In 1981, the Life Extension Foundation introduced DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) to its members through an article that described the multiple benefits that this hormone might produce. However, the general public did not learn about DHEA until 1996, when the benefits of DHEA were touted by the news media and in several popular books. DHEA became credible to the medical establishment when the New York Academy of Sciences published a book entitled DHEA and Aging. This book provided scientific validation for the many life extending effects of DHEA.
It has been shown that the hormone DHEA often declines 40.8-72.8% by age 70 or later, leading to hormonal imbalances that can affect one's quality of life. Peak blood levels of DHEA occur at approximately age 25, decreasing progressively thereafter. Thus, scientists have been looking at ways of restoring DHEA to youthful levels, and are now discovering mechanisms by which this hormone protects against age-related decline.
Since 1981, several hundred studies have been published on DHEA's possible benefits. One study investigated immune functions and DHEA using rats as test subjects. The scientists showed that DHEA administration to rats supports specific immune function known to be lacking in the elderly.
Another study focused on the various benefits of DHEA supplementation, and noted that DHEA's protective effect could be of benefit to the normal aging brain. Some studies have reported DHEA may improve mood and alleviate melancholy. In fact, as highlighted in two studies, participants have reported that they feel better when taking DHEA.
In still another investigative study doctors noted that DHEA is one factor that determines lumbar spine density in aging men. In women, it has been shown that DHEA helps to protect bone mineral density. DHEA's role in supporting a healthy circulatory system and joint/bone health was also highlighted in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand.
DHEA precautions for men Before attempting to restore DHEA to youthful levels, men should know their serum PSA (prostate specific antigen) level and have passed a digital rectal exam. Men with prostate cancer or severe benign prostate disease are advised to avoid DHEA since it can be converted into testosterone (and estrogen). Therefore, men are advised to have a PSA and digital rectal exam before initiating DHEA to rule out existing prostate disease.
When taking DHEA we also recommend taking the following other nutrients:
Vitamin E 400 IU daily Selenium 200 mcg daily Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones 55.5 mg daily Gamma E Tocopherol with Sesame Lignans 200 mg daily Lycopene Extract 20-40 mg daily Saw Palmetto Extract 160 mg twice daily Pygeum Extract 50 mg twice daily Nettle Extract 120 mg twice daily Boron 3-10 mg daily
It is important for men over 40 to consult their physician to check their PSA and DHEA-S serum levels every six to twelve months thereafter. Men should also periodically check their blood levels for free testosterone and estrogen to make sure that DHEA is following a youthful metabolic pathway. See the Male Hormone Restoration chapter in the Disease Prevention and Treatment book for additional hormone balance testing that can be done at the same time serum DHEA and PSA levels are being tested.
DHEA precautions for women When taking DHEA we also recommend taking the following other nutrients to maintain a healthy balance: Melatonin 300 mcg to 3 mg nightly Vitamin E 400-800 IU daily Indole-3-carbinol 200 mg daily Vitamin D3 1000-1400 IU daily Gamma Tocopherol with Sesame Lignans 200 mg daily Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones 55.5 mg daily
Women should consider estrogen and testosterone testing when they take their DHEA blood test in order to evaluate DHEA's effect on their blood levels of these hormones.
Women who have been diagnosed with an estrogen-dependent cancer should consult their physicians before beginning the DHEA restoration process. Women taking DHEA should refer to the Female Hormone Restoration chapter in the Foundation's Disease Prevention and Treatment book for information about restoring youthful hormone balance.
The Life Extension Buyers Club offers DHEA supplements that conform to the following specifications: 99.9% purity (European-derived DHEA) Micronized (for maximum absorption and utilization) Manufactured under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) conditions
Supplement Facts Serving Size 1 capsule Servings Per Container 60 Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) free base 50 mg
Other ingredients: rice flour, gelatin, water, magnesium stearate.
Contains rice. This product contains NO milk, egg, fish, peanuts, crustacean shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp), soybeans, tree nuts, wheat, yeast, gluten, or corn. Contains NO sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Dosage and Use The exact number of capsules to be taken should be determined by blood testing and the advice of a physician.
For optimal results, take one to two capsules in the morning.
DHEA serum blood tests are suggested 3 to 6 weeks after initiating DHEA replacement therapy to optimize individual dosing.
Caution Those with hormone related cancers such as prostate or breast cancer should avoid DHEA.
The statements included above have not been evaluated by the FDA or Total Health. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.