Supplement of the Month: DHEA

What is DHEA and where is it found?

DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone, and it is a precursor to male and female sex hormones that is produced in the adrenal glands. DHEA supplements are made from wild yam and soy products. After the age of 30, DHEA levels in the body begin to decline, and low levels are linked to adrenal insufficiency, diabetes, inflammation, immune disorders, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, depressions, and osteoporosis.

What are the benefits of DHEA?

DHEA supplementation is used to decrease the levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body. Additionally, DHEA is used to treat metabolic syndrome, lupus, weight loss, and to improve immune function and cognitive function. It may be used to increase muscle mass, energy and strength, and reverse the signs of aging. It is give to men for erectile dysfunction and to promote sexuality and well being in women. DHEA is also used to treat depression and improve mood.

Are there interactions with food, medications or herbal supplement and DHEA?

Do not take DHEA with anticoagulant herbs or supplements since DHEA may inhibit platelet aggregation and intensity the effects of those medications. Also, it should not be taken with licorice or soy or too much fiber.

Are there side effects from DHEA?

Some people have reported increased acne while taking DHEA. Additionally, other people show signs of insomnia, headaches, nausea, skin itching, and mood changes. Some men report breast tenderness while some women experience masculizination symptoms, such as depending of the voice and irregular periods.

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