DHEA, a steroid hormone made in the adrenal glands and brain, is one of the most plentiful hormones in the body. Levels of DHEA decline with age; a 70-year-old produces about 10 percent of the DHEA levels produced by a 20-year-old.
First identified in 1934, DHEA is produced in greater quantities than other adrenal steroids. Since DHEA can be converted into other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, scientists assumed DHEA was merely a reservoir the body could draw on to produce other hormones. However, research suggests that DHEA has specific physiologic functions.
DHEA, like many of our other hormones, is not immune to the damaging effects of manufactured fats. Symptoms of DHEA deficiency include fatigue, anxiety, depression, low sexual desire, and lack of sexual satisfaction.Adequate levels of DHEA are linked to longevity.
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