A hormone naturally produced by the body, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is synthesized from cholesterol by the adrenal gland. It plays a crucial role in the synthesis and regulation of the steroids and sex hormones in the body such as estradiol and other estrogens, and testosterone. DHEA can also indirectly influence progesterone synthesis through a feedback mechanism whereby pregnenalone is converted to progesterone based on DHEA levels.
Plasma levels of DHEA begin to decline progressively with age starting around age 40. Research shows that a 70 year old produces about 90% less DHEA than a person in his or her 20s. Other factors that contribute to low DHEA levels include consumption of sugar, nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. DHEA levels also decline under a variety of conditions of physiological stress, such as acute and chronic infections, and trauma. Vegetarians have been shown to have decreased DHEA levels as well.
Patient One DHEA is 98.5% pure and is micronized to increase absorption.
Aside from its role in synthesizing and regulating hormones, recent studies show that DHEA is involved in a large variety of physiological processes, including immune function, brain function, bone metabolism, blood lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, the regulation of normal blood sugar and insulin levels, and the maintenance of lean body mass. Current research also indicates that supplementation with DHEA (when found to be low) can improve both physical and psychological well-being.
Low levels of DHEA have been found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cardiovascular problems and high blood sugar. It has been proposed that restoring the circulating levels of DHEA to those found in young people may improve well-being and sexual function. Studies of DHEA therapy in women with adrenal insufficiency also suggest beneficial effects on well-being, mood, and sexuality(2). DHEA may be beneficial for cognitive function(3-5) and improving vascular health.(7-9)