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  1. #1
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    Question DHEA

    What is it?
    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced primarily in the adrenal glands with minor amounts produced by the testes. It is found in both men and women. DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone in the human body, and like all steroid hormones, ultimately comes from cholesterol. Most DHEA in the body is found as DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S). DHEA is a major precursor to other steroid hormones, which is why some companies market it as a “muscle builder.”

    What is it supposed to do?
    DHEA is marketed as being helpful for just about every human ailment from memory loss to heart disease to immune enhancement to weight loss, and more.

    What does the research have to say?
    DHEA consistently makes rodents such as mice and rats lose weight. In redeyed rodents (i.e. mice and rats), DHEA causes many biochemical changes that just don’t seem to happen in people, showing just how diff erent rats and people can be. In people, the research has been far less impressive. Several studies using over 1500 mg per day of DHEA showed either no effects or short-lived effects on body composition in humans.

    One early study found 1600 mg per day of DHEA (a very high dose of DHEA) reduced body fat and increased muscle mass in men, with later studies done by the same group and others failing to find that effect. Another study conducted in 1999 confirmed that supplementation of 150 mg/day DHEA for 8 weeks, in combination with a resistance training program had no effect on testosterone levels, strength, or lean mass in younger men. This result was echoed by a different research group, that found 100 mg/
    day DHEA resulted in small, non-significant increases in strength and lean mass in middle-aged, strength-training men over a 12 week period.

    Some studies in people using DHEA have shown slight increases in testosterone and insulin-like growth factor 1 ( IGF-1) levels, but most studies - such as the one cited above - have found minimal effect in younger people. On the other hand, older people - particularly post-menopausal women - tend to show more improvement with DHEA supplementation. One recent study found that DHEA therapy enhanced the improvements seen with strength training with older adults.

    The research showing health improvements, such as cognitive benefits, immune enhancement, stress reduction, and anti-cancer benefi ts, is also compelling.

    DHEA and DHEA-S levels are one of the best biological markers of aging known. DHEA levels rise slowly till they peak at around 30 years of age, and decline steadily after age 35, with levels reduced by 70 - 80% by age 75. This eff ect is one of the most consistent and predictable changes in aging people known so far.

    The criticism of DHEA has been its potential effects on people’s hormones, as DHEA can be converted into the sex hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, as well as others. Though research has been contradictory regarding DHEA’s effects on hormones, most agree that it does have the potential for problems, if used in high enough doses.

    The study also found that the group getting the 7-keto DHEA had increases in the thyroid hormone T3, without signifi cant changes in testosterone, estradiol ( estrogen), liver and kidney function tests, blood sugar vital signs, or overall caloric intake over the eight-week study.

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    Re: DHEA

    I did read a US medical report concerning levels of DHEA and Cortisol. This report suggested that young people with problems of control and aggression were often found to have a high level of DHEA and a low level of cortisol.

    David

 

 

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