in the body's DHEA level often corresponds with the degenerative diseases that come with aging.

Restoring the body to its youthful level of DHEA has been shown to help with a multitude of problems, among them depression, obesity, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, immune system dysfunction, chronic fatigue, and cognitive decline. Ongoing studies continue to extensively test DHEA's benefits. To ensure safety, it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified health pracitioner, and not used by pregnant or nursing women or by those taking certain medications.

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