Is DHEA the Fountain of Youth?

By on December 1, 2011

By Erin Chamerlik –

Is DHEA the Fountain of Youth?

Aside from eating a whole food diet and drinking pure water, in my mind there are two substances that fall into the category: Fountain of Youth.

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide

They are Vitamin D and bioidentical DHEA.

Vitamin D is associated with bone strength, improved mood, physical performance, even reduced rates of certain cancers. Many diseases of aging are associated with low vitamin D status including Alzheimer disease, osteoarthritis and hypertension. I will dive more into Vitamin D in a future article.

DHEA stands for Dehydroepiandrosterone – the medical world is rife with acronyms, now we know why.

Funny thing is both Vitamin D and DHEA are made from cholesterol. In this country we are accelerating the aging process by dosing everybody with cholesterol-lowering medications called statins. DHEA is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands and is a building block for 50 other hormones including the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.

Here are some quick facts about DHEA:

  • DHEA peaks by age 25 then drops each year after
  • The aging process is tied to a decrease in hormones like DHEA and growth hormone and it is tied to an increase in cortisol (stress hormone) and insulin.
  • DHEA has a multitude of benefits backed by scientific studies.
  • When DHEA is applied to the skin it is about 90% more active than when we take it as a pill.
  • DHEA is converted to other hormones like estrogen and testosterone.

Estrogen has skin benefits, which is nice for anti-aging because it increases moisture and increases collagen. When collagen is increased not only does the skin look more youthful but there are the benefits to joints and even blood vessels. DHEA studies show that skin pigmentation and sebum production improves (oily/waxy substance in the skin that lubricates the skin).

Benefits of DHEA:

  • Critical for lean muscle development
  • Fat burning and weight loss
  • Bone growth
  • Skin health
  • Boosts immunity
  • Reduces menopause symptoms
  • Prevents cancer
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
  • In men there are cardiovascular benefits
  • In women we see improvement in mood, libido, skin and bone strength.
  • Less anxiety and depression
  • Improved sense of well being
  • DHEA opposes the aging effects of cortisol and is an anti-stress hormone

If you are over 35, your DHEA levels have been dropping.

A DHEA deficiency significantly increases the risk of getting certain cancers (including breast, ovarian, prostate, and bladder), atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, nervous system degeneration, and other age-related conditions.

The best anti-aging plan is a comprehensive approach that involves nutrition, supplementation, exercise, stress reduction and sleep.

Nutrition is foundational to any wellness plan and anti-aging plan. One way to get more wrinkles and have less energy is to eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) loaded with processed and refined foods. Eating a low-fat diet damages hormones and is unhealthy for your cells and brain too.

Anti-aging nutrition:

  • Eat real food, as close to the way it was created as possible (meat, chicken, eggs, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole dairy, and some fruit).
  • Eat 3 meals a day and include protein, natural fat and veggies at each meal.
  • Eat natural fat like butter, olives, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and fat naturally occurring in animal foods. Mankind has survived for thousands of years quite well eating natural fats, including saturated fats. These much maligned fats are important for cell structure, building the brain, protecting the liver from toxic substances, bone structure and it reduces LP(a) a bad dude associated with heart disease risk.
  • Drastically reduce or eliminate processed food and food made from flour.
  • Stop eating sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • Limit grains eating sprouted grains or whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat as your blood sugar allows. When we eat sugar, bread, bagels, pasta, and other starchy foods we increase blood sugar and insulin. High insulin leads to lower DHEA production in the adrenals.

The product I recommend is a bioidentical cream called Twist 25. DHEA is applied to the skin where it is used by the body as a building block for 50 other hormones. Your body decides what it needs. The ingredients are pure. Besides DHEA, the cream contains coconut oil which is a precious gift from heaven. It also has Vitamin C, E, CoQ10, and Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids.

Dr. Brownstein, MD summed it up well, “Of all the bioidentical hormones I have used in my practice, the one that gives the biggest bang for the buck is DHEA. It is inexpensive and has proven to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions. If I only had one adrenal hormone to use, it would be DHEA.”


Erin Chamerlik, The Real Food Revivalist, is a regular Health & Fitness contributor for LivingBetterat50+. Erin offers e-courses for uncovering food sensitivities and improving candidiasis. Nutrition and wellness consultations are available through local and long distance coaching. Please visit Erin’s website at for more information or to receive her free newsletter.


About Erin Chamerlik

Erin Chamerlik is a health and wellness educator. She is a mentor and coach for people who are ready to change. Her company, Get Better Wellness, Inc., is based in Nashville, TN. Erin extends her message through blogging, podcasts, social media (Twitter, FaceBook, Pinterest and Instagram), workshops and on-line webinars and Facebook health communities. Connect with Erin at

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Is DHEA the Fountain of Youth?