The mythical search for the fountain of youth never ceases. The desire to have the physique of a bodybuilder is always there. Would it be nice if there are less stress and a happy mood each day? There are no miracle medicines, but one supplement may help in fighting fatigue, enhance mood, and minimize aging. Here, I highlight the information on the best DHEA supplements available and their amazing benefits from restoring hormonal balance to preventing stress and fatigue.
Table of Contents
- What is DHEA?
- What Are the Uses of DHEA Supplements?
- Reason for the Decrease in DHEA
- DHEA and Bodybuilding
- Possible Side Effects of DHEA
- Guidelines Used in the Selection of the Best DHEA Supplements
- The Chosen Best DHEA Supplements
- Final Words on DHEA Supplements
What is DHEA?
DHEA is an abbreviation for dehydroepiandrosterone, a type of hormone produced by the adrenal or stress glands and the brain. DHEA is one of the most abundant circulating hormones in the human body. Its natural peak production in the body occurs in the middle 20s and sometimes gradually declines as the person mature. DHEA stimulates the production of sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
DHEA supplements are usually made up of derivatives from wild yams and soy. There is a compound in the wild yams known as diosgenin. The diosgenin cannot be directly converted into DHEA in the body, so they need to have laboratory interventions to be produced as supplements. The claims that diosgenin is a "natural DHEA" is not valid but can convert into these supplements.
What Are the Uses of DHEA Supplements?
Indications for DHEA supplements:
- Restore hormonal balance and manage adrenal insufficiency
- Counteract fatigue, elevate mood, and prevent depression
- Increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis
- Help lower inflammation
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Improve memory and to avoid dementia
- Fertility management in women with diminished ovarian reserve
- Enhance immune system especially for patients with HIV/AIDS
- Delay aging
- Weight loss and increase lean muscle mass
- Control bad cholesterol levels
- Manage sexual dysfunction and increase libidoCounteract auto-immune disorders such as lupus
DHEA supplements are sold over the counter, and no prescription is needed. However, before using DHEA supplements, healthcare professionals recommend performing a salivary cortisol-DHEA test to determine its necessity. More explanation on the DHEA-cortisol ratio below. The supplements are available in capsule, tablet, sublingual drop, chewing gum, and cream forms.
Reason for the Decrease in DHEA
The adrenal gland plays a vital role in stress management since they produce hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol or hydrocortisone regulates metabolism and helps in the reaction to stress. Now, you might be wondering what is the relation of cortisol to DHEA? Both have an essential ratio that plays a vital role in stress adaptation.
Cortisol and DHEA are antagonistic to a certain degree. Cortisol has a catabolic (tearing down) effect while DHEA is more of anabolic (building up). When there is prolonged stress, there is a higher amount of cortisol in the body, and the opposite happens to the DHEA level. Even if you eliminate it, there are instances when the cortisol-DHEA ratio does not return to its original levels.
When the cortisol level is increasingly disproportionate to the DHEA amount in the body, these are some possible effects:
- Decreased immune system since cortisol suppresses immune function
- Increase in blood sugar levels with the change in the insulin function
- High blood pressure caused by salt and water retention
- Osteoporosis since high levels of cortisol can cause breakdown of bones
- Poor memory since DHEA is an essential component of brain function and cognition
- Hormonal imbalance such as transference of progesterone into androgenic testosterone
These effects may not be all present in all, and the factors will still depend on the body constitution, environment, and lifestyle. Here are just examples where DHEA supplements are needed. Increasing the amount of DHEA to the previous average ratio might restore the balance between the two hormones.
Eliminating the source of stress is another solution to restore the optimal ratio. Moreover, this proves that DHEA not only decreases with age advancement but may also be attributed to the imbalance between cortisol and DHEA.
DHEA and Bodybuilding
One of the controversial issues on why there is an increased interest in using DHEA is for bodybuilding. There is a perception that weightlifters and bodybuilders take DHEA supplements to help reduce metabolism and fat deposits, build lean muscle mass, and strengthen the bone. Also, with its anabolic effect, it can be considered in the desired weight gain without the dreaded bulges and fat handles.
Possible Side Effects of DHEA
As with any medications and supplements, below are some potential side effects of DHEA. These supplements are not recommended for long-term intake. Long-term use of DHEA without prior consultation may lead to:
As with any other medications, consult an expert health specialist before taking these supplements. These supplements should not be consumed by those under 18 years old, women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, and those under other steroid therapy.
Below is a video for more information on DHEA from Dr. Susan Marra.
Guidelines Used in the Selection of the Best DHEA Supplements
Below are the guidelines used in the selection of the best DHEA supplements to buy:
1. All Products Selected Are in the 50mg Dosage Form, Either Tablet or Capsule
The ideal consumption of DHEA is twice daily, each in a 25mg dose. The total 50mg form is believed to be adequate in treating adrenal insufficiency. Other diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer may require higher doses of DHEA to magnify its effectiveness.
2. Quality of the Ingredients Used.
The supplements must be 100% DHEA (no fillers, additives, or artificial ingredients) and preferably plant-based. They must also be non-genetically modified organisms (GMO) and non-allergenic. Most of these DHEA supplements are derivatives from wild yams but are carefully processed to derive the desired by-products. The plant-based capsules are the best dosage forms.
3. Technique or Method Used in the Manufacture of the Supplements
The production of the supplements must be certified under the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards and preferably with US FDA supervision.
4. Effectiveness in Getting the Desired Results
It should have proven results and reported with minimal adverse reactions and side effects.
5. Economical Value
The price of every bottle of DHEA must be affordable with enough capsules or tablets to produce the desired results. A provision of the money-back guarantee when not satisfied is a plus.
The Chosen Best DHEA Supplements
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Final Words on DHEA Supplements
DHEA is present in our bodies, and the amount varies based on personal body constitution, genetic predisposition, environment, and lifestyle. DHEA supplementation helps in promoting hormonal balance, prevent inflammation, enhances the mood, and might help minimize aging. The ideal dose for these supplements is 50mg daily through two increments of 25mg.
Among the observed DHEA supplements, Zhou Nutrition might have provided the best option. Its superior ingredients and adequate dosage in capsule form might be the optimal decision to take. No adverse reactions reported, non-habit forming, and non-allergenic. It is economically priced and passed the standards set under the GMP and supervision of the US FDA. It aids in boosting immunity, supports hormonal balance, helps in mood management, lessens fatigue, improves mental cognition, and aids in managing menopausal symptoms. Its formulation is pure DHEA and 100% plant-based.
I hope you were able to learn from this buyer's guide. You may leave feedback on the comment section. For any other health products that you want more information on, I will be more than glad to help you.
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