DHEA Review

Editor's Review: 3.2 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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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.

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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.

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7 User Reviews about DHEA

  • 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]