DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone made mainly by the adrenal glands. It is converted by the body into estrogen and testosterone. DHEA is an anti-aging hormone that peaks in the late twenties. It supports the immune system, decreases allergic reactions, lowers cholesterol and trigylcerides and promotes weight loss and mental health. One of the most important functions of DHEA is to buffer the hormone system from stress (cortisol “steal”).

DHEA levels declining is a normal part of aging and menopause. However, stress can cause an accelerated drop in levels in young women as well. Since DHEA is part of the hormone pathway and used make estrogen and testosterone, this can lead to hormone imbalances.

DHEA supplementation is best done with a pharmaceutical grade product. It does not require a prescription. The dose for replacement in women is much lower than for men since women are more sensitive to the effects of DHEA and need less as well. If DHEA levels are low and not fixed, it is harder to balance hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone).