Basic Facts

Medical Studies on DHEA – Basic Facts

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.

Circadian Secretion

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

2021-08 Turcu AF, Zhao L, Chen X, Yang R, Rege J, Rainey WE, Veldhuis JD, Auchus RJ

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.

Correlation of age and sex with urine dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate level in healthy Thai volunteers

2021-01 Krorakai K, Tontipattananon S, Leemahanil R, Klangphukhiew S, Wongrathanandha C, Phaibulpanich A, Patramanon R

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

2020-05 Iliev DI, Braun R, Sánchez-Guijo A, Hartmann M, Wudy SA, Heckmann D, Bruchelt G, Rösner A, Grosser G, Geyer J, Binder G

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.

Pharmacological activities of dehydroepiandrosterone: a review

2020-01 Sahu P, Gidwani B, Dhongade HJ

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.

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

2007-07 Liu D, Si H, Reynolds KA, Zhen W, Jia Z, Dillon JS

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.

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