DHEA – S (Dehydroepiandrosterone) – The anti-aging hormone
DHEA is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It regulates metabolism and helps to balance estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. If production of DHEA decreases under stress and is not rectified a hormonal cascade effect could occur resulting with a deficiency of other sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It guards against degenerative conditions associated with aging, influences immune function and energy production Protects against the negative effects of cortisol, affects insulin sensitivity, thyroid function and protein synthesis.
Adrenal stress and increased cortisol levels depress DHEA production and DHEA levels decrease with age. DHEA levels in the body peak when a person is in his 20s. After 30, they begin to decrease. By the time a person reaches 40, his body manufactures around half of the hormone DHEA as it used to. By 65, DHEA production decreases to 10-20 percent of the optimum. By 80, the body produces less than 5 percent of the optimum.
A diet lacking in nutrition, following low-calorie or crash diets, stress and emotional disturbances such as depression are some of the factors that can lower your DHEA level. Levels decrease more quickly in women.