Information About DHEA – Why Do People Use DHEA?

Written by Dr. Chris Smith, Updated on November 12th, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes

DHEA is a steroid hormone that is the precursor of sex hormones such as Testosterone and Estrogen. DHEA acts as a weak Androgen, meaning that it has effects associated with masculine physiology. Androgens are produced by both sexes but are produced in higher volumes by males.

Testosterone is the most well-known Androgen, but there are quite a few others.

While DHEA is the building block of other hormones, including both Testosterone and Estrogen, the majority of DHEA is converted into the steroid Androstenedione.

DHEA is released primarily by the Adrenal glands but also in small amounts by the brain and the intestines.

Like Testosterone, men produce high levels of DHEA until around the age of thirty. Many men take DHEA supplements in an effort to protect against illness and improve health/wellness.

While there is some promising medical evidence that DHEA does offer some benefits to users, most of this research is in the preliminary stages.

What Are the Potential Benefits of DHEA?

There has been a wide range of small-scale studies that have explored the potential benefits of DHEA.

For example, it is hypothesized that DHEA may benefit patients with adrenal insufficiency, osteoporosis, lupus, obesity, and depression. DHEA also appears to help patients with sexual issues, including erectile dysfunction and vaginal atrophy.

The results are often inconsistent due to a lack of research.

There are several health conditions associated with low circulating levels of DHEA. A few include HIV, Type-2 Diabetes, and anorexia. It's possible that DHEA supplementation may be used in conjunction with other treatment options to alleviate the effects of certain conditions.

There are even some that stand by the therapeutic use of DHEA as a means to bolster strength, psychological function, and immunity when they get older. You should take the advice of a medical professional you can trust.

Medical/Supplemental Use of DHEA

DHEA does not have any universal standard for dosage. Most DHEA studies have worked with a dosage between 25 and 200mg.

In some cases, researchers used even higher doses. Each condition has its own specifications. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no way to obtain DHEA normally from the diet. It can only be produced by the body or created synthetically.

Side-Effects of DHEA

The most reported issues associated with DHEA Treatment were symptoms like congestion, insomnia, fatigue, and headache. When women have too much of the hormone, it can lead to mood alteration, acne, and abnormal periods.

Overdose can lead to symptoms of masculinization, including deepened voice or facial hair. In men, higher doses can contribute to elevated blood pressure and excess breast tissue.

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