It is difficult to reduce belly fat as you age. Naturally as metabolic processes slow down fat begins to accumulate, notably in the belly area. This gain has been linked to the human body producing less DHEA, a naturally occurring prohormone dehydoepiandrosterone. A study at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that DHEA was responsible for reducing abdominal fat and the risk for type 2 diabetes that increases with age.
Generally at age 25 our bodies have reached their peak production levels of DHEA. After 25 production levels begin to decline by about 2% each year, so a 35 year old will be producing 20% less DHEA than they did when they were 25. The decline steadily continues as we age. Reduced DHEA levels have been associated with many of the symptoms of aging.
A study was conducted by Dennis T. Villareal, M.D. and John O. Holloszy, M.D. to establish whether or not DHEA could reverse some of the metabolic complications of aging if DHEA levels in the elderly were brought back to youthful levels. The study found that, when compared to a placebo, DHEA supplements resulted in a decrease in fat stored in the abdomen in 10.2 percent of women and 7.4 percent of men.
Subcutaneous abdominal fat (fat below the surface of the skin) was also reduced by DHEA therapy. Both men and women saw a 6% decrease in fat of this kind. After the study there was no evidence of adverse effects of the DHEA supplementation.
Other studies have shown that DHEA is most effective when taken as a transdermal cream, like Twist 25, rather than in pill form. When ingested orally, DHEA is destroyed in the liver. What remains is DHEA sulfate, which is not the same as actual DHEA that is used as a base hormone in the body. Applying DHEA directly to the skin allows the body to metabolize it where it will be used.