In part two of my quick look at the supplement dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), I address five potential health concerns for which it could yield benefits. They are lupus, osteoporosis, adrenal insufficiency, impotence, and sexual dysfunction in women.
The best scientific evidence on the clinical use of DHEA is in the treatment of lupus, an autoimmune disease. The target population is women between the ages of 15 and 45. Most patients have one or more of these symptoms: arthritis; inflammation of the lining of the lung or heart; kidney failure; seizures or psychosis; oral ulcerations; sun sensitivity; butterfly rash over the cheeks and nose; anemia;
low white blood cell count; and low platelet count. Several studies using 200 milligrams (mg) a day for three to nine months have ound that DHEA reduced symptoms and disease activity and often maintained bone density. The most common side effect was acne.
2. Adrenal insufficiency
Patients with insufficient function of the adrenal glands (a.k.a. Addison’s disease) from a disease or drug may benefit from DHEA replacement. For them, it could lead to better sexual function, feelings of overall well-being, and improved mood, energy, and cholesterol levels.
This, of course, is the common condition marked by the deterioration and weakening of bones in the body. DHEA supplements may have a beneficial effect in increasing bone density in men and women with osteoporosis.
4. Sexual Dysfunction in Women
Want to make your twilight years a bit more energetic? Taking DHEA at 50 mg a day improved libido and satisfaction in women over 70 after six months of treatment.
That’s right! DHEA at 50 mg a day may also improve sexual performance, as was the case in a study of 20 men with erectile dysfunction.
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Plus, with less supporting evidence, DHEA may be able to help with these health issues: depression; ulcerative colitis; depression; memory; coronary artery disease; building muscle and strength; diabetes; and Alzheimer’s disease.