Monday, March 19, 2012

Benefits of DHEA supplement


Here is another interesting article I found by G. Lalonde, this one is on some of the benefits of DHEA.  In the article, he covers some of the possible benefits relating to depression, bone density, heart disease and menopause.  As always, you should consult your doctor before taking dhea supplements.

By G. Lalonde
On its website the Mayo Clinic calls DHEA a steroid hormone that aids in the production of other hormones in the human body.  Unfortunately, after the age of 30, DHEA levels begin to decline and patients suffering from AIDS and type 2 diabetes have been found to have low levels of DHEA.  

So is taking a DHEA supplement something that individuals should consider in light of research that shows that it could help increase bone density and protect against heart disease?  Of course, as usual you should consult with your health provider.

Other impacts of DHEA supplementation include:

1 - Depression - In a 2005 National Institute of Mental Health study researchers took a look at the effects of DHEA on midlife-onset minor and major depression.  Scientists observed that participants who received DHEA therapy experienced improvements on a depression rating scale compared to a control group that simply received a placebo.  While the results look promising more research is still needed to come to a firm conclusion.
2 - Bone density - During a two year study reported in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" participants who took DHEA, vitamin D and calcium increased their bone mineral density compared to the placebo group that took only a placebo, vitamin D and calcium.
3 - Heart disease - There could be a relation between DHEA and reduction in age-related heart disease. In a Japanese research study researchers discovered that low DHEA supplementation increased artery flexibility and vascular function.
4 - Menopause - In a 2004 study, scientists found that when menopausal women used DHEA they experienced improvements in hot flashes as compared to the control group that took a placebo.  In addition no side effects were reported.

Bottom line is that research supports the benefits of taking a DHEA supplement, especially as we get older.  Of course, always check with your health care professional before taking any supplement because there have been some adverse affects reported.  The American Cancer Society reports that the long-term use of DHEA could result in irregular heartbeat and decreased levels of good cholesterol.  There have also been reports of insomnia resulting in feeling irritable as well as severe mood swings.
You can get more information on DHEA at DHEA Supplement

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