DHEA: beyond stress

Our Adrenal Glands seem to be churning overtime due to many stressors in our lives. Bad food, economic uncertainties, toxic relationships and chemicals in the environment accumulate as we fail to correct or ameliorate these issues. Soon, our Adrenal glands, the glands that handle and/or respond to these stressors, if not overwhelmed, are significantly compromised. Unfortunately, testing for this condition is not helpful. The glands have to just about fail before any test can pick up more subtle dysfunction, or underperformance.

With unrelenting stress the glands cannot recuperate. Bad foods and poor nutritional absorption in the gut limits the availability of the raw material they need to recover. This is why some supplementation has been noted to help. I recommend healing Leaky Gut through healthy eating of course, together with better handling of said stressors. Korean Ginseng, Ashwagandha, minerals, and licorice directly stimulate the Adrenal Glands for better function.

So does DHEA, or DeHydroEpiAndrosterone. It is also over the counter and widely used in Europe, particularly France where it is known as the “anti-aging” pill. As much as I feel the field of Anti Aging is deeply flawed, I do recommend DHEA and have done so for decades. It is safe and enjoys significant support in the medical literature. Despite that, I still meet with resistance from less informed physicians.

DHEA has recently been found to also help with Liver Cancer and arterial aging. Why?

Dehydroepiandrosterone triggers autophagic cell death in human hepatoma cell line HepG2 via JNK-mediated p62/SQSTM1 expression
J. Carcinogenesis (2016) 37 (3): 233

Dehydroepiandrosterone prevents linoleic acid-induced endothelial cell senescence by increasing autophagy, J. Clinical and Experimental Metabolism 2015;64:1134

We know stress depresses the immune system. Adrenal dysfunction may cause other problems that have also been noted to decrease our immune system efficiency, thus increasing the risk of cancer. Our immune system (most of which is in the gut) like any other organ in our body, including our arteries, needs proper minerals, and proper metabolism. Lacking the latter we develop Insulin Resistance, which has been shown to promote cancer (Nobel Prize 1931)

So, consider supplementing DHEA if you have any of the problems allude to above, particularly Insulin Resistance, Obesity and/or Diabetes. Men’s dose 10-50 mg , Women no more than 10 mg. But, remember, it is always best to deal with the source of the stress, mental, emotional, physical and environmental. And, most of all face your addiction to sugar.

Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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