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Dhea And The Effects Of Aging

2562 words - 10 pages

DHEA And The Effects Of Aging

Many people have searched the world in hope of a cure for the effects of aging. Unfortunately, they have never found the fountain of youth, but what they discovered was Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), possibly the next best thing. All the facts of DHEA have not been drawn into a concrete conclusion, but scientists already have evidence that suggest it aids in stress and weight control, cancer, and other negative effects of aging. As a person increases in age, their level of DHEA decreases, causing health and aging problems. Therefore, claims have been made that supplements of DHEA may have health-enhancing or anti-aging properties.

Numerous claims have been made by distributors in an effort to persuade the public to buy DHEA supplements. Most of the claims appear too good to be true, but some of them are correct. Many experiments have shown the importance of maintaining a proper body level of the DHEA supplements. The suggested facts of DHEA that are known today will lead to the concrete conclusions of the future.

As it now stands, the role of DHEA as a treatment in humans has not been adequately studied. However, there is supportive epidemiological data associating the decline of DHEA levels with the number of diseases of aging. Most of this data was collected through the study of rodents, and is not applicable evidence to support its effect on humans.

WHAT IS DHEA?

Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA (C-19-H-28-O-2) is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands. It is the most abundant steroid in the bloodstream, and the most naturally-occurring hormone in the human body. DHEA is the precursor for the manufacturing of many other hormones, such as: estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisone, and others. These hormones are then used for the energy, vitality, and the natural support of most bodily functions that involve the endocrine system. Fat and mineral metabolism, stress control, and maintenance of the male and female characteristics are partially regulated by the DHEA level. Usually, the higher the level of DHEA, the healthier the individual is (http://www.smartbasic.com/glos.nutrients/dhea.glos.html).

DHEA LEVELS

The constant changing of DHEA levels begins in utero. It is the most abundant product of the fetal adrenal gland because secretion from the adrenal cortex is very high. After birth, the level drops sharply and remains low during childhood. It rises before puberty, and reaches high levels once again during young adulthood. From then on it progressively declines at a rate of 2% per year (Hornsby, 1995). The lower the level becomes, the more prone a person is to sickness.

AGING

Many claims have been made that state that DHEA can be used to treat the effects of aging. The truth is that DHEA plays several significant roles in the aging process, but its major biological function has yet to be pointed out. As I stated earlier, as a person increases in age the...

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