Is DHEA the mythical fountain of youth long sought after by Spanish explorers?
Researchers now believe that a natural hormone produced by the body’s own adrenal glands, going by the cumbersome name dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA for short, is a more promising aging antidote. Although DHEA’s popularity is just recently starting to grow, this hormone was first discovered over 60 years ago – in 1934. DHEA is called the “mother hormone” because it acts as a precursor to other hormones that are in the body, such as testosterone and estrogen. Levels of DHEA in the body do change throughout life. They are highest during our 20s and 30s, after which the body’s production winds down by about 10 percent each year. In fact, by the age of 60, DHEA is down to only 5-15 percent of its peak level. In addition, DHEA levels are lower in unhealthy aging individuals, compared to their more healthy counterparts. Could it be that falling levels of DHEA signal the body’s biological clock to wind down? And, more importantly, can supplementing with DHEA keep the clock ticking and exten