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Perceived Stress Affects DHEA-S, Health and Aging

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Dec 12, 2013

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Now is a good time to remind your clients that effective stress manage- ment is an integral part of an overall wellness-lifestyle strategy.

New research has shown that long-term mental and emotional stress adversely affects DHEA-S levels, increasing the risk of disease and accelerating aging. DHEA and DHEA-S are precursor hormones to sex hormones, and high levels are associated with good health and well-being.

Scientists from the Institute of Stress Medicine and the University of Gothenburg, both in Gothenburg, Sweden, recruited healthy adult men and women aged 25–50 for the study. Forty-one subjects reported being stressed at work, and 40 reported that their work was stress- free. The investigators compared participants’ serum levels of DHEA and DHEA-S and found that mean levels of DHEA-S were 23% lower in members of the stressed group.

Study authors noted that in stressed individuals DHEA-S levels resembled those typical of older adults, rather than of their own age group. Other research supports stress-management activities as a way to boost DHEA levels. More research is warranted.

The study appeared in PLoS ONE (2013; 8 [8], e72460; doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0072460).

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at