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DHEA Review - Does This Performance Enhancer Work? Are side effects and ineffectiveness deal breakers?

By Summer Banks on Jul 14, 2016
DHEA Review

I paused before I hit the “publish” button on this one, because my conclusion was a bit of a shocker. We believed DHEA deserved a closer look, so we focused on all aspects of the hormone, side effects and clinical research. Additionally, we examined hundreds of user comments and reviews. Then, we condensed and summarized to give you the info you need.

EDITOR'S TIP:

What is DHEA?

First off, when used in nutritional products, DHEA ingredients include dehydroepiandrosterone 50mg, cellulose, vitamins and minerals, among others. The chemical promotes athletic performance, increases libido and helps muscle-building by serving as a precursor to androgen and estrogen; hormones that control gender-specific characteristics. The recommended serving, based on supplement manufacturer, is about one to two capsules per day.

DHEA is made naturally in the body and is found in foods like soy and wild yam. Studies show that dehydroepiandrosterone levels won’t increase simply by eating either food. Supplements containing this ingredient are readily available and are relatively inexpensive. We like that it’s found naturally and that customers shared their positive experiences, but read on…

Side Effects – “Not What You Expected?”

The first concern centered on DHEA side effects not being as positive as claimed. “There’s scientific evidence showing it plays a critical role in counteracting the signs of aging,” said our Research Editor. “While supporting the benefits, the same studies showed that using this could lead to adverse reactions.”

“My blood pressure skyrocketed. Lowered dose to 12.5mg/day…still high BP. Stopped taking,” commented a customer.

“Side effects included headaches, anxiousness and nervousness, sleeplessness, problems with bowl movements,” said another.

Although some users shared negative experiences while using DHEA, we found that this type of reaction isn’t always the case. “The first time i took it, about 45mins later i felt it. It was just like something kicked inside me! The next 2 days, stress was gone, muscle fatigue minimized, my appetite was back to normal,” stated a user.

Ineffectiveness – “Any Results?”

After examining hundreds of user comments about DHEA, we found that several complained about it not producing results. “Both times I took DHEA, I had to suspend the treatment after just a few days because on two separate occasions it was supposed to help with depression and it just made it once,” said a user.

“I’ve been taking DHEA 50mg for two months and there were no positive results of taking DHEA,” stated a consumer.

On the other hand, we found that some users noticed solid results while using DHEA. “With DHEA my libido came back to life,” said a customer.

“Was prescribed 10 mg of DHEA to help elevate hormones which are all low. After 6 weeks…I was a bit stronger physically,” said another.

We have experience researching supplements and have found that any part of a formula is considered concerning, such as not being effective, the chances of long-term success are reduced. If you use DHEA and don’t notice results, it may be time to consider an alternative.

The Science – “Backed by Research?”

There’s information stating that DHEA improves libido, build muscle and reduces the signs of aging. When we wanted to know how, we turned toward research. We found scientific evidence proving it works to improve gender related characteristics, so we dug deeper to find if it helps boost testosterone. Studies showed that to boost levels, participants used DHEA 200mg, zinc, vitamin D and fenugreek. The direct connection to improving performance is mixed. At DietSpotlight, solid science is a critical part of the review process. If the facts aren’t conclusive, this could be a sign of bigger issues.

The Bottom Line – Does DHEA Work?

DHEA supposedly reverses the signs of aging; so what’s our take on it? Well, we like that it occurs naturally and is found in some foods, but we’re a bit hesitant about this one because the science is mixed when it comes to how well it works. Also, we have concerns about this one because users are talking about their lack of results and how it causes negative side effects.

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to slow down. We recommend going with a supplement packed full of ingredients proven to reduce the signs of low testosterone levels that’s not connected to harmful side effects.

Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Pronabolin. The supplement contains nine clinically-tested ingredients connected to boosting natural testosterone levels and has been shown to help increase energy, jump start libido, as well as build muscle and strength. The talk online isn’t about harmful side effects, but users seeing excellent results.

Also, the makers of Pronabolin are confident in their supplement, so they’re offering a 120-day money-back guarantee and multiple-bottle discounts.

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About the Author:

Summer Banks has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

How Does DHEA Compare?

Previous DHEA Review (Updated December 9, 2008):

What You Should Know

Click Here To See Our Highest Rated Review

Dehydroepiandrosterone, better known as DHEA, is a naturally occurring steroid hormone that is secreted from the adrenal glands and is commonly present in the body in high amounts before the age of 25. DHEA is thought to be a natural steroid because it easily converts into testosterone, allowing easy duplication of this substance. For years, pushers of DHEA claimed it reversed the signs of aging because this substance decreases as one ages -- low DHEA levels are found in people with certain diseases and Anorexia Nervosa. Other claims are the ability to increase muscle mass as other steroids do and the ability to prevent multiple types of diseases. The latter claim is true, and hospitals are beginning to use DHEA as part of depression and lupus treatment. Its connection to diet? Early studies conducted on test rats show it helped control the rats' obesity rates. Scientists still stress that DHEA is relatively untested and that the effects and side effects with this substance are still not known. This makes DHEA a very risky substance and the way it affects the estrogen and testosterone levels in the body is another cause for concern. Despite these concerns, however, many diet companies are quickly touting this as a miracle drug.

Product Features

As noted earlier, early studies conducted on test rats showed DHEA helped control obesity, preventing further weight gain. This study alone drew in worldwide attention, including the Mayo Clinic, who considers DHEA a suitable supplement for controlling obesity. Therein lies the actual issue with DHEA. These studies revealed substantial results with animals, not humans, and current testing on humans reveal little changes -- these changes do not even affect weight control. Still, this has not stopped diet companies from inserting it into many of their supplements and calling this a miracle supplement for the ages. In our opinion, more testing is needed to confirm any dietary benefits for humans. On an additional note, DHEA is rumored to have very unpleasant side effects, but these effects are not necessarily confirmed either. The increase in testosterone and estrogen may cause the same side effects as typical steroids, such as facial hair growth for women and the development of breast tissue and prostrate enlargement in men. The bottom line here is that DHEA is too new to confirm any results for the average dieter, and it may not offer some of the benefits claimed by some diet companies.

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Advantages

  • Early studies show DHEA helped control weight gain in rats.
  • It naturally occurs in the body, making this easy to produce and obtain.

Disadvantages

  • Current studies on humans yield unsatisfactory results.
  • DHEA may raise estrogen and testosterone levels -- it may also cause the same side effects as steroids.
  • Is still too new and most claims have not been confirmed as factual at the time of this review.

Conclusion

Diet companies consider DHEA a miracle weight loss drug, but scientists say otherwise and the results thus far have not confirmed these outrageous claims. Still, there is evidence it controls weight in rats, and further studies are needed to evaluate why this occurs (or how to duplicate this same effect in humans). Don't count out this substance just yet -- there is potential here that hasn't been tested but you will need to wait a while to see if DHEA really is a miracle drug.

9 User Reviews About DHEA

Leave comments below
  • 1
    Hugh Woodward

    A study done by Dr. Fernand Labrie et al at University of Toronto Medical School shows that most DHEA is actually metabolised in the skin. DHEA is very effective if used as a transdermal supplement cream, the studies that are inconclusive have unfortunately just been done with oral DHEA supplements. Please teach your readers of this very important fact. Please feel free to contact me if you need further information at this email.

    [Reply]

    steve

    plz tell me what brand of dhea you take,

    thanks, steve

    [Reply]

    Andrew

    hello Hugh,
    i am 55 and i have few lb. too many. in bed is up and down. i know that dhea may help, but you are the first voice of wisdom; what formula, how applied, what the dosage, what brand is the best, other tests, research? can you answer any of it? i hope you are independent voice from the industry? regards, Andrew. could you kindly write to my private e-address, as i seldom go to this site, please

    [Reply]

  • 2
    lew

    I have been on 50mg of Natrol brand DHEA since 38, I am now 56 (so guess I AM that long term test guinna pig they seem to be looking for) I have NO health problems at ALL at this age, and can still outrun my 20 year old son, no blood pressure or colesterol problems, and am 5’10” at 145 (still wear the same pant size I did in high school. Personally, I swear by this stuff, and can definately TELL when i miss a few days (i have tested this theory my self many times through the years just to be sure it wasn’t the plecebo affect.. trust me, it isn’t. I still have a full head of hair (NO loss), can still keep up with 4-5 times a night in bed with NO assit, and am constantly told i look 10 to 15 years younger than i am……….and still FEEL 30 ! It someone is looking for a test subject, i’m your man ! 🙂 I’ll never stop taking it, i don’t care WHAT the research says are side affects..

    [Reply]

    Cathy

    A question for lew. Can you please tell me how long it was before you started noticing a difference in the way you felt, mentally and sexually? Have hubby(age 52) trying this(50mg daily)and UNFORTUNATELY seeing NO results(taking for 3 months) yet. I just want my REAL husband back!! Thanks for your response!!!!

    [Reply]

    Anonymous

    Get hubby on androgel. Start at 25mg per day and see what a difference that can make while STAYING on the DHEA. The packets are 50mg each, so start on half the pack daily to see if that helps him return to his old self..

    [Reply]

  • 3
    karen eddy

    was is the normal daily dose of dhea when used for menopause and should it be used in conjunction with estrogen,progesterone, as when used in biodentical hormone replacement therapy?

    [Reply]

    tony

    ive been taking 100mg for a week with test boosters my test has risen i’m sure of that, gaind 1 or 2kg of mussel but labido is exactly the same, if not it drops from having it higher rather then lower, wen people say it helps with that its b.s its all about nerv fuction if that nerv is fuck or you have a large prostate it will close the singnal off to that aria testostorone only helps with the signal but it does not get stronger the more you take cheers hope that helps.

    [Reply]

    tony

    people with real problems notice no help you need to repair the nerves, people with spinal injuries have lower libido you have to repare the nervs nothing known at the moment that can do that only stemm cell therapy but we are looking at 100k just to fix him up.

    [Reply]

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