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.
DHEA is a 19 carbon steroid hormone, is lipophilic, and can be converted to DHEAs by activity of the enzyme sulphotransferasein the liver and adrenal glands. These are naturally synthesized in our body through cholesterol- pregnenolone pathway and can also be synthesized from various other sources like diosgenin, geniestein, wild yam, soy and cholesterol in laboratory. It serves as an indirect precursor to estrogen and testosterone and other steroid hormones.
This hormone progressively declines at the rate of 2% per year. DHEA evidence a large variety of pharmacological activities like antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-allergic, obesity treatment and cardiovascular property. It is beneficial in autoimmune disorders like lupus erythematosus, immune modulation, muscle building and hormonal problems. DHEA is known as an anti-ageing hormone, in osteoporosis and in dementia. It can also be used as a supplement as directed by the physician in various condition.