DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a naturally-occurring hormone secreted by the body that can also be found in wild yam and soy. DHEA is used for slowing or reversing aging, improving thinking skills in older people, and slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
Athletes and trainers use DHEA to increase muscle mass, strength, and energy. But DHEA use is banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). People use DHEA supple to improve their sex drive, hasten muscle build up, fight the effects of aging, and improve some health conditions, decrease visceral fat, improve cognitive function.
DHEA is also used by men for erectile dysfunction (ED), and by healthy women. Women who have low levels of certain hormones use to improve well-being and sexuality. Some people try DHEA to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), weak bones (osteoporosis), multiple sclerosis (MS), low levels of steroid hormones (Addison’s disease), depression, schizophrenia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. It is also used for preventing heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. DHEA is used for weight loss, for decreasing the symptoms of menopause, and for boosting the immune system. Women who have passed menopause sometimes use DHEA inside the vagina for strengthening the walls of the vagina and for increasing bone mineral density.
There is evidence that supports DHEA has significant benefit in treating conditions such as
- Low bone density
- Heart disease
- Cervical cancer
- Systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID – formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Crohn’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sexual dysfunction