DHEA, mercifully short for dehydroepiandrosterone, is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal gland that is then converted into other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, as needed. It is known as the "mother hormone" and has been called the fountain of youth for its apparent role in combating some age-related ailments. More study needs to be done on this subject, but DHEA may lower risk of heart disease, boost the immune system, help diabetics manage glucose levels and ease symptoms of lupus. Some claim it can even enhance memory, increase libido, stimulate weight loss and prevent osteoporosis.
The body's DHEA levels significantly decline with age, and so supplementation may help extend one's sense of well-being throughout the years. However, use extra caution when taking this hormone as no one knows what the long-term effects are. Use only under the advice and supervision of your doctor.