DHEA: Can it help Mood, Fatigue, your Immune System and your Grey Hair?

DHEA (Dehydoepandrosterone) is the body’s most abundant hormone. It’s made by several different tissues, secreted primarily by the adrenal glands and is primarily a precursor to testosterone (in both men and women). DHEA is responsible for maintaining a protein-building (or anabolic) state and decreases visceral fat (the disease-causing deep abdominal fat that covers internal organs. Because of these properties and others, it’s associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease (the number one killer). DHEA stimulates the immune system, improves mood, helps restore sexual vitality and finally, decreases cholesterol and body fat.

Research in the elderly has shown that DHEA also improves memory, increases energy and even has anticancer properties, with the latter due in large part to it’s immune-boosting power.  DHEA additionally improves osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and can also reduce insulin requirements and/or insulin sensitizing drugs. Furthermore, DHEA inhibits clot formation by interrupting an essential component to that process.

DHEA levels drop 60% between ages 30 and 50. One of the most common things people see with insufficient levels of DHEA is fatigue – more specifically, adrenal fatigue. As far as side effects, they are usually only seen in women (in the form of acne), but only IF their levels get very high. Because of this, it’s important that you have your serum level of DHEA-Sulfate tested to determine the dose that’s best for you that won’t result in an unwanted side effect.

By restoring your DHEA to proper levels you may see these benefits:

  • Increase in growth hormone of up to 20%
  • Protection against Ischemic heart disease
  • Stimulates production of myelin (the covering on your nerves that keeps your nerves working correctly)
  • Antidepressant effects
  • Decrease in inflammatory IL-6 (an inflammatory cytokine associated with chronic inflammation)
  • Speeding up of wound healing


DHEA really is the “do it all hormone.” It has significant potential to increase insulin sensitivity, which makes DHEA an integral player in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome (the combination of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and increased fat around the middle that is associated with so many prevalent diseases we see today). Studies suggest that in men over the age of 50, DHEA levels are inversely related to death from any and all causes and most specifically related to death from cardiovascular disease.  It comes as no surprise that DHEA in a pharmaceutical grade* (GL7010) is now being used as a treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and for improving bone density.

Have you had your serum DHEA-Sulfate levels tested?

*Pharmaceutical DHEA can be compounded by a compounding pharmacist (with a prescription) or found at certain medical clinics that carry good, vetted brands of supplements. We do not recommend that you purchase this over-the-counter, however, as we’ve not seen it raise serum levels when sourced that way.



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