DHEA (DeHydroEpiAndrosterone) is currently one of the most important natural substances in anti-ageing medicine. Due to its numerous effects on the endocrine system, it is increasingly used to manage the declining performance in old age. In youth, blood levels of DHEA are highest compared to all other hormones. Most of this DHEA is stored as DHEA-S (DHEA sulphate). Unfortunately, both DHEA and DHEA-S levels decrease significantly with age. From the age of 40, DHEA levels drop to one third and by the age of 60 to one ninth of the level of 20-year-olds.
DHEA itself has a direct effect on lymphocytes, and can stimulate interleukin-2, an important communication protein involved in immune regulation. Independently of this, DHEA also serves as the “mother hormone” of many sex hormones, which in turn trigger specific effects in the body. Especially in older age, when gonadal function declines, people increasingly turn to DHEA to compensate for the deficit of sex hormones. However, if sufficient DHEA is lacking, there is a manifest deficit of all hormones derived from it.
If the body’s own production of DHEA is impaired or there is an increased need, this hormone precursor can be supplemented through special food supplements.