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Can DHEA help improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections in older adults?
Can DHEA help improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections in older adults?
Jul 20, 2024 1:54 PM

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Can DHEA help improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections in older adults?

DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to both estrogen and testosterone and plays a crucial role in various physiological processes in the body. As individuals age, the production of DHEA declines, leading to potential imbalances in hormone levels.

Immune Function and Aging

As people get older, their immune system undergoes changes that can make them more susceptible to infections and diseases. This decline in immune function is known as immunosenescence. It is characterized by a decrease in the production of immune cells, reduced response to pathogens, and increased inflammation.

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The Role of DHEA in Immune Function

Research suggests that DHEA may play a role in modulating immune function and reducing the risk of infections in older adults. DHEA has been shown to enhance the activity of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections.

Additionally, DHEA has anti-inflammatory properties and can help regulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules involved in the immune response. By reducing inflammation, DHEA may help improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections.

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Evidence and Studies

Several studies have investigated the effects of DHEA supplementation on immune function in older adults. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology found that DHEA supplementation improved immune function and reduced the incidence of respiratory infections in elderly individuals.

Another study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that DHEA supplementation increased the production of immune cells and improved immune response in older adults.

Conclusion

DHEA supplementation may have the potential to improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections in older adults. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and benefits of DHEA in immune health. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation regimen.

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Keywords: immune, function, infections, adults, supplementation, production, improve, reduce, response

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