Unveiling The Wonders Of DHEA: A Journey Into the Realm of Hormonal Marvels in Annapolis

Unveiling The Wonders Of DHEA: A Journey Into The Realm Of Hormonal Marvels

Integrative Medicine Annapolis MD Unveiling The Wonders Of DHEA

Prepare yourself for an extraordinary revelation that transcends the boundaries of conventional knowledge. Deep within the intricate tapestry of our biological existence, a hormone known as DHEA emerges as the quintessential "Mother of Hormones." This remarkable entity, akin to a majestic conductor, orchestrates over 50 other hormones, each playing its unique role in the symphony of our bodily functions.

As if born from celestial realms, DHEA is produced from the adrenal glands, providing us with the elixir of youthful vitality, a lean physique, and a plethora of other desirable attributes. Our very endocrine system, the delicate mechanism that governs our hormonal equilibrium, relies on the presence of abundant DHEA. As the passage of time etches its mark upon us, the wellspring of DHEA dwindles, leaving a void that may contribute to the myriad symptoms associated with aging and even conditions like cancer and arteriosclerosis.

DHEA is the most common hormone in our bodies and is a natural steroid that is present in larger amounts in healthy individuals. DHEA is an abbreviation for dehydroepiandrosterone. Maintaining proper DHEA levels help provide energy, vitality and the natural support of most functions that involve our endocrine system.

DHEA is also called the mother hormone by researchers because it is used by the body to manufacture many other hormones, (including sex hormones) that are necessary for many body functions such as fat and mineral metabolism, controlling stress, maintaining male and female characteristics and others. The body produces DHEA and then converts it on demand to these other hormones. In addition, we now know that each cell also has DHEA receptors, meaning that DHEA has its own effects as well.

DHEA & Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. C.R. Merrill from the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics found that DHEA levels in a group of Alzheimer’s patients was 48% lower than the control group. Dr. Ward Dean states in his book, Smart Drugs, “DHEA protects the brain cells from Alzheimer’s disease and other senility-associated degenerative conditions. Nerve degeneration occurs most readily under low DHEA conditions. Brain tissue normally contains 6.5 times more DHEA than is found in the bloodstream in order to protect the brain from aging and damage.”

DHEA & Cancer

DHEA has been found to improve function and to have significant anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects. A 22-year study on five thousand apparently healthy women showed that women who developed breast cancer had subnormal DHEA levels. Some of these women had low DHEA levels up to nine years before the onset of the disease. Conversely, 100% of the women with higher-than-average levels of DHEA remained cancer free. Other research shows DHEA blocked breast cancer in rats bred to develop it. Additional studies report DHEA to have cancer-fighting effects on cancers of the colon, liver, thyroid, and skin.

DHEA, Stress & Depression

DHEA is also a precursor of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Every time the body makes these hormones, DHEA levels are depleted. Most people in today’s world experience a high level of stress. While we are young, stress doesn’t appear to have a noticeable effect on our bodies, and we bounce back easily. However, with continual depletion we may risk our very lives. When exposed to chronic stress, DHEA levels may be significantly lowered. “Stress often leads to depression and has been known to really put ‘wear and tear’ on the adrenals,” says Dr. Neecie Moore in her book, Bountiful Health, Boundless Energy, Brilliant Youth, The Facts about DHEA. Many studies have directly correlated depression and low DHEA levels. Fortunately, studies indicate we can counteract the negative effects of stress hormones and very likely alleviate depression by increasing DHEA in the body.

DHEA, Obesity & Lean Muscle Mass

A study at Temple University’s School of Medicine found that elevated levels of DHEA caused weight loss without a change in appetite. Dr. Schwartz, a biochemist at the university, says, “DHEA is a very effective anti-obesity agent.” This is not weight loss due to breakdown of lean muscle tissue or fluid loss. Increased DHEA appears to create a stabilizing effect on all body systems. It can help overweight people to lose fat and underweight people to gain weight. Calories convert to heat rather than get stored as fat. Simultaneously, DHEA helps the body to build lean muscle tissue. Dr. Vincent Glanpapa states in an article in Muscle Magazine, “DHEA has been demonstrated to be beneficial in increasing muscle size while reducing fat.

DHEA & Weight Control

One of the most exciting benefits of DHEA is the ability to burn fat and help a person lose weight plus keep it off by helping to build muscle. There are benefits of nutritional supplementation because it helps burn calories for energy rather than store them as fat. DHEA’s ability to facilitate this burning of fat may become one of the most significant finds in weight control of this century. This effect does not seem to be so diet dependent as are other weight control supplements. No matter what you eat, DHEA still provides benefits of weight loss. Additionally, according to Dr. A. Schwartz at Temple University, DHEA has the ability to block an enzyme called G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase), which is essential for fat tissue production and also promotes cancer cell growth. By blocking it, DHEA’s action of reducing body fat and helping to prevent against cancer may be explained. Of course, dietary modification, exercise and lifestyle are important for controlling weight.

DHEA & Cardiovascular Disease

When DHEA levels decrease, the enzyme system accelerates, increasing production of both fatty acids and cholesterol. This promotes obesity and arteriosclerosis. In one study at John Hopkins Department of Medicine, subjects with severe hardening of the arteries had an almost 50% reduction of arterial plaque when treated with DHEA. Elizabeth Barrett-Corner, M.D., from the University Of California School Of Medicine, found a 48% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 35% reduction in mortality from any cause. She correlated the increases in DHEA sulfate blood levels found in a group of men over 50 that she tracked for 12 years. Dr. Conner concluded, “DHEA seems to protect people from early death from any cause.”


Dr. William Regelson, perhaps one of the world’s leading DHEA expert’s states: “People with HIV viruses do not suffer from full-blown AIDS until their adrenal output of DHEA drops. The fall of DHEA levels signifies the onset of AIDS.” A study done at the Houston Immunodeficiency Institute in Texas, found that the majority of AIDS patients on DHEA and adjunct therapy experienced significant increases in both CD4 and CD8 counts. An increase in CD8 count reportedly equates to long-term survival.

DHEA & Bone Loss

In his book, Reversing Osteoporosis, Dr. Alan Gaby cites a strong association between low DHEA levels and bone loss in post-menopausal women.

DHEA & Multiple Sclerosis

A study by Dr. Eugene Roberts reveals that DHEA raised levels in energy, endurance, limb power, strength, and agility in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, a disease affecting the central nervous system.

DHEA & Diabetes

The third leading cause of death in the United States is diabetes. Diabetics are 250 times more likely to suffer strokes and half of diabetics have heart disease. A study conducted using diabetic mice showed an increase in their sensitivity to insulin. The same study revealed that early DHEA treatment prevented the development of most diabetic symptoms.

DHEA & Aging

This natural substance is abundant in our bodies when we are about 20 years old, but continues to decrease with time. At 80 years of age, we usually only produce about 10-20% of the amount we produced when we were in our 20’s. Interestingly, the steady declining levels of DHEA in our blood stream as we age matches perfectly the increasing incidence of the killer diseases cancer, heart disease (including arteriosclerosis), and Alzheimer’s disease.

Much research has shown the major importance of DHEA levels in the prevention of this type of disease. For example, a study at John Hopkins showed supplemental DHEA was able to prevent breast cancer in mice that were prone to develop it. The studies also showed the prevention of lung and bowel tumors as well as the extension of life span. A study in Guernsey, UK showed women who developed breast cancer had low DHEA levels up to nine years previous. Doctors at the Medical College of Virginia showed lower DHEA levels were associated with buildup of the atherosclerotic plaque and that higher insulin levels from the ingestion of simple carbohydrates caused a reduction of DHEA levels in the body. Maintaining DHEA levels in the body has been shown to be important in improving memory, preventing Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

A twelve-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported that of the 242 men aged 50-79 studied: “A 100 microgram per deciliter increase in DHEA sulfate concentration corresponded with a 48% reduction in mortality due to cardiovascular disease and a 36% reduction in mortality for any reason. The natural level of DHEA sulfate was measured and those individuals with higher DHEA sulfate levels lived longer and had much lower risk of heart disease.”

As you can see DHEA is called the “Mother of Hormones” because it is essential in many functions in the body. It is important to optimize and maintain DHEA levels as we age. The first step to optimize your levels is to test and measure DHEA levels. At Living Health Integrative Medicine DHEA levels are routinely run on our patients via a saliva test. It is an accurate and easy test that can not only measure DHEA levels but also cortisol and sex hormones. If you are interested in a DHEA and hormone assessment, contact the office at 410-216-9180 to schedule an appointment.

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