You’ve tried every fad diet on the planet. You exercise every day. And you may have even tried many of the diet pills. But you still can’t lose weight.
You already know that aging makes it more and more difficult for you to lose weight. You’ve experienced it for yourself: Your metabolism slows down, your energy level drops, and you don’t burn calories as quickly. It all makes losing those extra pounds very hard.
What you may not know is that weight gain is oftentimes caused by hormone imbalances. But an intriguing study has shown that taking one specific hormone could make your waistline shrink. It can even turn back the hands of time to give you the energy you had when you were 20 years younger, which means an even better sex life.
For those who just can’t seem to lose weight, there’s usually an underlying cause. Ted was the perfect example. He ate a great diet. Exercised regularly. But he just couldn’t drop the weight. He was even taking bio-identical hormones, which helped, but didn’t completely solve the problem. He even suffered from erectile dysfunction. I thought he was headed for type-2 diabetes, but his blood sugar was ok. While I was still concerned about his insulin, there was clearly something else causing his problems.
When we looked at his entire chart, it seemed like he had all the bases covered. So we decided to try something most people try to avoid. We gave him the over-the-counter hormone DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)! Ted’s case was the exact type of case that tends to respond really well to DHEA. A study that came out many years ago explains why.
DHEA Dissolves Abdominal Fat
The researchers in this study set out to prove whether DHEA could reverse some of the metabolic complications of aging if DHEA levels in elderly people were returned to the levels of their youth.
What happened was clear: The impact of aging on the participants’ metabolic health was reversed. The study showed that people over 50 who took DHEA for six months decreased their abdominal fat and improved their insulin action.
In only six months, DHEA supplementation resulted in a decrease in visceral fat (within the abdomen) of 10.2% in the women and 7.4% in the men. DHEA therapy also resulted in a decrease in subcutaneous abdominal fat (below the skin surface) averaging 6% in both the women and the men. The researchers found no adverse effects from DHEA therapy.
These fat losses may not sound like a lot, but remember, the people did not change their diets. Imagine the results you could have if you took DHEA and also ate a healthy diet and boosted your exercise levels.
What I’m most excited about is that these folks didn’t just lose fat. Their insulin levels improved, too. That’s exactly what Ted needed. At the end of the study, patients receiving DHEA had significantly lower insulin levels during oral glucose tolerance tests than at the start of the study. Their glucose levels remained unchanged, and these results indicate an improvement in insulin action.
The degree of improvement in insulin action correlated closely to the amount of visceral fat they lost.
Insulin, as you may know, is the hormone that controls blood sugar and the storage of body fat. Being overweight really means having too much body fat. And excess body fat contributes to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and most forms of cancer.
It also can contribute to problems with sexual function for men and women. Men, in particular, can experience erectile dysfunction because of the reduced circulation to the pelvic region. Reducing fat often opens up circulation to the area and fixes the ED. Even women can experience increased sexual function by losing a few pounds. When Ted started taking DHEA, he quickly noticed a change in his sexual function. He was thrilled.
DHEA Can Help Rev Up a Slow Metabolism
Some people are blessed with a fast metabolism and may not need DHEA. They can eat constantly and never gain an ounce. But for the rest of us, we’re not so fortunate and must watch everything we eat.
The body also goes through age cycles. Younger bodies tend to use calories faster, partly due to their higher activity rate. When we get older, most of us become more sedate, so we burn fewer calories in our daily activities.
In addition, as we get older, there’s a metabolic decline in calorie use, even among those who were always thin. Declining levels of DHEA are connected to that metabolic change that allows the extra pounds to creep on.
DHEA is not a foreign substance. It’s not a drug. Your adrenal glands produce it, so stress can affect your production. When the adrenals become fatigued, they don’t function as well and DHEA production drops.
As precursor to other adrenal hormones, it diminishes with age. So measuring your levels is one of the best ways you can measure the health consequences of aging. DHEA levels peak at about age 20 and then gradually decline. By the time you hit 70, you have only about 20% of the peak amount circulating in your body. This steady decline in DHEA explains many of the damaging effects of aging.
There’s More to This Story
Losing weight and improving sexual function are not the only benefits of restoring your levels of DHEA. DHEA also protects against osteoporosis. The age-related decline in DHEA levels appears to be a factor in age-related bone loss. This is one more reason women shouldn’t shy away from DHEA.
In one interesting study, bone mineral density was measured at the lumbar spine, hip, and radius in 105 women, aged 45-69. Fifty women had normal measurements, whereas 55 had low bone density. The average serum DHEA-S level, (the test used to measure DHEA) was 60% lower in the women with low bone density than in those with normal bones. Women with low DHEA values were 40 times more likely to have osteoporosis than were women with normal DHEA levels.
In contrast, there was no relationship between estrogen levels and bone density. But what do we hear from the doctors? Take estrogen to protect your bones. Big Pharma is way off the mark here.
Here are a few more conditions that have responded well to DHEA. DHEA suppresses destructive chemicals that increase inflammation in the body. As you may know, chronic inflammation is a major contributor to aging.
DHEA also helps the body fight infection and suppress viruses. It improves neurological functions, including memory, mood enhancement, and, as I mentioned earlier, it combats stress.
Some studies have found that DHEA protects against heart disease by blocking the formation of dangerous blood clots and plaque. It inhibits chemically induced cancers in the colon, lung, breast, and skin, and protects against the effects of cancer-causing chemicals on cells.
I’m not saying that DHEA is a wonder drug that’s good for every ill. But it is a hormone that’s involved in many body processes. So, if you’re deficient, it can have a major impact on various aspects of your health. That means that properly managed DHEA therapy can be useful for many older men and women to increase energy, vitality, and foster an overall youthful feeling.
Isn’t DHEA a Dangerous Hormone?
As I mentioned at the outset, a lot of people avoid DHEA. There are some concerns with the hormone, so caution is warranted. But for most people, taking 50 mg of DHEA a day if you’re over age 50 and overweight isn’t a concern. Many people need to take it for only six months or so. That reduces the chances of long-term side effects.
DHEA is mildly androgenic, so it can produce extra body hair – a real concern for women. So lower doses for a shorter period of time is suggested for women. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
There are some other concerns about DHEA. First, it may increase testosterone and estrogen. For most of us, that’s a benefit. But for some people, those who are fighting hormone-related diseases, it may be a problem. If this describes you, use DHEA only with a doctor’s guidance. The doctor can follow your hormone levels and keep you on a safe dose.
The other concern is less troubling. In animal studies where huge doses were used, some of the animals developed liver problems. I’m not as concerned about this, for two reasons. First, the doses were 20 times larger than you need to take. Second, you can easily protect your liver with nutrients such as green tea, alpha lipoic acid, and antioxidant rich foods. Hopefully, you’re already eating lots of vegetables and fruits and drinking green tea.
If you’re a man with prostate cancer or prostate enlargement (BPH) or you’re a woman with hormone receptor-positive cancer, DHEA is not for you.
And if you’re under age 35, DHEA is probably not for you either. But your time is coming.
Since these are the only concerns most people have with DHEA, I see no reason not to begin using DHEA on a regular basis.
An appropriate dose of DHEA is 50 mg a day. More is not better!
Please understand that you don’t need to take huge doses of any supplement, especially a hormone, unless you’re doing so to treat a specific ailment. If you think you need more DHEA, make sure you’re under the supervision of a doctor.
It’s simple to check your level of DHEA to be sure that it’s optimal and not deficient or excessive. Ask your doctor for a DHEA-S test to help you to establish the best dose for you. Repeat the test every six months once you’ve begun DHEA therapy. If your levels become adequate, you can reduce your dose or, in some cases, even stop taking it.