The discovery of medicine has played a crucial role in our lives. Its undeniable power cured millions of diseases and saved thousands of people. But, its misuse poses unimaginable dangers that can destroy a once bright future.
Further innovations in the medical field brought us the wonders of supplements. Unlike medicine, supplements cannot treat illnesses and cure chronic diseases. What they do is point you towards a healthier lifestyle and help you live a quality life. You can read more about this here.
Nutritional supplements fill in the gaps in our daily diet. It supplies us with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals that we need at a particular time and day. Supplements are not limited to multivitamins alone. There are several kinds of it in the market like herbal, probiotic, fish oil, and steroids.
Contrary to popular belief, steroids are not just performance-enhancing supplements. Its benefits are not limited to growth promotion and muscle building. It enhances bone mineral density and combats obesity and anemia.
Despite its apparent health benefits, many controversies surround the use of anabolic steroids. Due to its abuse and misuse in the sports industry, the FDA banned several steroidal supplements and marked it as a controlled drug. But, with the exception of 4-DHEA.
What is 4-DHEA?
4-Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is the most abundant circulating steroid hormone in our body. The gonad, adrenal glands, and brain are its main producers. 4-DHEA is the precursor of several hormones in our body namely androgens, estrogens, and testosterone. Our body stores a ton of 4-DHEA and only converts it to specific hormones when needed.
This chemical substance is responsible for the development of masculinization in men. It includes the growth of body hairs, change in body odor, and production of oil in the skin. The normal body output of DHEA is at its maximum during the ages of 20 to 30 years old. It starts to decline, as the person gets older.
The medical use of the 4-DHEA supplement proved to be effective on several health problems like age-related diseases, immune response, and cardiovascular ailments.
Low levels of the hormone can spur the onset of autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the medical benefits of 4-DHEA?
One health benefit of taking 4-DHEA supplements is the improvement of spinal bone density. A study proved the efficacy of 4-DHEA in strengthening the bone mineral density of older women. It acts by potentiating the effects of calcium and Vitamin D in the bones. It is used during replacement therapy for senior women suffering from osteoporosis and other lumbar spine conditions.
2. Depression and other neurological conditions
As a neurosteroid, 4-DHEA plays a positive role in enhancing the neuronal response of our brain. It enhances the neurotransmitters and protects them from toxins, inflammation, and apoptosis.
In 2013, 4-DHEA was found to improve the connection of our brain’s amygdala and hippocampus. Thus, contributing to the enhancement of our mood, memory, emotion, and other cognitive function.
Due to its cortisol-inhibiting properties, doctors used it to treat severe depression, depressed mood, and fatigue. But, it is not advisable to be used alongside antidepressants and mood-stabilizers.
Aside from depression, it was also suggested to improve other mental disorders like schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa.
3. Immune system
The supplementation of 4-DHEA also enhances the immune function and response of our body. This is especially true during traumatic hemorrhage, thermal damage, and sepsis. The metabolites of DHEA also increase our immune response against viral and bacterial infections.
4. Systemic lupus erythematosus
SLE or Lupus is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the connective tissues. It is characterized by a systemic organ injury of the kidney, joints, mucous membrane, and nervous system.
This debilitating disease still has no known cure. It only relies on immunosuppressive agents and topical steroids like 4-DHEA to lessen and regulate its symptoms. Only women with SLE reported symptom relief upon the usage of the 4-DHEA supplement.
5. Weight management
The role of 4-DHEA supplements against obesity and weight loss is still in its early research. But, the Washington University School of Medicine indicated that 4 DHEA can reduce fat. You can check out more information about this here: https://anabolicsteroiddrugs.com. It acts by triggering an alpha-receptor that causes a cascade of events to happen, ultimately causing our body to metabolize fat.
4-DHEA also increases the hormone estradiol. Estradiol has anti-fat properties that only take effect on postmenopausal women.
6. Adrenal insufficiency
Adrenal insufficiency (AI) is a lethal endocrine disease in which the adrenal glands do not produce the right amount of body hormones. This causes a disturbance in the normal body functions.
Aside from glucocorticoids, doctors also use 4-DHEA during replacement therapies of patients with AI. It is a direct source of androgenic hormones deficient during the onset of the disease. Although side effects like acne, hirsutism, alopecia, and scalp itching may occur.
The clinical use of 4-DHEA as AI treatment is only allowed if the patient does not respond to conventional glucocorticoid treatment.
7. Muscle strength and repair
4-DHEA helps elderly people to regain muscle strength by increasing the production of muscle tissues. It also enhances muscle repair and resistance.