Balancing key hormones as part of the The Flat Belly Fix program is what has enabled people to lose over 1 pound of ugly belly fat EVERY SINGLE DAY. In this short article we are going to look at the role of one of your key hormones for reducing belly fat.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is one of the hormones produced in your adrenal glands. DHEA is called the “mother hormone” for one simple reason: it’s a precursor to both estrogen and testosterone. Without enough DHEA, your body wouldn’t be able to produce enough of either sex hormone. Pretty important, right?
DHEA, like most hormones, is synthesized from cholesterol. The cortex of the adrenal glands use cholesterol to produce DHEA and other sex hormones. The secreted hormones tend to travel to the testes, where they are turned into testosterone. In the case of women, the DHEA is turned into estrogen in the adrenal glands, ovaries, and fat tissue in the body. The hormones are then used by your body to stimulate sex drive, libido, muscle gain, control fat mass, and dozens other important functions.
At the prime of your life, your body is producing enough DHEA to make those sex hormones. However, after you hit your peak hormone output at the age of 25, things start to head downhill. By the time you get into your 40s and 50s, DHEA production has significantly dropped. In your 70s and 80s, your body produces anywhere from 10-20% of the DHEA it did when you were in your early 20s.
Lower-than-normal DHEA levels have been linked to a number of age-related conditions, such as :
- Breast cancer
- Memory loss
- Heart disease
However, despite the correlation between low DHEA and these conditions, studies have yet to find definitive proof that DHEA is the direct cause of these problems.
The Flat Belly Fix program works to balance your critical hormones – see transformations below
The Many Functions of DHEA
DHEA serves a number of important purposes in your body :
It functions as an anabolic androgen. Androgens are male hormones, and the name “anabolic” refers to the fact that they stimulate growth. Testosterone is one of the most important anabolic androgens, while estrogen is the anabolic androgen that encourages growth in the female body. As mentioned above, DHEA is a precursor to these hormones: basically, your adrenal glands produce DHEA so your body has what it needs to produce testosterone and estrogen.
It maintains a healthy hormonal balance. DHEA is the antagonist of cortisol, the hormone produced as a result of stress. DHEA counteracts the effects of stress, keeping your hormones in check. It also provides the hormones your body needs in order to produce sufficient quantities of both estrogen and testosterone. Both of these hormones are vital for a healthy body, in both men and women alike!
It stimulates bone growth. DHEA encourages the anabolism (growth) of new bone cells, and stimulates the deposition and remodeling of bones. Essentially, it prevents your bones from growing brittle and weak (like osteoporosis), but keeps them strong and flexible so they can keep up with your daily activity.
It keeps your immune system at full steam ahead. Cortisol is an immunosuppressant, meaning it will reduce immune function in your body. DHEA is able to reverse that reduction and restore your internal defense force to full protection. When your body produces enough DHEA, your immune system is better able to fight off viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, allergies, and even cancer cells.
It improves heart health. One of the amazing things about DHEA is that it can keep your cholesterol levels low. Remember that your body uses cholesterol to produce DHEA, so higher DHEA levels means more cholesterol being put to good use. DHEA can reduce the risk of cholesterol building up in your arteries, clinging to the arterial walls, hardening, and cracking (which leads to blood clots). The hormone can significantly improve cardiovascular health.
It speeds up recovery. Stress, injuries, a lack of sleep, and mental strain can all lead to a degeneration of the cells in your body, but DHEA can help to reverse these effects. It is an anabolic androgen, meaning it will stimulate the growth of new cells. Those new cells will help to replenish the damaged bone, muscle, joint, and tissue for faster recovery time.
It can reverse the effects of cortisol. As the hormonal antagonist to cortisol, DHEA is able to reduce and reverse the side effects of chronically high cortisol levels. Chronic stress may affect your mental clarity, energy levels, sleep quality, and metabolism, but DHEA can restore them to normal. Plus, it can even improve premenstrual symptoms made worse by chronic stress.
It helps to produce thyroid hormones. DHEA is used by the thyroid gland for the production of both T3 and T4 hormones. Specifically, it encourages the thyroid gland to turn the less-active T4 hormone into the more important T3 hormone. It has an important role to play in healthy thyroid function!
It encourages muscle growth. Due to the fact that DHEA is a precursor to testosterone, it is a major contributor to muscle mass. Testosterone encourages the body to build muscle mass, rather than the fat produced as a result of estrogen. DHEA can not only promote the growth of new and larger muscle tissue, but it can actually help to decrease body fat. For those trying to lose weight and get in shape, DHEA is one of the most important hormones in your body.
As you can see, DHEA serves a lot of very essential purposes. So you can imagine there are some pretty visible side effects when you don’t have enough DHEA in your body.
Some of the side effects of insufficient DHEA include:
- Loss of libido
- Aching joints
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Extreme fatigue
- Lowered immunity
- Decrease in bone density
That makes it pretty clear how important DHEA is, doesn’t it? If you want to avoid these side effects, it’s vital you do what you can to keep DHEA levels high. Which leads to the question, “What can I do to increase DHEA levels?”
How to Raise DHEA Levels
If you want to increase DHEA levels, there are two routes to take: 1) DHEA supplements, and 2) increasing DHEA naturally. Let’s take a look at both options and see which will be your best option.
DHEA supplements are made in a lab, using chemicals found in both soy products and wild yams. (No, eating soy or yams won’t give you more DHEA—the body doesn’t naturally turn these foods into DHEA, but it has to be manufactured.) The supplement is administered orally, and it is intended to improve physical performance, reduce sexual dysfunction, enhance libido, treat metabolic syndrome, increase hormone production, and deal with cancer and infertility.
The problem with DHEA supplements is that they don’t have the same effect on everyone. Everyone’s biochemistry is unique, so a DHEA supplement will have different effects on your body according to the way it is accustomed to turning this precursor hormone into estrogen and androgens. The results are unpredictable and tend to vary.
You should avoid DHEA if:
- You’re under the age of 30. At this age, you should only take DHEA supplements if specifically encouraged to do so by a doctor. You’re still close enough to your “peak hormone-producing years” to have sufficient natural DHEA production. DHEA is recommended for senior citizens.
- You’re pregnant/breastfeeding. The influx of growth hormones can throw off your delicate internal balance, leading to pregnancy complications or post-partum symptoms.
- You’re undergoing treatment for breast or prostate cancer. Both of these cancers are the result of excessive cellular growth in hormone-sensitive tissues. Increasing testosterone production will only cause the prostate cancer to worsen, and increasing estrogen will make the breast cancer worse.
- You’re taking other medications. DHEA supplements can have a negative interaction with blood thinners, diabetes drugs, medications for heart and liver problems, anticonvulsants, and other hormones. If you’re undergoing treatment for any of these disorders, you’d do well to avoid DHEA.
Be warned: DHEA may be dangerous  if taken long-term or in large doses. DHEA supplementation of more than 50-100 mg per day can lead to serious side effects.
Now, one thing you need to understand about DHEA supplements is that they’re not all 100% effective. Just because the labels or the manufacturers’ websites make claims about what the supplement can do, it doesn’t mean the supplements will actually work. There are many less-than-effective DHEA supplements that are little more than “scam” products.
Increasing DHEA Naturally
Instead of going the route of supplements and risking side effects, why not try to raise DHEA levels naturally? There are a number of things you can do to increase your body’s production of DHEA:
- Get out and exercise – Exercise is the key to better adrenal function. Your body produces growth hormones in response to demand, and exercise (resistance training, in particular) is the best way to increase the demand for cellular growth (anabolism). Lift weights, run, cycle, walk, jog, row, swim, take martial arts, practice Yoga, and do whatever you can to move around more. Not only will you increase adrenal function, you will signal to your body that you need more anabolic hormones—thereby encouraging the production of DHEA from cholesterol.
- Lose weight – Getting your body fat index down to normal, healthy levels is vital for better DHEA production. Exercise and a proper diet will help you to lose body fat, which will in turn reduce inflammation and speed up your adrenal function. Shoot for a 19-25% body fat for the best results from your diet, and better DHEA production.
- Eat more healthy fats – It may sound counterintuitive to eat more fat to get healthy, but think about where DHEA comes from: cholesterol. Your body turns dietary fat into cholesterol, which it can use to produce DHEA. “Healthy” fats like Omega-3 fatty acids encourages the production of DHEA from cholesterol, but it also helps to prevent too-high cholesterol levels AND reduces the inflammation that slows down adrenal function. Coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts, seeds, flaxseed oil, and olive oil are all amazing sources of healthy fats. Healthy Fats is the one of the key focal points of the Flat Belly Fix program. In fact, healthy fats can turn bad fat on your belly, thighs and butt into good fat that actually burns calories. The bad fat is called “white fat” which is all the jiggly fat collecting in the places you hate. The good fat is called brown fat and this fat actually mobilizes the white fat to be burned off your body.
- Sleep more – If you’re not getting 7 hours of sleep AT LEAST, you’re doing your body a disservice. The human body needs 7 to 8 ½ hour of sleep per night in order to function properly. A lack of sleep can increase the production of cortisol, which will reduce adrenal function and prevent your body from turning cholesterol into DHEA. By getting more sleep, you get your adrenal glands working at top speed and encourage the production of anabolic hormones.
- Fight stress – It should go without saying, but we’re saying it anyway: stress is your enemy! Stress stimulates the production of cortisol, the antagonist hormone that reduces DHEA production. By reducing stress, you free up your adrenal glands to produce more DHEA rather than cortisol and adrenaline. Spend more time relaxing, take more deep breaths, and avoid as many stressors in your life as possible. While you can’t eliminate stress completely, there are many things you can do to reduce it. The less stressed you are, the more your body can focus on producing DHEA.
These things can help your body to produce more DHEA naturally, leading to better levels of hormones. Balancing your hormones leads to healthier bones, muscles, joints, organs, internal functions, and even a healthier brain! Best of all, you’ll reduce the risk of hormone insufficiency, keeping all of your internal functions optimized.
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Tak a look at Peter who lost over 1 pound a day for 21 days…and has now lost a whopping 74 Pounds since following the Flat Belly Fix Program
Or Tyra who lost 23 pounds of ugly belly fat in 21 days and has kept it all off
Or Stacy who was very tiny and lost 12 pounds in 21 days but went on to lose a whopping 20 pounds and has a beautiful flat belly
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