Unplug and Relieve Stress with DHEA

When is the last time you unplugged? Very few people can honestly say they make a habit out of being able to disconnect from the constant action in their lives. We may think that stress comes from work, kids or a never-ending list of commitments. Biologically, however, what you perceive as stress and how your body copes is all the result of hormones. When you experience a stressful situation, hormones are released by the adrenal glands. The infamous fight-or-flightrelieve stress response is the result of a hormonal change in your body when you experience stress. Two important hormones released by your body under stressful conditions are cortisol and DHEA. These two hormones balance out in your body to help you cope with stress. The interesting thing is that while the sources of our stress today aren’t as lethal as they were to our ancestors, the lower, chronic stress can be more harmful over time. Many times, the mix of cortisol and DHEA becomes skewed and the balance shifts toward cortisol. When this happens, the effects of cortisol can be overwhelming. When this happens, supplementing with DHEA can help you restore balance to your body and life.

What is DHEA?

If you were asked to name a hormone, DHEA probably wouldn’t be the first one to come to mind. It may not even be in your top three. But DHEA is actually the body’s most common hormone. It’s been referred to as the “mother of all hormones”, the “fountain of youth hormone” and the “master hormone”.[1] These bold nicknames were given because DHEA is very important. DHEA plays a role in many critical bodily functions. These include:

  • Stress management
  • Testosterone production
  • Estrogen production
  • Immune system support
  • Skin health
  • Bone health
  • Fat metabolism

The flip side of all these benefits is that cortisol, the other hormone released under stress negatively impacts almost all of the areas above.

DHEA for Stress Reduction

Members of the military are among the few groups that still deal with the high levels of primal stress our ancestors were familiar with. In fact, these experiences are simulated in training, which makes them the perfect group for stress research. In a study published in The Archives of General Psychiatry, 25 military personnel were observed during survival school. The researchers tested the DHEA and cortisol levels of the participants before training as a baseline and then again immediately after a stressful phase. The researchers found that the men with higher DHEA/cortisol ratios felt less impact from the stress than the men with higher cortisol and lower DHEA. They concluded that supplementing with DHEA to balance out the cortisol/DHEA ratio could help have a protective effect against stress.[2] So what does all this mean to you? It means that if you find yourself under a lot of stress, you could be doing unnecessary harm to your body and mind. Getting some extra DHEA with supplements is a good way to help balance out your body’s hormones and reduce the impact of the stress in your life.  Sources [1] http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/DHEA_review.htm [2] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040803094422.htm


David Johnson is a freelancer with an avid interest in supplements that help relax, enhance mood, and provide cognitive enhancement. Most days he can be found researching innovative ways to bring his readers sounder sleep, better moods, and more.