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Benefits of DHEA: the Master Hormone

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Benefits of DHEA. Listed below are results of latest medical and scientific studies. The most remarkable finding about Dehydroepiandrosterone comes from a human study by S.S.C. Ye n and associates at the University of California, San Diego, in which 50 mg a day of DHEA over a 6-month period restored serum levels of DHEA in both men and women to youthful ranges. DHEA replacement was associated with an increase in perceived physical and psychological well-being for both men (67%) and women (84%). Increases in lean body mass and muscle strength were reported in men taking 100 mg a day, but this dose appeared to be excessive for women.

DHEA (50 or 100 mg per day) was also shown to significantly elevate insulin growth factor (IGF). Aging causes a decline in IGF levels that contributes to the loss of lean body mass, as well as to excess fat accumulation, neurological impairment and age-associated immune dysfunction.

Clinical studies provide evidence that DHEA benefits memory, mood, and EEG readings, and may play protective role against neurodegenerative diseases. It was shown to prevent pharmacologically induced amnesia and mental impairment by benzodiazepine (Valium-like) drugs.

Epidemiological studies show that low levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone are associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and a new study provides some molecular mechanisms for how DHEA supplementation may help in part to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

In one study, DHEA inhibited chemically induced cancers in the colon, lung, breast, and skin. When it was applied directly to the skin, it prevented chemically induced skin cancer. DHEA had this affect by inhibiting the binding of carcinogens to skin cells and by inhibiting the enzyme G6PDH.

Dehydroepiandrosterone demonstrates a striking ability to maintain immune system synchronization. Oral supplementation with low doses of DHEA in aged animals restored immunocompetence to a reasonable level within days of administration. DHEA boosted beneficial interleukin-2 and suppressed levels of damaging interleukin-6 which is overproduced in the aged, contributing to autoimmune disease, immune dysfunction, osteoporosis and reduced healing. Suppression of interleukin-6 with 200 mg a day of DHEA was shown to be effective against systemic lupus erythematosus.

A study in elderly volunteers showed that 100 mg a day of DHEA markedly enhanced the antibody response to the influenza vaccine. In influenza epidemics, 80-90% of mortality occurs in people over age 64. While influenza vaccines can be highly effective in young adults, 30-50% of the elderly fail to generate protective immunity. Elderly people who take an annual flu shot may want to consider taking 50 mg of DHEA daily at least two days before vaccination to help the vaccine induce an immune response.

Other benefits of DHEA include ability to protect against heart disease and atherosclerosis. A new study using coronary artery angiography showed that low levels of DHEA are a significant risk factor for coronary artery disease. Another new study showed that DHEA inhibits abnormal blood platelet aggregation, a factor in the development of atherosclerosis, sudden heart attack and stroke.

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