What Is DHEA Used For?

The human body is a well-oiled machine. All systems run symbiotically to help maintain optimal levels of health throughout a person’s life. There are certain things the body needs to be given to help keep those processes running up to par, such as vitamins and minerals, while other substances are produced naturally. One such hormone that the body creates all on its own is dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA.

This hormone is produced in the adrenal glands and lends a hand in the production of other hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Natural levels of DHEA tend to decrease as the body ages – a factor that is thought to play a role in the development of certain chronic age-related ailments such as heart disease and depression. The depletion of naturally occurring DHEA starts around age 30 and continues throughout the rest of adulthood. 

Is DHEA a steroid?

DHEA is a steroid that acts as a precursor for hormone production. It is mostly produced by cholesterol, but can be created by the ovaries and testes in small amounts. Since it is the highest circulating steroid within the human body, it holds power over the production of various other important hormones.

What does DHEA do in the body?

As mentioned above, DHEA is responsible for helping the body to create different hormones. The brain is in control of the production of DHEA. A negative feedback message is sent to the brain when levels of DHEA begin to drop. When this occurs, the brain can essentially flip the switch back on so that DHEA can be produced in larger amounts when needed. When the levels return to where they need to be, that negative feedback message is turned off.

The levels of DHEA within the body control the levels of hormones; thus, it is used to help avoid hormonal imbalances that could lead to a variety of health problems. Many conditions can lead to disrupted hormone levels, and DHEA is the precursor designed to remedy that.

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Image by Bennett Tobias on Unsplash: Low levels of DHEA have been associated with the onset of osteoporosis.

What are the symptoms of low DHEA?

Since DHEA is an important part of hormone regulation and production, an imbalance can lead to various health conditions and issues. DHEA levels have the potential to be both too high and too low.

When DHEA levels are too high, symptoms can vary, and are generally worse in women. These symptoms include:

  • Lack of menstruation
  • Overgrowth of body and facial hair
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Trouble conceiving
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Adam’s apple

High levels of DHEA can also affect children, and may lead to the early development of pubic and underarm hair.

When DHEA levels are low, the resulting conditions and symptoms are considered more serious. Since DHEA levels decrease with age, several of the conditions associated with low DHEA levels can be seen as age-related. Illnesses that can develop due to low DHEA levels include:

If levels of DHEA are decreasing irregularly, it could mean that the body is experiencing other ailments, such as:

  • Damage to the adrenal glands and their function
  • Addison’s disease
  • Hypopituitarism

DHEA is a vital component when it comes to hormone health, and unbalanced levels can lead to serious health conditions if not addressed promptly.

What are the benefits of taking DHEA?

There is a lot of research surrounding DHEA and how increasing levels can attribute to overall health. Although DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone precursor, it can also be taken as a form of supplementation when levels begin to go down.

Some research has found that since lowered bone density is associated with low levels of DHEA, supplementation can lead to an improvement in bone density, especially as people age. It has been found to have a more effective result on women than it does on men, however.

Research has also shown that taking DHEA as a supplement can help increase strength and improve physical performance for older adults who may suffer from adrenal gland dysfunction. Studies have been contradictory when it comes to improving muscle mass or performance of people at any age, and most of the research has focused on older adults.

Another condition that DHEA may show promise in treating is depression. Studies have found that those suffering from mental illness without responding to other forms of treatment may find relief from symptoms by supplementing with DHEA. There is other evidence to suggest that too-high levels of DHEA can exacerbate symptoms of depression in middle-aged women, though more research is needed to come to a distinct conclusion.   

Since DHEA plays a role in the creation of the male and female sex hormones, it has also been shown to help improve sexual function, libido, and fertility.

Adrenal fatigue or other issues with the proper functioning of the adrenal glands could also benefit from the use of a DHEA supplement. When the adrenal glands are not functioning as they should, people can experience chronic fatigue, weakness, and blood pressure changes. Research has found that taking DHEA as a supplement in those with adrenal insufficiency can lead to an overall improved quality of life for those who suffer from the condition.

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Image by Sydney Sims on Unsplash: One of the benefits of DHEA could be the ability to help curb depression symptoms.

How long does DHEA take to work?

Taking DHEA supplements can help improve adrenal insufficiency and lead to a better quality of life. Dosing tends to be around 25–50 mg a day and it has been found to be safe and effective for a period of up to two years. Changes in symptoms are generally experienced within four months of the first dose, but changes can occur in a shorter or longer timeframe, as people response differently to supplementation.

Depending on your current state of health, DHEA may be the right supplement for you. It is always best to speak to your doctor about new supplementation prior to beginning a regimen. Vital RX’s Fitness and Energy Subscription boxes both contain DHEA to help aid in adrenal health and the regulation of hormones for overall wellness.

Featured image by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

What Is The Difference Between Peptides And Steroids?

The human body contains a vast amount of cells, chemicals, and other substances that all contribute to the proper function of its systems and organs. For everything to work as it should, the entire symbiotic system needs to run in harmony. If any vital component of the body begins to fail, the whole system suffers.

Failures in the system can be induced by nutrient depletion, the over- or underproduction of hormones, peptides, or imbalanced oxygen levels – just to name a few. Hormones and peptides are both crucial components to overall health and wellness. But what are they, what do they do to keep everything running as it should, and what is the difference between peptides and steroids?

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Image by Qimono on Unsplash: Steroids can come in many forms, including pill form and injections.

What are steroids?

Steroids can be both naturally occurring within the body and synthesized outside of it. They are a specific class of hormone and use proteins to help the production and maintenance of muscle and tissue. They aid in cell response when they make their way through the circulatory system and induce physiological responses such as the regulation of gene expression.

A well-known example of a steroid is cortisol, the “stress” hormone. It helps modulate stress levels, and can increase both blood pressure and blood sugar levels in response to stress. Other examples of steroid hormones include progesterone, which is largely used in menses regulation, and estradiol (estrogen). The synthetic version of steroids is used in many medicinal ways, including birth control pills, muscle building and repair, and to battle inflammation.

Why are steroids important?

Steroids are a vital regulator when it comes to bodily processes. They tend to be grouped by what part of the body they come from. Adrenal steroids are created in the adrenal cortex and sex hormones are created in the reproductive organs.

The importance of having a natural balance of steroids in the body draws from physiological functions and what they need to be constantly working. The release of hormones needs to take place in a calculated and harmonious way for these processes to work as they should. When a steroidal hormone is released at levels that are too low or too high, the body suffers.

What are peptides?

Peptides are essentially a “little brother” to protein. They are a type of short chain molecule and are used to bond amino acids together. Peptides can include anywhere from 2 to 50 amino acids. They are split up into several different categories depending on how many amino acids are present.

Peptides are naturally occurring in the body and contribute to the structure of cells and tissues as well as hormones, enzymes, and toxins. In some cases, peptides can be synthetic and used in the function of different receptors to help modulate cell response.

What is peptide therapy and how does it work?

Peptide therapy is a form of medicine that has been used for decades to help combat a wide variety of different maladies. Since peptides are naturally occurring within the body and have a direct role in cell signaling, they can be used to help restore receptor response for different ailments.

A good example of peptide therapy is insulin use for people with diabetes. When insulin resistance occurs, the body’s cells are unable to process glucose levels properly. The synthetic form of the hormone is given to people with diabetes to help mitigate these effects, thus restoring optimal glucose levels in the blood.

Are peptides natural?

As previously mentioned, peptides are found naturally within the body, but they can also be synthetically created. Natural peptides work to build muscle and tissue, whereas synthetic forms of peptides are injected to elicit specific responses when they bind to receptors.

Synthetic peptides are the form used in peptide therapy, and can be effective at treating a wide variety of different illnesses because they have specific characteristics that make them more attractive in treatment. Those characteristics include high bioavailability, low toxicity, and high specificity.

Peptides vs Steroids

Although peptides and steroids can both be considered hormones, their respective roles in the body and its processes differ significantly. Steroids are able to diffuse across plasma membranes of cells where peptides cannot. Steroids also bind to cells differently than peptides. Where peptides need to bind through receptors on the surface, steroids will go deep into the cell to target the nucleus, binding directly to DNA.

Peptides are used in a process called signal transduction, which is the activation of certain cellular activities whereas steroids act as transcription participant in gene expression. The two are both required for the body to function, but they don’t complete the same process, and thus are two completely vital but separate components of overall health. Some research has shown that they may have more of a connection, though, in the way that their signaling mechanisms operate similarly.

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Image by Geralt on Unsplash: Are peptides and steroids the same thing? Unlike peptides, which bind amino acids, steroids have the ability to bind directly to DNA.

Vital RX’s peptide therapy subscription box 

Steroidal treatments were used as early as the 1930s in the form of testosterone to enhance male performance, but peptide therapy is a relatively new thing outside of insulin use. The research surrounding the use of a plethora of different peptides has shown that it can help many different health issues, restoring optimal levels of health for many Americans.

Vital RX’s peptide therapy subscription boxes take specific, high-quality peptides that have been proven to enhance physical health and overall wellness. Each box contains its own specific peptide that can offer health benefits such as fat loss, increased energy, detoxification, and immune health. Click here for more information on Vital RX’s peptide therapy subscription boxes.

Featured image by Victor Freitas on Unsplash