There is a very interesting new scientific study performed measuring the DHEA levels for Navy SEALs as they develop through the levels of BUDs training. Special Operations Forces (SOF) are highly trained military personnel with specialized skill sets that allow them to do high-risk missions under extreme conditions. So Special Operations Forces personnel go through an intense and grueling selection process; extensive training to develop the physical skills and mental strength required to do the job well.
The research study analyzed the psychological and physiological growth of Navy, Sea, Air and Land teams (SEALs) candidates going through Basic Underwater Demolition (BUDs) training. SEALs BUDs training is one the most difficult Special Operations Forces training programs in the US military. It involves extreme high pressure situations to ensure that those selected can deal with the harsh physical and psychological environments to get the job done.
The psychological characteristics needed are resilience, hardiness and grit. In the research study, they examined how positive beneficial growth occurs as SEALs candidates progressed through training as reported of in this recent review article:
To summarize: This study examined the growth of psychological characteristics and adaptation of physiological markers of stress during a six-month assessment and selection course for U.S. Navy SEALs. Resilience, hardiness, and grit ratings were used to evaluate the psychological characteristics. Blood samples were taken to determine physiological markers related to stress adaptation; specifically, evaluating DHEA, DHEA-to-cortisol ratio, BDNF, NPY, and cortisol.
Data was collected at four-time points throughout the assessment and selection course from 353 students over three classes. Results indicated that resilience and hardiness grow after an initial decline, and DHEA and DHEA-to-cortisol increased suggesting physiological adaptation. The study enhances the understanding of psychological growth and physiological adaptation in a high-stress environment over an extended duration.
The study authors say:
“While there are psychological indicators of performance that may be developed and help one progress through challenging situations, it is also important to consider physiological indicators of stress which may hinder or enhance one’s persistence through difficult situations. In the presence of a perceived threat, the brain initiates a response that engages the immune and cardiovascular systems via neuroendocrine mechanisms, including the secretion of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) .”
“Cortisol is essential to stress adaptation by mobilizing and replenishing energy stores and suppressing nonessential anabolic activity. Cortisol increases arousal and cardiovascular tone [13, 56, 63, 69], though prolonged exposure can have negative effects on the body .” DHEA counterbalances that.
DHEA modulates the effects of cortisol by providing neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. This includes stimulation of neural stem cells and enhancement of immune cell production [13, 35, 69]. As a result, the ratio of DHEA-to-cortisol is often used to represent the balance between anabolic and catabolic processes .” DHEA is thus a reliable indicator of health and well-being.
The findings of this study provide further evidence supporting the discussions we have had on numerous radio shows explaining what DHEA is, and the importance of maintaining the availability of DHEA and the DHEA to cortisol ratio as an indicator of health and cognitive well-being. Dr. John Woodward recommends a DHEA to cortisol ratio of 10 to 1.
It is fascinating to observe that as Navy SEALs progress through different stages of their training, they experience notable improvements in their physical and mental health. These improvements are indicated by increased DHEA levels and the DHEA/cortisol ratio.
The average age of these 353 Navy SEALs was 24. Many were older. Obviously, the people training in the elite Special Operations Forces like the SEALs are making their own DHEA as they are average age 25. What is demonstrated though, is that our best human performance – both physiologically and psychologically – is when DHEA levels are higher and DHEA/cortisol levels are higher.
Since March of 2007, Health2Go, Inc. has been helping people to learn about the many benefits of DHEA and it’s use as adaily skin cream. The benefits of DHEA cream are evident in the effectiveness of Twist 25 DHEA cream for maintaining hormones, energy, motivation exercise results and health. Listen to customer comments from thousands of people from all around the USA.
This latest study contributes to the growing evidence supporting the benefits of DHEA. This once again confirms DHEA’s positive impact on overall health and well-being, and in promoting physiological and psychological health. The study confirms that as Navy SEALs progress through months of rigorous training pushing themselves to the limit of their physical and mental health: DHEA levels increase as do DHEA to cortisol ratios. Maintain strength.
The medical experts that developed and performed the research study chose to use DHEA and DHEA/cortisol ratio as the blood test measurement by which to evaluate physiological health and psychological well-being.