For many people, talk of DHEA and related supplements conjures up images of bodybuilders looking to increase muscle mass and strength. In reality, though, this “pro-hormone” plays an important role for everyone, but particularly women in menopause.
The fact is that everyone naturally produces the hormone and it functions in over 150 different metabolic processes. It is actually one of the most abundant hormones in the body and is produced primarily by the adrenal glands. Known as “the parent hormone,” once the produced DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) converts into a variety of hormones, including several sex hormones.
In several ways, the supplement functions much like a natural anabolic steroid, boosting the growth of other hormones that build lean muscle mass and reduce fat in the body. However, its uses go far beyond that. For women nearing or going through menopause, it also increases bone density, reduces fatigue and improves production of important sex hormones, including estrogen.
Natural levels of the hormone start to decline after the age of 30, which is when many women begin to experience sluggishness, weight gain, lowered libido and a variety of other symptoms. While the hormone is considered one of the most abundant in the body, it is also one of the most rapidly decreasing hormones in the body, and with each decade after age 30, loss accelerates.
So how does the supplement specifically impact menopausal symptoms and libido? It combats some of the most common symptoms of menopause and even restores the balance of the important sex hormones that most directly influence libido.
Benefits of Supplement Use
1. Reduces Inflammation
Recent research indicates that most diseases and age-related health conditions are tied to inflammation in some form or another. The supplement functions to not only reduce inflammation but also balance the hormones present in the body to increase energy, improve body composition and boost vitality. The treatment also helps to naturally restore the production of the hormone in the body for continued improvement.
2. Improves Bone Density and Muscle Mass
Another common symptom in post-menopausal women is a decreased bone density. For women specifically, increasing this hormone in the body supports estrogen production, which consequently results in higher bone miner density.
3. Supports Emotional Stability
Some research indicates that imbalances in dehydroepiandrosterone may significantly impact rates of major depression and overall stability, both important concerns for women going through menopause. In fact, supplementing with 25 to 200 milligrams of the hormone has been found to lower depression and mood-related concerns, including loss of pleasure and energy, lack of motivation, sadness, irritability, inability to cope with stress and excessive worrying. This supplementation also balances the presence of other hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen, that are linked to health concerns and symptoms that contribute to depression, including weight gain, sexual dysfunction and infertility.
4. Regulates Weight
Many women experience extreme fluctuations in weight as they enter menopause. This is often due to changes in the body’s natural metabolic processes, of which this supplement can play an important part. While supplementing with dehydroepiandrosterone is not a magic fix for weight at any age, hormones do play an important role in the body’s ability to use energy and burn fat. The supplement helps energy production, reduces insulin levels and stimulates fat burning, which promotes better weight management at any age.
5. Decreases Sexual Dysfunction
Though it’s not a foolproof solution, dehydroepiandrosterone has been widely used to help individuals overcome issues with sexual dysfunction, low libido and hormonal imbalance as well as menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness. To reiterate, this benefit is in large part due to the supplement’s role in supporting the production of sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. At any rate, though, many women taking a dose of between 10 and 25 milligrams of the supplement also experience a decrease in other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
The body naturally produces DHEA and converts it into several other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. These hormones are important for maintaining energy, metabolism, bone health and sexual function. While dehydroepiandrosterone is not a cure-all for menopause and related symptoms, its role in regulating hormone production, specifically the sex hormones, position it as a very effective supplement for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.