It is generally assumed that we can improve the quality of health through hormonal balance.
If this is true, a lot can be done to balance hormones, apart from making the necessary amendments in our diet.
Well, people who are not really fond of going the medication way, go the other way- the supplementation way.
WHAT IS DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE (DHEA)?
It is a hormone that is generally taken as a supplement for a plethora of reasons.
More specifically, DHEA is considered for the balancing of hormones, improvement of bone solidity and reduction of unwanted body fat.
The hormone is also regarded beneficial for the boost in sexual health.
According to the research, some percentage of the hormone tends to alter into sex hormones as testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
Both the sex hormones hold utmost importance when it comes to the overall health of men and women.
Interestingly, the maximum production of DHEA is found to be in our mid twenties, but, gradually the making of this fundamental hormone declines as we enter our thirties.
The drop continues with every passing year and stoops to 15% by reaching the late adulthood years.
A reduction in the concentration of DHEA increases the risks of several health problems like:
- Breast Cancer.
- Heart disease.
And so the nutritionists and health care providers often feel the need to supplement DHEA through external means.
The consumption of supplement is assumedly, one good way to elevate the level of Dehydroepiandrosterone and so, trigger the series of benefits that emerge as the level of DHEA stabilizes.
Now the question that arises here is that the DHEA-bearing supplement as essential as it is assumed to be?
Can it create the much needed change in terms of bone density, fat loss and other expected changes?
Lets find out.
1. MAY NOT HAVE AN IMPACT ON MUSCLE STRENGTH AND GROWTH:
Undeniably, Dehydroepiandrosterone can surge the concentration of testosterone in the body, however, is that enough to add to your muscle size and or develop strength?
Well, the answer is no!
A plethora of studies have been done to establish its effects on muscle growth and surprisingly, most of these ended up with unsatisfactory results.
It is important to note that the research was based on extended periods and was conducted on both, young and old participants.
Quite the contrary, a slight percentage of research showed positive results on two kinds of people, 1) weak, older individuals 2) people with adrenal gland disorders.
But since, we consider and go with the majority, thereby, stating it futile with regard to muscle growth and strength building would be more appropriate.
2. MAY INCREASE BONE DENSITY:
We generally see older adults complaining about their weak and paining bones.
This is because their body becomes short in DHEA and consequently, their bone density declines.
However, poor bone density is not just the only problem they suffer from, other complications that come along with it are, brittle bones, frequent fractures and constant pain.
In short, their bones become weak and their mobility affects to a greater extent.
Since DHEA has a direct impact on bone density, therefore, taking a supplement that adds to the level of DHEA sounds a solution to the problem!
Well, this may not be as simple as most of us would assume.
Investigations were done to examine the effects of supplement on bone density.
According to the results, there is a possibility for women to mark an improvement, provided that the consumption is continued for a period of 1-2 years.
Though, the results came unconvincing in men.
Interestingly, there are some studies that have shown zero effects in this regard, however, we cannot rely on these examinations as these were based on some months and not for an extended period of time.
So, it can be said that the supplement has a contribution in improving bone density, particularly in women.
Though, the need is to use it for a lengthy period and using it for some months may not yield the desired results.
3. THE FAT LOSS RESULTS ARE VAGUE:
Similarly, the supplement is assumed to be an aid in fat loss.
However, the results do not support the claims as according to the findings, the supplement may not be helpful in drawing the desired fat loss results.
Well, that’s what most of the studies say, as per some, the kind of agents has the potential to lower your fat percentage in two conditions, 1) if you are a man over the age of 65, 2) if your adrenal glands perform poorly.
If you are seeking a Dehydroepiandrosterone agent to reduce your fat mass, consider using a formula based on 7-Keto DHEA.
It is a kind of DHEA that has been testified to pace BMR.
According to the findings of a two-month exercise program, individuals on 7-keto DHEA supplements decreased more body fat and weight than participants who used placebo.
Hence, against the general DHEA supplement, there is a possibility of 7-keto DHEA agent giving you better ‘fat-busting’ results.
4. MAY EASE DEPRESSION:
It’s quite difficult to understand the connection between depression and Dehydroepiandrosterone.
For example, there are some investigations according to which females undergoing depression bear higher percentage of DHEA against females who aren’t depressed.
But on the very contrary, few with extreme level of depression carry smaller percentage of Dehydroepiandrosterone against people that have slight depression.
Hence, the link between the two is confusing. But, the effects of a DHEA-based supplement have been through and through studied on depression.
As per some findings, it has a positive impact on people with depression, particularly on those diagnosed with slight depression.
However, the results of all the studies have not come positive, there are some findings that showed no difference or improvements on a patient.
On a broader perspective, there is a need for more research in the department.
5. ARE RECOMMENDED FOR CERTAIN ADRENAL PROBLEMS:
Dhea is generated and released from the adrenal glands.
There is a medical problem by the name adrenal insufficiency that is characterized by the inadequacy of hormones generated by the adrenal gland.
The problem may not be serious in its initial phase, though, it may turn fatal if no prompt actions are taken at an early stage.
Complications generated by adrenal insufficiency are minor, however, leaving the complication untreated progresses to something serious.
Interestingly, DHEA-based supplements are found to be effective in addressing its signs and improving the overall health.
However, patients diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency need to have a talk with their health care provider, before starting with any DHEA supplement.
6. MAY IMPROVE YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH AND SEX DRIVE:
When an agent is engineered to involve sex hormones, hoping it to help you perform better in bed is a ‘reasonable’ expectation.
DHEA supplements are highly advisable for females that have fertility problems. Basically, the hormone enables the ovaries to perform better, consequently increasing the risk of conceiving.
On top of that, research has also revealed that the supplement plays a role in boosting the sex drive and function in both the users.
More precisely, the best it could help are people experiencing impaired sexual functions.
The good thing about a quality DHEA supplement is that it does not bear major side effects- provided that it is consumed in a said quantity.
Interestingly, extensive studies on DHEA have also confirmed that the supplements are very much safe or have side effects that are very much bearable.
Some examples here are oily skin, hair loss etc.
One should keep in mind that DHEA, as well as all the nutritional supplements need to be started after the doctor’s consent.
DHEA supplements may work better for those who are deficient in the hormone, have fertility problems or problems related to their sexual functions.
However, the supplement may or may not work brilliantly for those who long to gain mass or cut fat.
It’s also advisable to have a word with your doctor, discuss the odds and determine the possibility of success, before giving anything a random try!