Incorporating DHEA into Your Diet for a Healthy Body
Source: I Herb
DHEA is a hormone made by your adrenal gland and is sometimes called the “youth” hormone. The adrenal gland sits above your kidneys and this hormone gets converted to androgens, estrogens and other hormones in both men and women. These are the hormones that regular metabolism, sexual and reproductive function and maintain your energy levels. DHEA is produced naturally in ample amounts until your mid-to-late 20’s. It is around the age of 30 that the rate at which your body produces this hormone starts to dwindle and in women, decreases more quickly.
Benefits of DHEA
DHEA has gained popularity as a supplement that many add to their daily health regimen. There are many benefits to adding DHEA into your daily diet that benefit both men and women. A few of these benefits include:
- Prevents osteoporosis in women, especially those over the age of 70
- Increases sexual health by increasing libido
- Helps women with menopause symptoms by increasing the production of estrogen
- Increases energy and lowers stress
- Helps to fight obesity by helping to decrease the rate at which insulin is produced in the body
- Helps the immune system in protecting the body against infection
- Helps alleviate depression
Although DHEA cannot be added by eating particular foods, it can be added as a supplement. Suggested doses range from 50 to 200 mg per day starting out and then decreasing to a lower doses to maintain and take for a long period of time. It is best to start with a low dose and work up to a higher dose to see what dose benefits you best without side effects.
Are DHEA Supplements Safe?
The saying that “less is more” does apply when taking a DHEA supplement and finding the right dose is imperative because the higher the dose of DHEA you take, the greater the possibility of experiencing side effects. DHEA can produce some standard side effects such as headache, fatigue and insomnia. However, DHEA can produce stronger side effects such as higher blood pressure, cholesterol level changes, and an increased risk of some cancers when taken at higher doses.
Because DHEA does affect your hormone levels, women may notice more acne, mood swings, aggressive behavior, growth of facial hair and the deepening of the voice while men might see the growth of breast tissue and added fatigue.
As with any supplement, it is always best to talk to you physician especially if you are pregnant, taking any types of medication or have existing health conditions before you add a supplement to your diet as DHEA is proven to interact with some medications.