9 Home Remedies To Relieve Urinary Tract Infection

cranUrinary tract infections (UTIs) are a very common health problem. While both men and women get UTIs, women are more prone to them. However, urinary tract infections can also lead to kidney infections and other complications if the bacteria spread to the kidneys or bloodstream. Continue reading

Home Remedies for Dandruff

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Dry skin and fungus or yeast overgrowth are common causes of dandruff

Increasing your intake of omega-3 fats and reducing your intake of Continue reading

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Using Baking Soda

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Baking soda can be used to remove plaque and odors from your teeth and also promotes whitening
Use baking soda for minor injuries, including insect bites, bee stings, poison ivy, splinters, and sunburn

Continue reading

Natural Antibiotics to Stockpile Now: 10 Herbs and Foods that Kill Superbugs

Oregano-OilLongtime readers of Natural News know that, because of massive over-prescribing by the modern healthcare industry, today’s crop of antibiotics are becoming less and less effective. Another culprit: The increased use of antibiotics in factory-farm animals. Continue reading

How to Prevent and Treat Insect Bites Without Harsh Chemicals

insectStory at-a-glance

Preventive measures to avoid getting bit by insects such as mosquitoes include: avoiding the outdoors at dawn and dusk—especially when sweaty—draining stagnant water sources, planting marigolds around your yard, installing bat boxes

The following can be used Continue reading

Cure Acne at Home with Five Lesser Known Home Remedies

Acne is the scourge of adolescence… and for many adults too. Many readers are likely familiar with the more common home remedies for curing acne… tea tree oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and burdock root. However, because acne is such a wide-spread and troubling problem, scientists are continuing to research new natural substances that are effective against this common issue. Both in vitro and human studies conducted over the last four years around the world have uncovered even more natural substances which are effective against acne.

Propionibacterium acnes is the bacteria most frequently linked to acne. This bacteria is almost always present on the skin of adults and adolescents. The bacteria feed off fatty acids found in sebum. If a follicle becomes blocked, the bacteria grow rapidly and secrete substances which break down the skin and form an acne lesion. Continue reading

Prepare a Mother Nature-First Aid Kit this Summer

Who can resist summer`s siren call, beckoning us to the great outdoors? When you commune with Mother Nature, you may encounter more on your outings than expected. From angry insect stings to a sunburned skin, it is a good idea to BE prepared.

Bruises are the result of life and are not life threatening, but they are not very attractive either. Here are some ways to minimize this common occurrence.

First, apply an ice pack to the area for thirty to sixty minutes. Afterward, soak a gauze or cotton pad in witch hazel, and then apply witch hazel to the area.

Daily doses of vitamin C with bioflavonoid  Continue reading

Natural Remedies for Nail Fungus

Toe nail fungus is a disease that many people have experienced and even more can’t get rid of for years. It’s very easy to get infected with and just as hard to cure. Even though the market is full of products claiming high efficiency and a very low recurrence rate, people suffering from this condition are constantly searching for methods that would be safer, faster and not as expensive. In fact, it’s not hard to find a good cure for nail fungus at a fair price.

Homemade solutions are becoming more popular every day while over-the-counter drugs and those sold with prescription are losing their status. Natural nail fungus remedies are more preferable because there are no collateral effects reported, and although many people are still not 100% sure whether they can trust such methods, it’s a fact that they are quite effective.

There is just one thing to remember: home remedies to cure nail fungus should be applied with special care and caution. The products used more often include Listerine mouthwash, bleach or even vinegar. These are easily accessible (especially considering the fact that you can find them at home) and comparatively safe. Continue reading

Home Remedies Series For Canker Sores

 Rinse your mouth with aloe juice frequently. Put some alum on the canker sores. Repeat this twice a day. It helps to relieve the pain and quickens healing. Apply some baking powder on the sores. It could be used either in the powdered form or in the paste form. It will reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, Rinse your mouth several times a day by a mouthwash prepared by mixing one tsp. of baking soda in half cup of warm water, Prepare a mouthwash by putting 5 to 6 drops of Grapefruit seed extract in a glass of water. Rinse your mouth with this at least once in a day. It is an excellent disinfectant, Prepare a mouthwash using three parts of water and one part of hydrogen peroxide. Use this mouthwash twice a day, Onion is another excellent home remedy for canker sores. Apply some raw onions to the sores, Rinse your mouth with plum juice. If the sore is too bad then apply the juice on the sore using a cotton ball, Eat fresh papaya fruit or chew fresh papaya leaves. If fresh papaya leaves or papaya fruits are not available then you can also use papaya tablets, Gargle your mouth with a solution made by mixing 1 tsp soda and 1 pinch of salt in a cup of warm water, Apply tea tree oil to the sores, Rinse your mouth three to four times a day with a solution made by mixing 2 tbsp. salt to 6 ounces of warm water, Apply some powdered Goldenseal powder to the sore or rinse your mouth with a mouthwash prepared by mixing ½ tsp Goldenseal powder to ¼ tsp salt and 1 cup of warm water.

Introducing – Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia.

Latin Name: Melaleuca alternifolia

Other Names: Melaleuca oil, Australian tea tree oil

Historically, the leaves were used as a substitute for tea, which is how tea tree oil got its name. The part used medicinally is the oil from the leaves.

Why Do People Use Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree has a long history of traditional use. Australian aboriginals used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, and infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected area.

Tea tree oil contains consituents called terpenoids, which have been found to have antiseptic and antifungal activity. The compound terpinen-4-ol is the most abundant and is thought to be responsible for most of tea tree oil’s antimicrobial activity.

People use tea tree oil for the following conditions:

    * Acne

    * Athlete’s foot

   * Dandruff

Sources of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is most commonly found as a pure essential oil. It is also an ingredient in creams, ointments, lotions, soaps, and shampoos.

Tea tree oil should not be confused with Chinese tea oil, cajeput oil, kanuka oil, manuka oil, ti tree oil, and niauouli oil.

What is the Evidence for Tea Tree Oil?

There have only been a few, older clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of tea tree oil in humans.

    * Athlete’s Foot

 

      A randomized controlled trial examined the use of 25% tea tree oil solution, 50% tea tree oil solution, or placebo in 158 people with athlete’s foot. After twice daily applications for 4 weeks, the two tea tree oil solutions were found to be significantly more effective than placebo.

      In the 50% tea tree oil group, 64% were cured, compared to 31% in the placebo group. Four people using the tea tree oil withdrew from the study because they developed dermatitis (which improved after discontinuing tea tree oil use). Otherwise, there were no significant side effects.

    * Fungal Infection of the Toenails

      A randomized, controlled trial published in the Journal of Family Practice looked at the twice-daily application of 100% tea tree oil or 1% clotrimazole solution (a topical antifungal medication) in 177 people with toenail fungal infection. After 6 months, the tea tree oil was found to be as effective as the topical antifungal, based on clinical assessment and toenail cultures.

      Another randomized, controlled trial examined the effectiveness and safety of a cream containing 5% tea tree oil and 2% butenafine hydrochloride in 60 people with toenail fungal infection. After 16 weeks, 80% of people using the cream had significant improvement compared to none in the placebo group. Side effects included mild inflammation.

      A third double-blind study looked at 100% tea tree oil compared with a topical antifungal, clotrimazole, in 112 people with fungal infections of the toenails. The tea tree oil was as effective as the antifungal.

    * Acne

      A single-blind randomized trial by the Department of Dermatology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia compared the effectiveness and tolerance of 5% tea tree oil gel with 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion in 124 people with mild to moderate acne. People in both groups had a significant reduction in inflamed and non-inflammed acne lesions (open and closed comedones) over the three month period, although tea tree oil was less effective than benzoyl peroxide.

      Although the tea tree oil took longer to work initially, there were fewer side effects with tea tree oil. In the benzoyl peroxide group, 79 percent of people had side effects including itching, stinging, burning, and dryness. Researchers noted that there were far less side effects in the tea tree oil group.

    * Dandruff

      A single-blind study examined the use of 5% tea tree oil shampoo or placebo in 126 people with mild to moderate dandruff. After 4 weeks, the tea tree oil shampoo significantly reduced symptoms of dandruff.

Safety Concerns

One study shows that tea tree oil may alter hormone levels. There have been three case reports of topical tea tree oil products causing unexplained breast enlargement in boys. People with hormone-sensitive cancers or pregnant or nursing women should avoid tea tree oil. For more information, read Lavender and Tea Tree Oils Linked to Breast Enlargement in Boys.

Occasionally, people may have allergic reactions to tea tree oil, ranging from mild contact dermatitis to severe blisters and rashes.

Undiluted tea tree oil may cause skin irritation, redness, blistering, and itching.

Tea tree oil should not be taken internally, even in small quantities. It can cause impaired immune function, diarrhea, and potentially fatal central nervous system depression (excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, confusion, coma).

The tea tree oil in commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes is generally considered to be acceptable because it is not swallowed. Avoid homemade tea tree oil mouthwashes.

Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of overdose: excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, poor coordination, diarrhea, vomiting.

 

Don’t use tea tree oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Keep tea tree oil out of the reach of children and pets.

Introducing – Black Walnut

The black walnut tree, also known as the American walnut, is native to North America. Trees range in height from 70-150 feet and have a diameter of 2-4 feet. The compound leaves are between 1 and 2 feet long. This tree is prized for its beautiful wood and the tasty nuts which are avidly harvested in the autumn. The tree has large, pinnately compound leaves, 12 to 24 inches long with 15 to 23 leaflets. The leaf stems are covered with fine hairs, but are smoother than butternut. The fruit is a large, rounded, brownish black nut with a hard, thick, finely ridged shell enclosing a rich, oily kernel. The nut is black and ridged with the kernel having a high-quality taste. The kernel is edible and highly nutritious. The nut is enclosed in a solid, non-splitting husk, and is borne on the tree singly or in pairs.

Medicinal uses and health benefits of black walnut

Black walnut is considered to be an antiseptic, a germicide, a parasitic, and a laxative. Black walnut hull does indeed help with a variety of health conditions from ridding the body of intestinal parasites and tapeworms to reducing constipation and healing skin conditions like acne, canker sores, psoriasis, and other fungal infections. Black walnut has been used as external applications for a variety of skin complaints including ringworm, jock itch , athlete’s foot, psoriasis, blisters, eczema, scabbing pruritus, varicose ulcers, and even syphilis sores. Black walnut oxygenates the blood to kill parasites. Black walnut extracts can be taken internally for ailments such as gout, rheumatism, glandular disturbances, worms, and parasites. Black Walnut oxygenates the blood to kill parasites. It is used to help balance sugar levels. It also is able to burn up excessive toxins and fatty materials. The decoction has also been used as an effective vermifuge. The fruit is useful for promoting strength and weight gain. The husk is chewed for colic and use as a poultice for inflammation. The decoction has also been used as an effective vermifuge.

The black walnut hull contains a number of active ingredients, including omega-3 fatty acids called alpha linolenic acid (ALA), sterols, tannins and iodine. A high intake of ALA is protective against heart attack. Sterols are naturally occurring plant compounds that are chemically similar to cholesterol. Sterols may play chemoprotecive and cardioprotective roles. Tannins is antibacterial, anticancer, antidiarrheic, antihepatotoxic, chelator, antihypertensive, antitumor, cancer preventive, antiulcer. Iodine is widely used as an antiseptic in medicine. It works by attaching itself to the pathogenic bacteria and thereby killing them. Black walnut shells are very rich in vitamin C, and beta-carotene, B1, B2, and B6 are found in the leaves.

Scientists Uncover New Anti-TB Compounds

ITHICA – Scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College have identified certain compounds that would inhibit the sophisticated mechanism used by tuberculosis bacteria for surviving dormant in infected cells.

The researchers said most of the people infected with TB remain symptom-free because the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the disease-causing bacteria, is kept in check within immune system cells.

These cells produce compounds such as nitric oxide, which scientists believe damage or destroy the bacteria’s proteins. If these compounds are allowed to accumulate, the damaged proteins would kill the bacteria.

However, a protein-cleaving complex known as a proteasome breaks down that damaged proteins and allows the bacteria to remain dormant.

The researchers suggest that finding drugs to disable the proteasome would be a new way to fight TB.

During the study, the researchers examined 20,000 compounds for TB proteasome inhibition activity, and identified and synthesized a group of inhibitors, which they then tested for their ability to inhibit the proteasome inside the mycobacteria.

“We believe these findings represent a new approach for developing antibiotics in the fight against TB,” Nature magazine quoted Dr. Carl Nathan, senior author and chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology and director of the Abby and Howard P.

Milstein Program in Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease at Weill Cornell Medical College, as saying

“This is important because we are running out of effective antibiotics that are currently available. There are few drugs that successfully combat TB in its dormant stage, which makes the bacterium so resilient in the body.

“More important, there are many antibiotics that kill bacteria by blocking the synthesis of proteins, but there are none that kill bacteria by interfering with protein breakdown, as we have found here,” Nathan added.

New Radioactive Imaging Agent may Revolutionize Skin Cancer Diagnosis

SYDNEY – An Australian Government funded research group has developed a potential new material that can make early diagnosis of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer possible.

Writing about their work in the ACS’ Journal of the Medicinal Chemistry, the Cooperative Research Consortium for Biomedical Imaging Develop has revealed that the novel material is currently being tested in laboratory animals.

Ivan Greguric, a group member, notes that about 130,000 new cases of malignant melanoma occur each year worldwide.

Although patients do best with early diagnosis and prompt treatment, according to the researcher, the positron emission tomography (PET) scans sometimes used for diagnosis sometimes miss small cancers, delaying diagnosis and treatment.

While searching for better ways of diagnosis, the researchers identified a new group of radioactive imaging agents, known as fluoronicotinamides.

Testing it on laboratory mice that had melanoma, the researchers observed that the novel substance revealed skin cancer cells with greater accuracy than imaging agents currently in use.

Consequently, note the researchers, this substance may become a “superior” PET imaging agent for improving the diagnosis and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment of melanoma.

They have revealed that clinical trials with this new agent are scheduled for 2010.

Home Remedies Series – Anemia

Weakness, fatigue, lack of energy and dizziness

The patient usually complains of weakness, fatigue, lack of energy and dizziness. Other symptoms include a haggard look, premature wrinkles, dull and tired looking eyes, poor memory, shortness of breath on exertion, headache, slow healing of wounds, and palpitations. The skin and mucous membranes look pale.

Diminished formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow

A diminished formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow, either due to defects in the bone marrow, or due to an inadequate intake of iron, vitamins, and proteins, is one of the main causes of anaemia.

Heavy loss of blood due to injury, bleeding piles

Other important causes are heavy loss of blood due to injury, bleeding piles, or excessive menstruation in women.

Lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach or intestinal parasites or worms

Anaemia can also occur due to a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed for digestion of iron and proteins, or intestinal parasites or worms. Hookworms, pinworms, round worms and tape worms feed on the supply of blood as well as on the vitamins.

Anaemia treatment using Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for preventing or curing anaemia. This vitamin is usually found in animal protein, especially in meats such as kidney and liver. There are, however, other equally good sources of vitamin BI2 such as dairy products which also contain some B12

Anaemia treatment using Beets

Beets are very helpful in curing anaemia. Beet juice contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, iodine, iron, copper, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins B1 B2, B6, niacin, and vitamin P. With their high iron content, beets help in the formation of red blood cells. The juice of red beet strengthens the body’s powers of resistance and has proved to be an excellent remedy for anaemia, especially for children and teenagers, where other blood-forming remedies have failed.

Anaemia treatment using Fenugreek

The leaves of fenugreek help in blood formation. The cooked leaves should be taken by adolescent girls to prevent anaemia, which may occur due to the onset of puberty and menstruation. The seeds of fenugreek are also a valuable cure for anaemia, being rich in iron.

Anaemia treatment using Lettuce

Lettuce is another effective remedy for this ailment as it contains a considerable amount of iron. It can, therefore, be used as a good tonic food for anaemia. The iron in it is easily absorbed by the body.

Anaemia treatment using Spinach

This leafy vegetable is a valuable source of high grade iron. After its absorption, it helps in the formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells. It is thus beneficial in building up the blood, and in the prevention and treatment of anaemia.

Anaemia treatment using Soyabean

Soyabean is rich in iron and also has a high protein value. As most anaemic patients usually also suffer from a weak digestion, it should be given to them in a very light form, preferably in the form of milk, which can be easily digested.

Anaemia treatment using Almonds

Almonds contain copper to the extent of 1.15 mg per 100 gm. The copper along with iron and vitamins, acts as a catalyst in the synthesis of haemoglobin. Almonds are, therefore, a useful remedy for anaemia. Seven almonds should be soaked in water for about two hours and ground into a paste after removing the thin red skin. This paste may be eaten once daily in the morning for three months.

Anaemia treatment using Sesame Seeds

Black sesame seeds, as a rich source of iron, are valuable in anaemia. After soaking one teaspoon of the seeds in warm water for a couple of hours, they should be ground and strained, and then mixed with a cup of milk and sweetened with jaggery or sugar. This emulsion should be given to patients suffering from anaemia.

Anaemia treatment using Honey

Honey is remarkable for building haemoglobin in the body. This is largely due to the iron, copper, and manganese contained in it

Anaemia treatment using Other Foods

There are several other foods which are rich sources of iron and can be used beneficially in the treatment of anaemia. The more important of these are bananas, black grapes, plums, strawberries, raisins, onions, squash, carrots, radish, celery, and tomatoes.

Anaemia diet

Have raw vegetables and fresh fruits rich in iron

Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of anaemia. Refined foods like white bread, polished rice, sugar, and desserts rob the body of its much-needed iron. Iron should preferably be taken in its natural organic form in food. The emphasis in the diet should be on raw vegetables and fresh fruits which are rich in iron.

Go for therapeutic treatment with an exclusive fruit diet

The patient should commence a therapeutic treatment with an exclusive fruit diet for five days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits. This may be followed by a fruit and milk diet for about fifteen days. In this regimen, the frequency of meals should be exactly the same as for the earlier all-fruit diet. Thereafter, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Other anaemia treatment

Cold water baths

Cold water baths are recommended in anaemia. The patient should be given a cold bath carefully twice daily, the coldness of the water being increased gradually.

Hot Epsom salts bath and sunbatbs

A hot Epsom salts bath for five to ten minutes once a week and an occasional steam bath are also useful. Sunbaths are especially beneficial as the sunlight stimulates the production of red cells.

Deep breathing and light exercises

Other important factors that help in curing anaemia are deep breathing and light exercises like walking.

Yogic asanas

Yogic asanas such as sarvangasana paschimottanasana and shavasana as well as massage are also helpfu1 in this regard.

Introducing – DHEA

Other names: dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone that’s produced by the adrenal glands. The body converts DHEA to male and female sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone.

DHEA levels typically peak by the time people are in their 20s and decline with age, which is why there has been considerable interest in DHEA and its role in aging. In fact, DHEA supplements have been touted as an anti-aging hormone because lower levels of DHEA have been reported in some people with type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, AIDS, adrenal insufficiency, kidney disease and anorexia. Certain medications may also deplete DHEA, such as corticosteroids, insulin, opiates and danazol.

DHEA is manufactured naturally in the body, but DHEA supplements can also be made in a laboratory from a substance called diosgenin, found in soybeans and wild yam. Wild yam cream and supplements are often promoted as being a natural source of DHEA, but the body can’t convert wild yam to DHEA on its own — the conversion must be done in a laboratory.

DHEA supplements were taken off the U.S. market in 1985 because of concerns about false claims regarding its benefits. It became available only by prescription but was reintroduced as a nutritional supplement after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed in 1994.

Why Do People Use DHEA Supplements

DHEA is used as an “anti-aging” hormone and for conditions in which DHEA levels have been found to be low, however, there are very few large, well-designed human studies showing that it’s effective.

    * Aging

      The gradual decline in the body’s DHEA levels correlate with loss of muscle mass, decreased bone density, and a decline in immune function. A study by Mayo Clinic researchers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at the effect of DHEA supplements on markers of aging, such as muscle mass, muscle strength, fat mass, peak endurance and glucose tolerance in older men and women.

      The study involved 87 men and 57 women. At the end of the two-year study, participants showed no significant change in any of the markers. It’s one of the largest and longest studies on DHEA and human aging to date.

    * Depression

      Clinical trials examining the effect of DHEA for depression suggest that DHEA temporarily improves symptoms of depression compared to a placebo. For example, a study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health investigated the use of DHEA by 46 people between the ages of 40 and 65 with major or minor depression. They took DHEA for six weeks (90 mg a day for three weeks followed by 450 mg a day for three weeks) or a placebo.

      Twenty three people improved while taking DHEA, compared to 13 who responded while taking the placebo. After six weeks, 14 out of 15 people taking the placebo were still depressed, compared to eight out of 14 people taking DHEA.

      Studies on lasting mood changes, however, have had inconsistent results. More research is needed before DHEA should be used for depression, however, because the long-term effects aren’t known.

    * Menopause

      One small study found that 25 mg a day of DHEA may reduce symptoms of menopause. Levels of other hormones were affected, however, which may have adverse effects.

    * Obesity

      In animal studies, DHEA has shown some promise in reducing genetic or diet-induced obesity. A study funded by the National Institutes of Health looked at the effect of DHEA (50 mg a day) compared to a placebo for weight loss in 56 overweight adults between the ages of 65 and 78. At the end of the six month study, people taking DHEA lost an average of two pounds compared to the people taking the placebo, who gained just over one pound.

      Although overall weight loss was minimal, results were more promising when fat loss around the abdomen was assessed. After six months, women taking DHEA lost 10% of their abdominal fat and men lost 7%.

      A large study involving 942 men in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study looked at men between the ages of 40 and 70, first in 1987 to 1989 and then again in 1995 to 1997. Researchers found that fat around the abdomen (called central obesity) was associated with lower DHEA levels.

      Although these are promising preliminary results, until we have more research on the safety and effectiveness of DHEA, researchers recommend trying other, more proven methods for weight loss.

    * Osteoporosis

      Supplementation with DHEA has been studied to increase bone density. It is usually taken by mouth or applied as a cream to the inner thigh. DHEA hasn’t been found to be helpful for younger women and men. Some evidence sugests it might be helpful for osteoporosis in older women. More research is needed.

    * Sexual Dysfunction

      Studies on the use of DHEA for erectile dysfunction in men and sexual function in men and women have been inconsistent. A one-year study involving 280 men and women found that 50 mg a day of DHEA improved libido in women over 70 but not in younger women or men. Other studies have been mixed — most have been too small to be meaningful or the treatment duration has been too short.

    * Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

      Scientific evidence indicates that DHEA may enhance mental function and increase bone mass in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease affecting connective tissue. In fact, synthetic DHEA called prasterone (Prestara) is under investigation for the treatment of this condition and the prevention of loss of bone mineral density. The FDA has granted orphan drug status for the prevention of loss of bone mineral density in SLE patients taking corticosteroids.

    * Adrenal Insufficiency

      Adrenal insufficiency is a condition involving low levels of adrenal gland hormones. Several studies suggest DHEA supplements may improve well-being, quality of life, and sex drive in people with adrenal insufficiency. In 2003, prasterone (Fidelin) received orphan drug status for adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency can only be diagnosed by a doctor. It can be a medical emergency and should be properly diagnosed and treated by a qualified health professional.

    * Other Conditions DHEA has also been explored for many other conditions, such as:

      Alzheimer’s disease

      Chronic fatigue syndrome

      Crohn’s disease

      Heart disease

      Schizophrenia

      Sjogren’s syndrome

DHEA Side Effects and Safety

DHEA is a hormone, so it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner. Pregnant or nursing women or children should not use DHEA. There have been no studies on the long-term safety of DHEA.

One of the more common side effects of DHEA supplements is acne. Other side effects include abdominal pain, hair loss, insomnia, nasal congestion, fatigue, oily skin, rapid or irregular heartbeats, or heart palpitations.

DHEA supplements may alter liver function, so people with liver disease shouldn’t use DHEA. People with mood disorders such as depression should only use DHEA under the supervision of their health-care provider, as DHEA supplementation may worsen mood. High levels of the body’s natural DHEA has been associated with psychotic disorders, so people with or at risk for psychotic disorders shouldn’t use DHEA unless under the supervision of their health-care provider.

Since DHEA supplements may influence the production of male and female hormones, acne, greasy skin, facial hair growth, hair loss, weight gain around the waist, a deepening of the voice and other signs of masculinization may occur in women. Men may develop high blood pressure, male pattern baldness, aggressiveness, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), breast tenderness and shrinkage of the testicles.

DHEA supplements may also affect the levels of other hormones, such as insulin and thyroid hormone, and affect cholesterol levels. People with diabetes or hyperglycemia, high cholesterol, thyroid disorders, Cushing’s disease or other hormonal disorders should be particularly cautious.

DHEA supplements may alter the levels estrogen and testosterone, which can theoretically increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer. It’s also not known whether DHEA supplements may inhibit the body’s ability to make DHEA.

People taking DHEA supplements may be more likely to develop blood clots, so people with clotting disorders, heart disease and those with a history of stroke should avoid DHEA supplements.

Possible Drug Interactions

Theoretically, DHEA supplements may interfere with the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin) and prochlorperazine (Compazine).

DHEA supplements may increase the effects of the following medications:

    * AZT (Zidovudine) — HIV medication

    * Barbiturates — medications for sleep disorders

    * Cisplatic — cancer medication

    * Estrogen and oral contraceptives

    * Testosterone

    * Benzodiazepines, such as triazolam (Halcion), alprazolam and dizaepam for anxiety and sleeping disorders

DHEA may interact in unpredicatable ways with the following drugs:

    * Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, beclomethasone (Beconase, Vancenase), dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prescribed for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma and skin infections.

    * Insulin

    * Lithium

    * Prescription drugs that are broken down by the same liver enzymes, such as: allergy medication such as fexofenadine (Allegra), antifungal drugs such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral), cancer medications such as etoposide (VePesid), paclitaxel (Taxol), vinblastine, or vincristine, cholesterol medications, such as lovastatin, and oral contraceptives.