DHEA Dehydroepiandrosterone by Life Extension
Life Extension DHEA Dehydroepiandrosterone 25 mg. Capsules
In 1981, the Life Extension Foundation introduced DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) to its members through an article that described the multiple benefits this hormone might produce. However, the general public did not learn about DHEA until 1996, when its benefits were touted by the news media and in several popular books. DHEA became credible to the medical establishment when the New York Academy of Sciences published a book called DHEA and Aging. That book provided scientific validation for the many life-extending effects of DHEA.
It has been shown that the serum hormone DHEA often declines by 75–80% from peak levels by age 70 or later, leading to hormonal imbalances that can affect one’s quality of life. Peak blood levels of DHEA occur at approximately age 25, decreasing progressively thereafter. The marked decline in serum DHEA with age is believed to play a role in health problems associated with aging. Thus, scientists have been looking at ways of restoring DHEA to youthful levels to prevent or reverse those health issues, and are now discovering mechanisms by which DHEA protects against age-related decline.
Since 1981, several hundred studies have been published on DHEA’s various benefits, including immunomodulatory properties as well as positive effects on mood, quality of life, and body composition. It has been proposed that restoring the circulating levels of DHEA to those found in young people may improve well-being and sexual function. In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, ten months of DHEA replacement therapy has the beneficial effect of enhancing the increases in muscle mass and strength with the addition of resistance exercise in elderly individuals. The studies of DHEA therapy in women with adrenal insufficiency also suggest beneficial effects on well-being, mood, and sexuality. DHEA could be of benefit to the normal aging brain. Some studies have reported DHEA may improve mood and alleviate melancholy. In addition, recent studies in vitro have shown that DHEA has the capacity to improve endothelial function by increasing nitric oxide (NO) synthesis.
In recent randomized, double-blinded, controlled trials, DHEA replacement therapy for one year helped protect hip bone mineral density in older adults and spine bone mineral density in older women. DHEA has also been shown to support a healthy circulatory system and joint/bone health.
DHEA usage and safety precautionsLife Extensio has been investigating DHEA for almost 30 years. Life Extension’s DHEA directions for use are specially drafted to provide optimal, but safe dosing. The standard blood test to evaluate DHEA status is one that measures DHEA sulfate levels (DHEA-S). The DHEA-S is calculated in micrograms per deciliter (ì/dL) of blood. A DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) blood test may be taken three to six weeks after initiating a DHEA supplementation regimen to help determine optimal dosing. When having your blood tested for DHEA, blood should be drawn three to four hours after the last dose. DHEA testing may save you money if it shows you can take less DHEA to maintain youthful DHEA serum levels.
Because of the overwhelming evidence connecting low levels of DHEA to problems associated with aging, Life Extension suggests that all people over age 40 begin DHEA therapy. For most people, the starting dose of DHEA is between 15–75 mg, taken in one daily dose. Many studies have used a daily dose of 50 mg.
Ideally, DHEA replacement therapy should begin with blood testing to establish a base range. People over age 40 who do not supplement with DHEA usually have serum levels below 200, and many are below 100 as a steady decline takes place after the third decade in life. There are different precautions for men and women that should be observed.
DHEA precautions for men
Before attempting to restore DHEA to youthful levels, men should know their serum PSA (prostate specific antigen) level. Men with prostate cancer or severe benign prostate disease are advised to avoid DHEA since it can be converted into testosterone (and estrogen). Therefore, men are advised to have a PSA and digital rectal exam before initiating DHEA to rule out existing prostate disease.
When taking DHEA we also recommend taking the following other nutrients:
- Vitamin E (d-tocopheryl succinate) 400 IU daily
- Selenium 200 mcg daily
- Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones 55 mg daily
- Gamma E Tocopherol with Sesame Lignans 200 mg daily
- Lycopene Extract 20–40 mg daily
- Saw Palmetto Extract 160 mg twice daily
- Pygeum Extract 50 mg twice daily
- Nettle Extract 120 mg twice daily
- Boron 3–10 mg daily
It is important for men over 40 to have a physician check their PSA and DHEA-S serum levels every six to twelve months thereafter. Men should also periodically check their blood levels for free testosterone and estrogen to make sure that DHEA is following a youthful metabolic pathway. See the Male Hormone Modulation chapter in the Disease Prevention & Treatment book for additional hormone balance testing that can be done at the same time serum DHEA and PSA levels are being tested.DHEA precautions for women
Women should consider estrogen and testosterone testing when they take their DHEA blood test in order to evaluate DHEA’s effect on their blood levels of these hormones. Women who have been diagnosed with an estrogen-dependent cancer should consult their physicians before beginning the DHEA restoration process. When taking DHEA we also recommend taking the following other nutrients to maintain a healthy balance:
- Melatonin 300 mcg to 3 mg nightly
- Vitamin E 400–800 IU daily (d-tocopheryl succinate)
- Broccoli extract 400 mg daily (as found in Dual-
- Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract)
- Indole-3-carbinol 80 mg daily (as found in Dual-
- Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract)
- Vitamin D3 1000–2000 IU daily
- Gamma Tocopherol with Sesame Lignans 200 mg daily
- Soy Isoflavones 55 mg daily
- Women taking DHEA should refer to the Female Hormone Modulation chapter in the Disease
- Prevention and Treatment book for information about restoring youthful hormone balance.
DHEA supplementation The Life Extension Foundation Buyers Club offers DHEA supplements that conform to the following specifications:
Life Extension Frequently Asked Questions
- Micronized (for maximum absorption and utilization)
- Manufactured under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) conditions
What are Life Extension's quality control standards?
Life Extension uses only premium quality vitamins and other ingredients. Their dedication to excellence insists that their nutritional supplements meet the highest standards and criteria.
That is why Life Extension insists on purchasing only the highest quality raw materials from all over the world, primarily from leading US, Japanese and European sources. Life Extension goes one step further by using advanced analytical methods, such as high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, to ensure their products meet label claims for potency and purity. Life Extension tests its raw materials using US Pharmacopeia and other exacting pharmaceutical assay standards.
Why are Life Extension's nutritional supplements more advanced than other dietary supplements?
The unique ingredients included in Life Extension's products are often years ahead of the products sold by commercial vitamin companies. Life Extension scientists analyze thousands of scientific studies every week to make sure their health-promoting formulas include the most advanced life extending ingredients in the world. The Foundation interacts with the world's foremost gerontology researchers in order to obtain inside information about antiaging breakthroughs before these findings are published. The Life Extension Foundation funds the most advanced anti-ischemia laboratory in the world, where antioxidant vitamins, hormones, and pharmaceutical agents are used to prevent free radical induced cellular damage.
Are Life Extension's vitamins natural or synthetic?
Life Extension carries a combination of natural and synthetic vitamins and supplements. Some advertising statements would have them believe that "natural" is better, but natural supplements in some instances contain impurities such as pollen and naturally occurring hormones that can cause problems for some people. Synthetic nutrients are manufactured to be chemically identical (with the exception of vitamin E) to those extracted from natural sources, and are the most pure nutrient vitamins.
What does Life Extension do to ensure the quality of its products?
They focus on three specific areas.
- Raw Materials: Unlike other supplement companies, the natural ingredients that go into Life Extension's supplements are not chosen based on cost. Instead they are chosen based on purity (to exclude contaminants such as microbes and heavy metals), potency, and usage in successful scientific research.
- Validation of the Efficacy of Ingredients by Scientific Research: Life Extension uses ingredients and dosages that accurately replicate the most successful results obtained in scientific studies for maximum efficacy.
- Manufacturing: Naturally, Life Extension is in strict compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for manufacturing, packaging, and storage.
Does the label accurately list exactly what’s in the bottle?
Yes. All active ingredients from patented, scientifically validated raw materials as well as final, finished products are verified using advanced analytical methods such as HPLC (highperformance liquid chromatography), MS (mass spectrometry), etc., to ensure each and every product accurately meets label claims in strict compliance with their demanding product specifications.
When it comes to supplements, is cost an indicator of quality?
Where Life Extension is concerned, yes. Patented materials validated in scientific studies cost more — period. In contrast with many commercial brands focused on driving up margins by using the cheapest raw materials available, Life Extension collaborates with raw material suppliers who invest in scientific validation of their ingredients, which increases material costs. With Life Extension products, you get the quality you pay for.
What are the “Other Ingredients” on the label, and why are they important?
They are inactive ingredients (excipients) that play a number of critical, essential roles in the manufacturing process including:
- Achieving uniform density for accurate dosing
- Dispersing the active ingredients evenly throughout a solid tablet, capsule, and softgel
- Protecting active ingredients from rapid inactivation due to heat and moisture
- Promoting tablet disintegration, as well as capsule and softgel dissolution
- Sustaining the release of active ingredients into the body over time
Why do some companies refer to these excipients as a threat to your health?
Claiming any product is “pure and free of excipients” can be deceptive advertising, too frequently used to draw attention away from inferior active ingredients! The right inactive ingredients used in the right way do important things … like ensuring that a tablet disintegrates in your GI tract rather than just passing through your system without benefit, or keeping a product from breaking down and being susceptible to microbes. Take Life Extension blueberry extract, for example. It contains AuroraBlue wild-harvested, Alaskan blueberries. To retain their nutritional complexity, these berries are freeze-dried and carefully milled for capsule formulation. But being a whole fruit raw material, it tends to want to reconstitute itself with moisture, which would make it a breeding ground for bacteria. So Life Extension uses a drying excipient to keep the milled blueberry material dry, so it can safely deliver its superior nutritional value compared with other, less costly blueberry extracts in most commercial formulations.
All of the excipients Life Extension uses have earned GRAS (“Generally Regarded As Safe”) status. In many cases not using them compromises final product quality! Excipients are used in nutritional supplements to ensure uniform density of complex active materials, to achieve even dispersion of active ingredients, and to promote appropriate disintegration and/or dissolution of active ingredients inside your body.
Should I be concerned about the use of stearic acid?
Stearic acid functions as a flow agent in the manufacture of quality products, and stearic acid also occurs naturally in the foods you eat. For example, four ounces of dark chocolate contain 3,625 mg of stearic acid; a cup of kidney beans contains 1,655 mg of stearic acid; an ounce of raw ground beef (grass-fed) contains 2,063 mg of stearic acid; and a half pound of lean raw turkey contains 1,642 mg of stearic acid. Even a tablespoon of allspice contains 1,513 mg of stearic acid! Life Extension supplements, on the other hand, typically contain no more than 10 mg per capsule. They always use the lowest level of magnesium stearate possible.
Should I be concerned that products with soybean oil or lecithin are a source of phytoestrogens?
While it is true that soy isoflavones are phytoestrogens, the amount in soybean oil or lecithin is so minute, the USDA lists it in foods as having zero value for isoflavones. To give you a frame of reference, Life Extension’s Ultra Natural Prostate contains 4 mg of lecithin which supplies only about 0.006 mg of soy isoflavones!
Should I be concerned with the usage of genetically modified plants (GMOs)?
Soybeans are an example of a crop that has used extensive genetic engineering to increase crop yield. The reality is that soybean oil and soy lecithin are highly processed derivatives of soy, far removed from their soy origin. Genetic modification doesn’t alter the entire plant, only a specific gene. Thus, specific molecules like soy lecithin are the same whether they come from a GMO or non-GMO soy source. However, due to their sensitivity to customer concerns, products with corn and soy-based active ingredients are in process of having the labels updated to list when soy and corn-derived active ingredients have been certified to be from non-GM food crops.
Does the gelatin used in softgels and capsules contain MSG?
Gelatin does not contain MSG, but does contain about 0.05 grams of glutamic acid in one softgel. You ingest about 120 times more glutamic acid in a serving of asparagus, cabbage or tomatoes!
What’s the difference between tablets, capsules and softgels?
Sophisticated products require sophisticated delivery systems. The best companies choose the most effective finished form based on the characteristics of the raw materials, and the desired disintegration or dissolution characteristics of the finished product and the active ingredients.
Why aren’t Life Extension products organic?
The word “organic” conveys the perception of quality to consumers. But it actually relates to foods that are grown rather than products that are formulated. Many of their scientifically validated raw materials are not produced organically. Rather, their mandate includes rigorous testing and scrupulous processing. The objective is purity, both in terms of our raw materials and their finished products.
Life Extension is a global authority on nutrition, health and wellness as well as a provider of scientific information on anti-aging supplements and therapies. Life Extension supplies only the highest quality nutritional supplements, including minerals, vitamins, herbs and hormones.