The Pause: Your Brain on DHEA



Your Brain on DHEA

We've reached that age where our hormones are pausing due to menopause and andropause. With age comes brain dysfunction. If you are like me and want to age with a mind as sharp as a tack, then read this newsletter.

As we age, one of the hormones that take a dump is called DHEA. The symptoms associated with lowered DHEA are:

  • Memory Loss
  • Loss of Libido
  • Moodiness
  • Depression
  • Brain Shrinkage
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Belly Fat

The Brain Optimization Course aims to teach us how to slow down, neutralize, and even reverse the damage aging does to our bodies and brains.

In the two previous courses, we taught the first two steps.

  • Optimize Cholesterol - Cholesterol gives birth to our hormones.
  • Optimize Pregnenolone - Pregnenolone gives birth to DHEA


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone that optimizes our health and brains.

DHEA is nicknamed "The Mother of all Hormones."

What is a steroid hormone?

"A steroid hormone is any of a group of hormones that belong to the class of chemical compounds known as steroids; they are secreted by three "steroid glands"—the adrenal cortex, testes, and ovaries—and during pregnancy by the placenta. All steroid hormones are derived from cholesterol."


We have more DHEA floating around in our bodies than any other steroid hormone.

The Main Steroid Hormones

  • DHEA (S)
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Testosterone
  • Cortisol

All brain cells have receptor sites floating on their surfaces exclusively for DHEA, indicating its importance to the brain.

Think of receptor sites as little boats with satellite dishes attached to them that float on the cells' surfaces and receive messages from hormones.

As we age, our DHEA levels dramatically decrease. Low DHEA levels are associated with degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and other symptoms associated with aging.

When researchers looked at people with high DHEA levels, they surprisingly found they have

  • more clarity
  • are calmer
  • have a more optimistic outlook on life
"A correlational analysis of baseline behavioral data with hormonal data, controlling for age, revealed that higher morning DHEA was associated with lower confusion…while higher evening DHEA was associated with lower anxiety…and lower current negative mood in the morning."


Okay, enough with the introduction. Let's look at the research to see how DHEA helps with the symptoms of an aging brain and being paused.


As we age and once our hormones are paused, one of the primary complaints I hear is how our memory starts to slip. Research tells us that if we can increase our DHEA levels, memory improves, plus our leadership skills and ability to pay attention.

"Higher endogenous DHEAS levels are independently and favorably associated with executive function, concentration, and working memory."

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology


The reason most of my clients give DHEA supplementation a try has to do with their loss of interest in being intimate. The primary reason DHEA has been shown to increase interest in being intimate has to do with DHEA's ability to convert into testosterone.

"...results suggest that the neurosteroid DHEA may be effective as a treatment for women with HSDD (Hypoactive sexual desire disorder) if administered at a dose of at least 100 mg per day."
"In women only, significant interaction effects were observed for sexual arousal, satisfaction, and cognition. For arousal, a significant improvement was observed for the DHEA-treated group at six weeks."

Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

"Blood-borne DHEA can be converted to androstenedione or androstenediol, which in turn can be converted to testosterone."

Journal of Applied Physiology


Has your hormones being paused caused you to feel a little down? Research has shown that DHEA may help.

"Several studies suggest that taking DHEA may help improve mood, fatigue, and well-being. In one study, women with this condition who took DHEA supplements reported improved sexuality and sense of well-being, including fewer feelings of depression and anxiety."

Mount Sinai


Hormonal-induced depression is occasional. It is best described as having occasional low and emotional days. Clinical depression is daily and unrelenting. Research has found DHEA to help those with clinical depression.

"…middle-aged and elderly patients with major depression and low basal plasma DHEA…were openly administered DHEA (30-90 mg/d x 4 weeks) in doses sufficient to achieve circulating plasma levels observed in younger healthy individuals. Depression ratings, as well as aspects of memory performance, significantly improved."

Biological Psychiatry


The part of your brain in charge of memory and associated with Alzheimer's is called the hippocampus. As we age, this part of our brain shrinks. DHEA protects the hippocampus.

"Along with neuroprotective and memory-enhancing effects, DHEA has been shown to display antioxidant properties. Moreover, oxidative stress is known to cause lipid peroxidation and degenerative changes in the hippocampus, an area involved in memory processes and especially afflicted in Alzheimer's disease (AD)."

Molecular Brain Research

"Normal aging results in shrinkage of brain volume. DHEA can increase the number of brain cells while combating factors that contribute to cognitive decline."

Life Extension


There is a direct correlation between chronic fatigue and DHEA. Many believe that chronic fatigue is caused by adrenal fatigue. The first form of treatment for adrenal fatigue prescribed by most doctors is DHEA.

"Available studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of DHEA on health perception, vitality, fatigue, and (in women) sexuality. DHEA restores low circulating androgens in women into the normal range and increases IGF-1 levels."

Annales d'Endocrinologie


Chronic stress is the cause of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a term used to describe a condition where your adrenal glands malfunction because of long-term exposure to stress.

"It has also been shown that lower DHEA levels during TSST were associated with an increased negative mood during the recovery period and increased DHEA concentration during stressful situations was suggested to contribute to reduction of negative mood."

Front Psychiatry

To understand, DHEA levels increase dramatically when placed in a stressful situation. DHEA protects the body when stressed. If your DHEA levels are low, you cannot handle stress well and have less protection from the harmful effects caused by chronic stress.


We all know that health is directly correlated with belly fat. The more belly fat you have, the more imbalanced your hormones become because of the aromatase effect. Aromatase is an enzyme that converts our other hormones into estradiol, causing us to become estrogen-dominant.

"Low plasma levels of DHEA have been strongly associated with obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. In this respect, DHEA could be regarded as a promising agent against metabolic syndrome (MetS) in postmenopausal women, since several age-related metabolic diseases are reported during aging."

Journal of Molecular Medicine

"...people with greater amounts of both visceral and subcutaneous belly fat had less brain tissue, particularly in brain regions involved in thinking, memory, and performing everyday tasks."

Harvard Health

There are many studies in which DHEA has been used to treat metabolic syndrome, a combination of increased belly fat and insulin resistance, which seem to go hand in hand. Remember, you live as long as your waist is small.


As you can see, many of the symptoms associated with low DHEA are also the same symptoms associated with age and being paused.

Where I have found DHEA to be warranted as a supplement is with a loss of interest in being intimate. There is evidence that it will help with all aspects of sexuality.

Before supplementing with DHEA, I recommend testing your level, which can be quickly done with a home test kit from Amazon. DHEA and cortisol should be tested together to better understand how well your adrenal glands are functioning.



"DHEA can be taken with or without food, though some believe that fat helps DHEA to assimilate better. Some people absorb DHEA better by taking it 20 to 30 minutes before meals. A DHEA-s blood test should be taken three to six weeks after beginning DHEA therapy to help determine optimal dosing."

Life Extension

Those of my clients that supplement with DHEA take 100 mg daily. Here is an Amazon link to a DHEA supplement.


Always consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.

"If you have any form of cancer or are at risk of cancer, don't use DHEA. Don't use DHEA if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Consider avoiding use of DHEA if you have high cholesterol or a condition that affects the supply of blood to the heart (ischemic heart disease)."

Mayo Clinic

The problem I have with DHEA is that it can turn into progesterone, estradiol, or testosterone, and there is no control as to which hormone it turns into. If you are taking any of these hormones as HRT, watch your effects closely because it can enhance these hormone levels and can also cause imbalance.


It is best to text DHEA-S because it better measures how well your adrenal glands are functioning.

"DHEA is changed into DHEA-S in your adrenal glands and liver. DHEA levels may be lower during different times of the day. But DHEA-S levels don't change through the day. In both men and women, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone depend on DHEA."

University of Rochester Medical Center

In the following newsletter, we will examine the first of the ovarian/gonadal hormones, which, in my opinion, is the true brain hormone. The next important step to slowing down, neutralizing, and reversing the aging process of our bodies and brains.


Due to my full client roster, I only accept referrals from current and past clients. But...

Each week, I coach two readers of this newsletter FOR FREE!

I coach you for a week so you can see how easily and quickly you can lose weight and feel great while being paused.

"The key to a healthy brain is a healthy body."

The features of our FREE-WEEK program include:

  • Accountability
  • Customization
  • Knowledge
  • Motivation

I coach you daily to ensure you know exactly how to lose your pause weight and feel great.

The Benefit

  • Lose a bunch of weight and feel hormonally better in one week.


Don't hesitate; I only have room for two of you!​​


We encourage feast days. My only rule is that they must be scheduled. Random feasting and drinking are dangerous to our health. Vicky wanted to celebrate our romance at our favorite breakfast restaurant. It was a feast meal and feast we did. We believe we are supposed to live life, and yes, there will be consequences, but feast meals are essential for weight loss and health optimization. That's a future newsletter.

And remember...


"Because when your hormones are sound, your weight, health, and mind will follow."

💝 Doc

© 2024 | Doc Mac Coaching

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Furthermore, none of the statements within this post should be construed as dispensing medical advice or making claims regarding the cure of diseases, nor can these products prevent disease. You should consult a licensed healthcare professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases.

Hi! I'm Doc Mac.

I have practiced hormone, weight, health, and mind optimization for over forty-three years. As we age and or become chronically inflamed, our hormones become disrupted, making us feel out of sync, overweight, sickly, and negative. Our internal chemistry, our hormones, governs the way we feel and look. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter on how to optimize our lives by optimizing our hormones.

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