DHEA “Mother of all Hormones”

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By Dean Yannello

When it comes to building muscle and burning body fat, maximizing testosterone and growth hormone levels seems to be the primary focus among bodybuilders.  Without optimal levels of these key hormones we would see a decrease in lean muscle tissue and increase in fat deposits throughout the body.  But there is something missing in this equation, there are many other factors within the body that come into play when it comes to achieving your bodybuilding goals.  It is within the synergy of other hormones and hormone mediators besides HGH and testosterone that we can see ourselves mold into works of art.  One hormone that is often overlooked and underestimated is DHEA.  This hormone, called “mother of all hormones”, is produced by the adrenal glands and decreases as we age.

There have been many studies done on the effects of DHEA in the body and keeping levels optimal. DHEA helps yield the results we seek by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat.  A 1964 study showed that DHEA was completely absent from urine samples of thirty-two elderly, obese people with diabetes. Recent research reveals that this hormone increases insulin sensitivity and has the ability to block glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase.  By inhibiting D6PD, DHEA actually blocks the body’s ability to store and produce fat.  DHEA is also responsible for initiating a chain reaction of other anabolic pathways.  For example, it is associated with an increase in IGF-1 levels.  IGF-1 is a powerful anabolic hormone in the body that supports muscle tissue and reduces body fat.  DHEA also initiates the activation of certain enzymes in the mitochondria which are involved with burning fats for energy.  As the “Mother of all hormones” it can be metabolized into both testosterone and estrodial, keeping a healthy balance in both men and women.  Women seem to benefit from the effects of slightly elevated testosterone which increases lean body mass and supports bone density.  As we continue working out in our late twenties and beyond, we will find that supplementing DHEA will provide us a key ingredient to achieve our goals of an aesthetic physique and improved quality of life.


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