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DHEA Definition
What Is DHEA?

A natural hormone produced by your adrenal gland on which several hormones depend for their own production. Two of specific interest are testosterone and IGF-1 (hormones responsible for increased size and hard, lean muscle). Additionally, DHEA can assist protein synthesis, recovery time, muscle strength, and fat loss. DHEA is the acronym for dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone produced naturally from cholesterol in the adrenal glands of males and females. It is a precursor to the male sex hormone testosterone. DHEA production peaks in early adulthood and declines in production with age in both men and women. The human body produces very little DHEA until about the age of seven, when production soars. It peaks in the mid-20s and starts to decline in the early 30s. By the mid-70s, DHEA production has dropped by about 80-90%. At all ages, DHEA levels are slightly higher in men than women. The optimum DHEA level in a healthy adult is 750-1,250 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) for men and 550-980 mg/dL for women. It is known that DHEA decreases with age, it is not known whether this constitutes a deficiency or is because the body needs less DHEA as it ages. It is now believed that DHEA is the "fountain of youth hormone." It is now used as a dietary supplement.

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