What Is DHEA's Side Effects for Women's Sexuality, Skin Aging and
Skin Health? - Page 5
New Research Substantiates the Anti-Aging Properties of DHEA
By Kirk Stokel
Enhanced Well-Being and Libido Even in Challenged Populations
Studies as early as 2000 demonstrated how DHEA improved well-being and could help to manage
deleterious side effects.28,66 In 2006 it was revealed that 50 mg per day of DHEA could improve psychological well-being
even in challenging populations such as those with decreased
DHEA exerted remarkably positive side effects on health-related quality of life in women taking long-term
steroids for lupus (chronic steroid therapy can produce powerful depression and reduction in quality of
life measures).68 Of particular importance, the DHEA-supplemented groups also reported improvement in
sex drive and sexuality.
Additional research supports an excitatory
effect for DHEA on sexuality, especially in women.
In one study, sixteen sexually
functional post-menopausal women were randomly given either
placebo or a single DHEA supplement of 300 mg, 60 minutes
before presentation of an erotic video.69 Women in the
supplement group showed significantly greater mental and
physical sexual arousal during the video than did the
control women. The supplemented women also reported a
greater increase in positive affect (generally feeling good)
compared to placebo recipients.
A 2009 animal study may shed light on some of the physical causes behind
these benefits: DHEA applied to the
smooth muscle of rabbit clitoris resulted in significant relaxation,70 allowing
increased blood flow and
engorgement that results in enhanced sensitivity during sexual arousal.
Favorable Gene Expression for Youthful, Glowing Skin
growing body of scientific evidence suggests that DHEA has special favorable
side effects on skin health and appearance.
In a 2000 laboratory study, DHEA was shown to increase production of
collagen, the protein that gives
youthful skin its suppleness while decreasing production of the collagenase enzymes that destroy it.71
It wasn't until 2008, however, that Canadian scientists discovered more than 50 DHEA-responsive genes in
the skin of women using a topical DHEA cream.72 DHEA switched on multiple collagen-producing genes and
reduced expression of genes associated with production and cornification (hardening) of the tough
keratinocytes that form calluses and rough skin. The researchers concluded, DHEA could exert an anti-aging
effect in the skin through stimulation of collagen biosynthesis, improved structural organization of the
dermis while modulating keratinocyte metabolism.
Other unexpected benefits of topical DHEA on aging skin are emerging. DHEA treatment increases production of sebum,
or skin oil.73 Sebum not only contributes to smooth, supple skin, it also contains myriad antimicrobial components
that prevent infection and irritation. Topical DHEA also improves skin brightness and counteracts the papery
appearance of aging skin, combating the epidermal thinning that is a visible hallmark of aging.73 The study, authors
note, that these are beneficial side effects on skin characteristics that are rarely provided by
most other topical treatments.
In the past few years alone, significant scientific substantiation of DHEA's anti-aging effects has emerged. Its neuroprotective effects are now recognized as being vital in protecting memory and reducing depressive symptoms in
older adults. DHEA enhances bone health by improving mineralization to reduce fracture risk. DHEA modulates
immunity in a coordinated fashion by boosting resistance to infection while quelling dangerous inflammation. DHEA supports cardiovascular health and activates genes that prevent
cardiovascular risk factors, including
obesity. DHEA is intimately involved in improving quality of life and bolstering sexual arousal,
while dramatically improving the appearance of healthy, youthful skin. As little as 50 mg of DHEA per day may
favorably alter gene expression to inhibit multiple factors implicated in metabolic syndrome; boost
enhance cognitive function and memory; and ward off
osteoarthritis. DHEA topical creams allow ready application of DHEA to the site of action.
Note: Individuals who have been diagnosed with a hormone-dependent canc should not supplement with DHEA until their canc
and its side effects are cured.
- Only for adults ... keep out of reach of children,
- Do not exceed recommended dose
for maximum benefits,
- If you have a bad reaction or
- When using DHEA supplements for women's
sex drive or sexuality, skin aging or skin health,
please inform your physician.
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