What is DHEA-S?
DHEA-S (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) is a steroid hormone that is formed in the adrenal cortex and that is converted into other sex hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen, in the body. DHEA-S is the most abundant steroid in the body and its levels usually decrease with age.
DHEA-S has been suggested to have a variety of health benefits, including improving cognitive function, increasing muscle mass, improving mood and energy levels, reducing inflammation, and improving immune function. However, there is still much research that needs to be done to confirm these claims and to determine the optimal levels of DHEA-S for health and well-being.
What is the difference between DHEA-S and DHEA?
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) are two related steroid hormones produced by the adrenal cortex.
DHEA is a precursor to the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, and is converted into these hormones in the body. DHEA also has a role in the production of other hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone. DHEA is formed in the body and is found in the blood in very low levels.
DHEA-S is a sulfated form of DHEA, meaning it is attached to a sulfur group. DHEA-S is the most abundant steroid in the body and its levels are usually higher than DHEA. DHEA-S acts as a storage form of DHEA and is converted to DHEA when needed.
The difference between DHEA and DHEA-S is that DHEA is a free, unmetabolized form of the hormone that circulates in the blood, while DHEA-S is a sulfated form that is stored in the adrenal cortex and circulates in the blood as a storage form of DHEA. Therefore, the levels of DHEA-S are usually higher than the levels of DHEA in the blood.
DHEA-S influence on sex hormones
DHEA-S (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) can affect sex hormones by acting as a precursor to these hormones. When DHEA-S is converted in the body, it can be converted to androgens, such as testosterone, or to estrogens, such as estrone and estradiol.
The amount of DHEA-S in the body can affect the amount of testosterone and estrogen that is formed, because DHEA-S acts as a limiting factor in the production of these hormones. If there is enough DHEA-S, the body can produce more testosterone or estrogen, depending on what is needed.
DHEA-S can also affect the production of other hormones that can have an indirect effect on the sex hormones, such as cortisol. Overall, DHEA-S plays an important role in the production of sex hormones and can have a major impact on the hormonal balance in the body.
Why do you need to analyze DHEA-S
DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) is a hormone produced by the adrenal cortex and converted to DHEA in the body. DHEA-S levels can be useful in assessing adrenal function and hormone balance.
What can low DHEA-S levels be due to?
Low DHEA-S levels can be a sign of adrenal insufficiency, aging, stress, autoimmune diseases, use of certain medications or chronic diseases.
What can high DHEA-S levels be due to?
High levels of DHEA-S can be a sign of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, polycystic ovary syndrome, adrenogenital syndrome, tumors of the adrenal cortex, or the use of certain drugs.