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Dhea: What Is This Hormone, And What Is It For

Dhea is the name of a chemical usually delivered by the body, yet what is its capability, and what’s the significance here when it is excessively high or, on the other hand, excessively low? Is it genuine that taking the manufactured form can cause secondary effects? Here’s the beginning and end. You really want to be familiar with the Dhea chemical.

Dhea: What Is It And What Is It For?

Dhea, whose complete name is dehydroepiandrosterone, is a chemical that the body usually delivers as a forerunner of different sex chemicals, like testosterone and estradiol. It is chiefly placed into dissemination by the adrenal organs, balls, ovaries and cerebrum. As well as being a forerunner of different chemicals, Dhea has estrogenic, neurosteroid and neurotrophic consequences for the Focal Sensory system, as well as androgenic.

Ordinarily, DHEA levels in the blood arrive at their top around the age of twenty to thirty and afterwards decline throughout the long term. It has likewise been found that a low Dhea level is available in subjects experiencing sorrow and in menopausal ladies. Throughout recent years, a few Dhea-put-together medications have been put with respect to the market (restricted in Italy aside from skin application), which seem, by all accounts, to be successful for :

  • Increase muscle mass and sports performance.
  • Counteract skin aging.
  • Improve infertility.
  • Prevent some types of diseases.
  • Treat male erectile dysfunction.
  • Improve depression.

It should be kept in mind, however, that many of Dhea’s alleged beneficial effects have yet to be demonstrated and that its use aimed at improving sports performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes is prohibited by numerous sports associations.

Dhea Hormone Values

Dhea is the most present steroid chemical inside the body and is associated with various synthetic and natural instruments. In the blood, it is conceivable in two distinct structures, Dhea and Dhea sulfate (Dhea-S or Dheas), in spite of the fact that the last option is more present as it can tie to egg whites steadily. It is feasible to quantify the grouping of DHEA chemicals in the body with a primary research center test, and this examination is by and large suggested for:

  • Diagnose the presence of tumors in the adrenal glands.
  • Investigate a situation of precocious puberty.
  • Investigate the causes that can lead to an increase in hirsutism in women.
  • Actually, look at the proper working of the adrenal organs.

Dhea values ​​in the organism are not constant throughout life but change over time. At the moment of birth, for example, they are very high, then they decrease until they increase again during the development phase; between the ages of twenty and thirty, the concentration of Dhea is at its maximum, but then with advancing age, it begins to decrease, both in men and women.

Here is the trend of the Dheas hormone in both sexes over the years :


  • 18-30 years: 105-728 mcg/dL
  • 31-40 years: 57-522 mcg/dL
  • 41-50 years: 34-395 mcg/dL
  • 51-60 years: 20-299 mcg/dL
  • 61-70 years: 12-227 mcg/dL
  • 71 years or older: 6.6-162 mcg/dL


  • 18-30 years: 83-377 mcg/dL
  • 31-40 years: 45-295 mcg/dL
  • 41-50 years: 27-240 mcg/dL
  • 51-60 years: 16-195 mcg/dL
  • 61-70 years: 9.7-159
  • 71 years or older: 5.3-124 mcg/dL

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Dhea: What Does It Mean To Have It High Or Low

Those with high dehydroepiandrosterone may experience a series of symptoms that are much more evident and recognizable in women than in men. Among these, the most common are:

  • Hirsutism.
  • Alterations in the menstrual cycle.
  • Changes in the tone of the voice, which become more profound and more serious.
  • Appearance of acne.
  • Hair loss.

Too high values ​​of Dhea sulfate are usually caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, by the use of certain types of drugs (antidiabetics, neuroleptic drugs or against high blood pressure), by congenital adrenal hyperplasia or by a neoplasm of the adrenal glands. In addition to excessively high Dhea values, the opposite situation can also occur, i.e. parameters that are too low due to poor production of the hormone by the body. Low DHEA can manifest itself with symptoms such as:

  • Nausea.
  • Weight loss.
  • Dizziness.
  • dehydration ;
  • tendency to consume salty foods.
  • Reduction of libido.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Thinning of the vaginal mucosa.

The most likely causes of low Dhea concentrations may include:

  • Insulin-based therapies.
  • Addison’s disease.
  • Hypopituitarism.

Use of certain types of drugs, such as cortisone, hormonal contraceptives, antidepressants, antiepileptics, statins, and medicines against Parkison’s disease.

Is Dehydroepiandrosterone Really Effective?

Dehydroepiandrosterone is found on the market both in the form of a drug (banned in Italy) and as a supplement. Based on the evidence reported in the latest studies, it seems that it is efficacious in improving the pain caused by vaginal penetration in relation to vaginal atrophy; both that specific vaginal ovules to be applied for topical use have also been marketed in Italy.

More dubious, however, are the positive results that emerged in those who took the drug orally in the treatment of depression as a means to counteract aging and to improve fertility within a specific in vitro fertilization process. Dhea, however, has not produced positive evidence in increasing the physical performance of elderly subjects in terms of growth of muscle mass in the fight against cognitive and mental decline and those who have Sjogren’s syndrome.

As regards Dhea-based supplements, they are recommended for:

  • Improve mood.
  • Increase energy levels.
  • Tolerate stress better.
  • Increase sexual desire.
  • Increase muscle mass.
  • Decrease body fat.
  • Reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Decrease the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Slow the onset of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  • Reduce the symptoms of menopause.
  • Prevent osteoporosis.

The positive effects of Dhea-based supplements, however, have not been proven, while it is known that they can interfere with the action of some drugs and trigger some side effects.

Contraindications In The Use Of The Dhea Hormone

Dhea has some contraindications that should not be underestimated, starting with the possible interaction with other drugs, such as anastrozole, exemestane, fulvestrant, tamoxifen and letrozole. At the same time, its effectiveness can be reduced by insulin therapy, and it is no coincidence that its intake is not recommended if you have diabetes. Furthermore, it is also not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding and if you suffer from:

  • Liver problems.
  • Some types of cancer, such as breast and uterine cancer.
  • Endometriosis.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Mood disorders are already treated with drugs.
  • Uterine fibroids.

It should also be remembered that Dhea-based drugs reduce the blood’s clotting capacity. Therefore it is advisable to avoid them in combination with other medicines with the same effect.

Possible Side Effects Of Dhea

The use of Dhea presents some side effects, which increase significantly in relation to the duration of the therapy. If, in fact, the application of the drug for topical use, as happens for those who exploit vaginal ovules, should not cause any adverse reaction (if the treatment remains short-lived), the case is different for those who use the medicine for an extended period. It should also be borne in mind that EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) still needs to approve complaints justifying the proposed uses. Among the most well-known and common side effects are:

  • Appearance of acne.
  • Hirsutism.
  • hair loss ;
  • high pressure.
  • Discomfort in the gastrointestinal system.
  • Alterations in the menstrual cycle.
  • In women, increased depth of voice.
  • In men, enlargement of the breasts.
  • Reduction of HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”).
  • Increased risk of prostate, liver and breast cancers.

It must be kept in mind that EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) still needs to approve claims justifying the proposed uses.

Also Read: Essential Amino Acids: What They Are And What They Are For


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