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DHEA and depression


DHEA is a hormonal supplement which may help relieve moderate depression related to middle age. Researchers acknowledge though that DHEA may not be the first option for most patients.

Their small study showed a 50% reduction in depression symptoms in half f the participants. With a 50% response rate, one would obviously select more reliable first-line treatments for this condition,” according to the paper written in part by Peter J. Schmidt, MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “However, in the 50% of depressed outpatients who do not respond to first-line antidepressant treatments, or in those unwilling to take traditional antidepressants, DHEA may have a useful role in the treatment of mild to moderately severe midlife-onset major and minor depression.”

Nearly 9% of the adult population report depression according to the NIMH. Most of those are women. For many people, depression can be overwhelming, effecting physical health as well as emotional well-being.

Fortunately, depression is highly treatable. There are many options: counseling, medication and lifestyle changes alone or in combination help alleviate symptoms for most people. Many people are exploring alternatives to standard prescription drugs and that’s where interest in DHEA becomes interesting.

DHEA is a naturally occurring steroid hormone, a precursor to both male and female hormones. During early adulthood, DHEA levels start to naturally decrease eventually falling to 20% of their peak by the time a person reaches 70 years.

Interest has risen over the years in DHEA because of claims of anti-aging. These claims cannot be substantiated. But this study shows that for some people DHEA can provide a feeling of well-being. In addition to cutting depression symptoms by 50%, after six weeks sexual function had also improved. The findings to not apply to severely depressed people.

Source: WebMD

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