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John Dugan

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Reproductive function and DHEA Supplementation: Game Changer or Dead End?
Low hormone levels have often been indicated as a cause of loss of reproductive function. Can supplementation with DHEA help improve hormone levels in men? The research indicates positive results., 8/10/2018 - Not surprisingly, one of the main issues when it comes to male organ health is reproductive function (or dysfunction, as the case may be). This is an area in which there is a great degree of interest, and many researchers are looking at various possible factors which might contribute to the development of reproductive dysfunction in men. One factor which is being investigated is the level of DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, in a man.

What is DHEA?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “your body naturally produces the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the adrenal gland. In turn, DHEA helps produce other hormones, including [androgen] and estrogen.” DHEA is created in both men and women. Although the Mayo Clinic specifically references the production of DHEA in the adrenal gland, it is also produced in the liver and, in men, in the reproductive organs.

DHEA is still being tested and need to be more thoroughly understood. Some doctors believe that DHEA can help slow down the aging process, including cognitive function and body composition. There may also be some benefit from DHEA in terms of increasing bone mineral density, and some believe that it can also be used to help lessen depression. There is a need for further research in all these areas.

Reproductive function

But this piece is interested in the possibility that DHEA might have an impact on reproductive function. One reason for this belief is the fact that studies have shown that DHEA can in some instances be converted to androgen. And androgen is identified as being one possible factor in the development of reproductive dysfunction.

A 2018 study offers a look at research into DHEA and its role in reproductive issues. It demonstrates that DHEA definitely decreases with age; when a man is 70 to 80 years old, he typically has only 10-20% of the DHEA that he did when younger. This can be significant, as smooth muscle plays a key role in the ability of the male organ to achieve a tumescence. So, if there is too little DHEA, the smooth muscle may be negatively affected.

In addition, DHEA helps to activate potassium channels which in turn add to the process by which nitric oxide is produce. Nitric oxide is necessary to help keep blood vessels open and expanded – and in the male organ, this is important because expansion of blood vessels is crucial to allow enough blood to reach the male organ during the tumescence phase.

Can it help?

So, if DHEA levels can affect reproductive function, should a man with performance problems use DHEA supplements? The evidence is mixed, and more studies are needed get a better picture.

In addition, there can be drawbacks associated with DHEA supplementation. For example, too much DHEA is thought by some to be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. It also may be associated with lowering the “good” cholesterol that is beneficial to a person’s health. So no man should consider DHEA supplementation without first consulting with his doctor and discussing the possible risks and benefits.

DHEA may have an impact on male organ health, but maintaining that health requires a more “macro” approach. For example, men definitely should be using a top notch male organ health creme ( health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) regularly.

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