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Is it DHEA or DHA?

August 16, 2018

It is easy to confuse these two abbreviations but they are very different.  DHEA stands for Dihydroepiandosterone.  It is an androgen ("male hormone") that is produced in the adrenal glands in men and women from the precursor 17-hydroxypregnenolone, which in turn comes from pregnenolone.  DHEA is a natural steroid hormone that promotes muscle mass, strength, endurance, libido, and a sense of well-being.  DHEA increases the activity of our Natual Killer cells, specialized white blood cells that help to eliminate rogue cancer cells from our bodies.  When we measure DHEA levels, we ask the lab to measure DHEA-S which is the sulfated form of the hormone, which is the most plentiful in the body.

DHA is decosahexanoic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid that promotes brain health.  It is one of the listed components of fish oil, but we recommend to our patients an organic vegetarian oil blend called Clinician's Preference to provide the truly essential oils alpha linolenic acid (omega 6) and linoleic acid (omega 3).  From these basic fats the body can make all fatty acids needed for proper cell function.