Medical Studies on DHEA – Basic Facts
Independent of its direct effect, DHEA is also an important “prohormone” because it provides the basic building blocks for the production of other steroid hormones, such as the male sex hormone testosterone and the female sex hormone estrogen. In addition, along with other hormones, enzymes and vital substances, DHEA acts as a “buffer hormone” – a role in which it supports the balance of all physiological body functions.
Steroid Hormone With Highest Blood Concentration
Active DHEA is formed primarily in the adrenal glands, brain and skin, where it is synthesized from metabolites of cholesterol. Most of this hormone circulates in the bloodstream as DHEA-S, or DHEA sulfate, and is also bound to specific carrier proteins. Stress, severe chronic health conditions and certain anti-inflammatory drugs are known to negatively affect DHEA levels.
Like many hormones, DHEA levels decline as we age: Blood levels of DHEA are highest in youth, but decline progressively after age 25 and rapidly after age 40. This contributes to the gradual reduction in estrogen production and the onset of menopause in women, and the decline in the production of testosterone in men. Studies have clearly shown that men with androgenic disorders and women who have entered menopause have very low levels of DHEA that must be brought into balance.
Interaction of DHEA and Cortisol
DHEA is also closely related to the stress hormone cortisol. Thus, scientists have found that a disturbed balance of cortisol and DHEA production is linked to various health conditions associated with stress and the aging process. On the other hand, restoring the physiological cortisol-DHEA ratio creates a greater sense of well-being, especially in older people.
Medical Studies on DHEA – Basic Facts
Circadian rhythms of 11-oxygenated C19 steroids and ∆5-steroid sulfates in healthy men
Many hormones display distinct circadian rhythms, driven by central regulators, hormonal bioavailability, and half-life. A set of 11-oxygenated C19 steroids (11-oxyandrogens) and pregnenolone sulfate (PregS) are elevated in congenital adrenal hyperplasia and other disorders, but their circadian patterns have not been characterized.
The effects of puberty and its hormones on subcortical brain development
Puberty triggers a period of structural “re-organization” in the brain, when rising hormone levels act via receptors to influence morphology. However, our understanding of these neuroendocrine processes in humans remains poor.
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate directly activates protein kinase C-beta to increase human neutrophil superoxide generation
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is the most abundant steroid in the human circulation and is secreted by the adrenals in an age-dependent fashion, with maximum levels during the third decade and very low levels in old age.
The aging GABAergic system and its nutritional support
Aging is associated with a decline in hormones and an associated decline in GABAergic function and calcium and ion current dysregulation. Neurosteroid hormones act as direct calcium channel blockers, or they can act indirectly on calcium channels through their interaction with GABA receptors.
Correlation of age and sex with urine dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate level in healthy Thai volunteers
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAs), a prohormone secreted by the adrenal gland, plays a role in the synthesis of sex hormones, namely, androgen and estrogen. It has been found that the amount of DHEAs is correlated with age, although most studies have focused on the correlation of serum DHEAs levels with age and sex.
Very High Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEAS) in serum of an overweight female adolescent without a tumor
An increase of serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate (DHEAS) is observed in premature adrenarche and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Very high DHEAS levels are typical for adrenal tumors. Approximately 74% of DHEAS is hydrolyzed to DHEA by the steroid sulfatase (STS). The reverse reaction is DHEA sulfation. Besides these two enzyme reactions, the DHEAS transported through the cell membrane is important for its distribution and excretion.
DHEAS and human development: an evolutionary perspective
Adrenarche, the post-natal rise of DHEA and DHEAS, is unique to humans and the African Apes. Recent findings have linked DHEA in humans to the development of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDPFC) between the ages of 4-8 years and the right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) from 7 to 12 years of age.
Pharmacological activities of dehydroepiandrosterone: a review
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroidal hormone secreted by Zonareticularis of the adrenal cortex with a characteristic age related pattern of secretion. These hormones are inactive precursors that are transformed into active sex steroids in peripheral target tissues. These hormones are used for the energy, vitality and the natural support of most bodily functions that involve the endocrine system.
Saliva DHEA and cortisol responses following short-term corticosteroid intake
Given the high correlation between the serum and saliva hormone values demonstrated at rest, saliva provides a convenient non-invasive way to determine dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and cortisol concentrations.
Dehydroepiandrosterone protects vascular endothelial cells against apoptosis through a Galphai protein-dependent activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and regulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 expression
The adrenal steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may improve vascular function, but the mechanism is unclear. In the present study, we show that DHEA significantly increased cell viability, reduced caspase-3 activity, and protected both bovine and human vascular endothelial cells against serum deprivation-induced apoptosis.
Dehydroepiandrosterone stimulates nitric oxide release in vascular endothelial cells: evidence for a cell surface receptor
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) improves vascular function, but the mechanism of this effect is unclear. Since nitric oxide (NO) regulates vascular function, we hypothesized that DHEA affects the vasculature by increasing endothelial NO production.
Dehydroepiandrosterone inhibits human vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation independent of ARs and ERs
Dehyroepiandrosterone (DHEA), an adrenal-derived steroid, has been clinically implicated in protection against coronary artery disease and experimentally in inhibition of atherosclerosis and plaque progression.