DHEA, dehydroepiandrosterone, is a primary adrenal hormone
which serves as one of the body's major anti-aging hormones. In contrast to steroids that
depress our antioxidant and immune defense systems, DHEA supports such defenses. (I will
let you in on a secret: Holistic physicians prescribe DHEA liberally for their family
members, and most of them take it themselves for enhancement of their general antioxidant
and immune defenses.) I consider this an excellent agent for restoring the damaged
antioxidant and immune defenses of chronic stress sufferers. Indeed, it is a very rare
patient who does not report beneficial results within weeks or months of taking it.
I frequently use DHEA in a daily dose of 50 mg for the first
three months and then reduce the dose to 50 mg on alternate days. In most cases, such
therapy may be discontinued within several months when normal enzyme functionsand
energy levelsare restored.
1. DHEA has many established beneficial effects on the immune
2. Stress states are associated with suppression of several
immune functions; DHEA prevents that.
3. Blood DHEA levels are usually reduced in chronic fatigue
sufferers, and replacement therapy with DHEA improves the overall energy level and reduces
many associated symptoms.
4. DHEA opposes the physiological effects of cortisone in
several animal models.
5. DHEA levels drop in serious infections, including AIDS,
indicating progression of disease, and the levels rise during recovery.
6. DHEA protects immune cells against acute lethal viral
infections (including viral encephalitis).
7. DHEA regulates many immune cell functions and the
production of hormone-like mediators called lymphokines. It helps generate many desirable
molecules (such as IL-2) and prevents the excessive production of some undesirable ones,
such as interleukin 4 and 5 and gamma interferon that can impair our immune defenses. A
role of DHEA in the cause of systemic lupusan autoimmune disorderhas been