DHEA levels and Stress

Mind-Body-Spirit News:IDEA Fit

Now is a good time to remember that effective stress management is an integral part of an overall wellness-lifestyle strategy.

New research has shown that long-term mental and emotional stress adversely affects DHEA-S levels, increasing the risk of disease and accelerating aging. DHEA and DHEA-S are precursor hormones to sex hormones, and high levels are associated with good health and well-being.

Scientists from the Institute of Stress Medicine and the University of Gothenburg, both in Gothenburg, Sweden, recruited healthy adult men and women aged 25–50 for the study. Forty-one subjects reported being stressed at work, and 40 reported that their work was stress- free. The investigators compared participants’ serum levels of DHEA and DHEA-S and found that mean levels of DHEA-S were 23% lower in members of the stressed group.

Study authors noted that in stressed individuals DHEA-S levels resembled those typical of older adults, rather than of their own age group. Other research supports stress-management activities as a way to boost DHEA levels. More research is warranted.

The study appeared in PLoS ONE (2013; 8 [8], e72460; doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0072460).

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