DHEA for Men
DHEA is the most common steroid hormone in the body. As with other hormones, our bodies produce progressively less DHEA as we age. Decreased levels of DHEA have been linked to heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, inflammation, immune disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands and is metabolized from pregnenolone, which itself is metabolized from cholesterol. DHEA can be metabolized into other sex hormones, including testosterone and the estrogens, and up to 150 individual metabolites.
Research has proven that youthful DHEA levels can be closely associated with good health, and that low levels have been connected to various life-threatening diseases. After about age 35 DHEA begins to decline. But with hormone replacement therapy, a physician is able to calibrate the body’s balance of hormones. Since DHEA metabolizes into other hormones, DHEA therapy can assist the body in choosing which hormones are needed. Their body then appropriately synthesizes that hormone out of the DHEA. This may account for the astonishing range of benefits that many researchers attribute to this hormone. DHEA’s separate metabolites, including 7-Keto DHEA, have also been shown to have individual benefits, including lowering cholesterol, burning fat, and boosting the immune system.
DHEA replacement therapy is an important complement to testosterone therapy. The amount of “free” testosterone, or testosterone that is available to the body, falls quicker in aging men than that of their “total” testosterone. When a physician creates a personalized hormone replacement program, it is important that they raise their patient’s level of free testosterone. This can be achieved by supplementing DHEA along with testosterone therapy. Studies have shown that DHEA not only raises the blood level of DHEA, but also the level of free testosterone available to the body. Other studies reveal that DHEA therapy can be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.