DHEA makes the fat go away

A study shows that the hormone could control the effects of obesity. But it's early. Don't be swayed by the promises in ads.

DHEA, a hormone with a checkered past, may have a future as a way to prevent and treat the metabolic problems caused by belly fat.

The initials stand for dehydroepiandrosterone. (Little wonder it's known by its initials!) It's one of several hormones made by the adrenal glands, which are perched on the kidneys. The body converts it into estrogen, testosterone, and other less well-known hormones. DHEA also activates receptors that influence how we metabolize and store fat.

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