Did you know that your body naturally produces the hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the adrenal gland?
Why is the hormone DHEA so important in supporting your immune system?
DHEA helps produce other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen –yes, in both women and men!
Studies suggest that DHEA, whether through direct action or by helping with conversion to a metabolite, evokes potent immune responses.
One particular peer reviewed paper, “Activation of immune function by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in age-advanced men” showed that within 2-3 weeks, the “baseline levels of serum DHEA sulfate (DHEAS), a stable marker of circulating DHEA levels” increased by 20%
DHEA appears to decrease the part of the immune system that enhances antibodies and phagocytes to clear microbes and damaged cells from our bodies, promote inflammation, and attack infections by increasing C1 inhibitors.
Not only that, DHEA has potent to decrease inflammation because it increases or decreases immune responses, depending on what your body needs.
But it even gets better: DHEA enhances lymphocyte proliferation and increases T cell and is a natural killer of cells that have something not quite right with them, such as those infected with viruses or those capable of forming tumors.
So what does this all mean? It means fall and winter is a great time to check on your DHEA levels so that your immune function can be as robust as possible to fend off the cold and flu season. Book an appointment to get your DHEA levels tested.
Dr. Tacita Robertson