DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a precursor hormone generated mostly by your adrenal glands. You can find the adrenal glands on the top of your kidneys and also create other hormones, such as cortisol, testosterone, and pregnenolone.
Sometimes referred to as the anti-aging hormone because as men and women age DHEA levels decrease significantly. By age 20, your DHEA levels are the highest and each decade decline roughly 10%. At around 70 or 80 years of age, DHEA levels may only be about 10-20% of peak levels.
For these reasons, people believe it helps prevent aging and other health conditions like osteoporosis and depression. Besides its anti-aging effect, DHEA also increases levels of other important hormones, such as testosterone. So, to answer your question: DHEA does really increase testosterone levels.
DHEA is a precursor hormone and what that means is that small amounts are converted into other hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone is nicknamed the male hormone because men produce testosterone in higher amounts than women, and it plays an essential role in developing male characteristics, body composition, and sex drive.
Like DHEA, testosterone levels decrease due to aging and this has a profound effect on everything from muscle mass to sexual energy. Both testosterone and DHEA have an impact on athletic performance.
The hormones affect the nervous system and this effect in turns may increase athleticism. For this reason, the National Collegiate Athlete Associate (NCAA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADE) list DHEA as a banned substance.
Low levels of DHEA and testosterone are connect to several health conditions, including:
To help with these health concerns, DHEA and testosterone come in both oral and topical forms and are available without a prescription.
DHEA is a powerful hormone that makes other hormones and plays an essential role in many bodily processes. Due to this it has some powerful benefits.
We mentioned this before but haven’t discussed the benefits of increasing testosterone completely. Low testosterone levels affect the quality of your life and general well being.
While it’s natural for levels to decline as you grow older, sometimes levels are too low, leading to serious consequences. Research shows that increased testosterone may bring about better muscle tone, healthier sex lives, and prevent bone loss. While there are always risks to hormone replacement, speak to your doctor about whether the benefits outweigh any possible side effects.
Depression is a common mental health problem that affects millions of Americans and many more around the world. It’s a deep sense of sadness that never goes away and can cause serious problems at home and work. A sign of low DHEA and testosterone is depression.
Dealing with depression has many different methods from cognitive behavioral therapy to medicines. DHEA may be a treatment method as well.
In a few smaller studies, DHEA was shown to treat people with depression who were resistant to other kinds of treatment. More research is needed to determine how DHEA works with mental health conditions but preliminary research shows promising results.
DHEA and testosterone are both produced in the adrenal glands. So, if you’re not producing enough of these hormones, it’s referred to as adrenal deficiency.
Supplementing with DHEA may improve the wellbeing of people with adrenal insufficiency. Researchers have found that DHEA has a positive effect on mood, sexual health, and bone density.
Vaginal atrophy is when the vaginal tissue is abnormally dry. The reasons for this can come from low estrogen related to going through menopause, undergoing radiation therapy as a cancer treatment, or having low DHEA levels.
The vaginal dryness can make sexual activity extremely uncomfortable. Not only do women lack vital moisturizer to make penetration comfortable, the vaginal tissues may become thin and easily breakable. Taking DHEA can help increase levels of estrogen, which in turn, helps with vaginal atrophy.
Bone density is important for maintaining strong and healthy bones. DHEA, testosterone and estrogen both play a role in how strong your bones are throughout your life. Low DHEA levels can lead to poor bone density, which in turn can cause osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is when bone mass breaks down and starts to look like cottage cheese bones. The breaking down of bone may result in breaking them easily and older people, especially women are particularly prone to this disease. Some research indicates that taking DHEA may be more effective than estrogen treatment since DHEA converts to estrogen. But more research needs to be done to determine if this is true.
Muscle Gain and Fat Loss
Gaining muscle and losing fat go hand in hand. And what might help is DHEA supplementation. Some research has shown that taking DHEA can increase muscle mass for older men. When you gain muscle mass, it helps to eat the fat, resulting in better overall body composition.
Lots of anecdotal evidence for men at all ages exists on the power DHEA has on the body. The traditional medical establishment needs to conduct more research to prove the positive testimonials of DHEA by many men and women is true. Alternative medicine has long prescribed DHEA as a way to improve men and women’s health.