DHEA Review - 24 Things You Need to Know
What is an endogenous steroid hormone? That’s DHEA, so we wanted to take 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.
What is DHEA?
First off, DHEA is an endogenous steroid hormone. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone, and a common supplement. DHEA has an impact on the level of other hormones in the body, and is produced naturally by the adrenal glands, the brain, and the gonads. You’ll find these glands right above your kidneys.
The hormone promotes athletic performance, increases libido and helps muscle-building by serving as a precursor to androgen and estrogen, two hormones that control gender-specific characteristics. The recommended serving, based on supplement manufacturer, is usually one to two 50 mg tablets per day.
As important as these hormones are to the body, scientists are yet to learn everything the hormones can do. One of its known functions is a precursor to female and male sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. DHEA is a steroid from which these notable sex hormones originate.
DHEA production decreases as one gets older. It is at peak production when you are in your 20s, which explains why the DHEA supplement is popular among elderly people in particular. 
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…
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How Does DHEA Work?
DHEA metabolism takes place in the adrenal cortex above the kidneys, owing to its high concentration of the CY17 enzyme. DHEA can also be produced in the ovaries, testes and the brain, where it can be synthesized independently and in much higher concentration.
DHEA can be synthesized to other useful derivatives in the body. Conversion of DHEA to the 7-beta and 7-alpha oxygenated metabolites is not restricted to steroidogenic tissues (ovaries, testes) and the adrenals, but can occur in the spleen, thymus, brain, ventral skin, intestine, colon, and muscle tissues. 
People adopt the use of DHEA supplements as they believe it boosts sex drive, can counter the effects of aging, helps to develop muscle, and is beneficial for some health conditions. There is no scientific evidence to some of these claims, as scientists don’t know everything DHEA is capable of.
Some of the supplements come with some risks, so you should seek a doctor’s advice before any treatment with a DHEA supplement. DHEA levels decline in both women and men as they age. Production of estrogen and testosterone also reduces with age, and manufacturers of DHEA supplements claim they can boost levels, with these results:
• Developing the adrenal gland
• Improving memory
• Strengthen the immune system
• Build up muscle and bone strength
• Influence the usual changes that come with aging
As a steroid hormone, DHEA and its derivatives – such as 7-ketone DHEA and 1-androsterone – can be manufactured in the laboratory.
Since there is not enough available evidence to back up the claims commonly associated with this steroid, there is also not much information on its production rate. Some products are dietary supplements that contain DHEA or its other chemical derivatives.
Does DHEA Work?
Going by comments about DHEA from genuine users on health forums, there are few positive reviews. Some have said it doesn’t work for males. A consumer stated she had been using the supplement for upward of two months without any positive result.
Some did notice an improvement in their libido after treatment with DHEA. A user said, “Was prescribed 10mg of DHEA-elevating hormones… After 6 weeks…I was a bit stronger.”
Across the board, results from DHEA supplementation are very mixed. Some users and studies have reported positive effects on muscle tone, wrinkles, and libido, while other studies and users have reported no change after DHEA supplementation.
One study administered 100 mg of DHEA to advanced-age men and women for six months to determine the long-term effects of DHEA supplementation. “Biotransformation to potent androgens near and slightly above the range of their younger counterparts occurred in women with no detectable change in men. Given this hormonal milieu, an increase in serum IGF-I levels was observed in both genders but dimorphic responses were evident in fat body mass and muscle strength in favour of men. These differences in response to DHEA administration may reflect a gender specific response to DHEA and/or the presence of confounding factor(s) in women such as oestrogen replacement therapy.” 
This study suggested a lot of different factors contribute to the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of DHEA.
However, a particular DHEA product is garnering great on Amazon. All except one rate the product 4 out of 5, or above. One review recommended that people with serious health conditions should stay away from using DHEA. He had some strange effects, probably as a result of his condition, which supports advice you would receive from experts.
DHEA Benefits and Results
Evidence shows that using DHEA supplements have given some positive results for reducing depression at different levels, especially among the elderly. In a six-week research by the International Institute of Mental Health, treatments using DHEA supplements brought relief to middle-aged people with either moderate or mild depression. It is also seen to improve aging skin among the elderly. 
Other results from the NIH and the National Standard is unclear for the treatment of heart disease, cervical cancer, infertility, sexual dysfunction, low bone density, Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s diseases and Schizophrenia. 
Details on DHEA and Weight Loss
You may be interested in using a DHEA supplement for weight loss, but results do not show any connection between DHEA and weight loss.
7-ketone, one of the derivatives of DHEA, is widely believed to make this possible but there is not sufficient scientific evidence to back up those claims. Most studies show there is no significant correlation between DHEA, high metabolism and weight loss.
How to Use (Take) DHEA
A DHEA dosage is commonly between 25 mg to 50 mg daily in a DHEA supplement. Taking 25mg for two-year periods, and 50mg for up to a year has been reported as a safe DHEA dosage plan. 
It is strongly advised you see your doctor if you have to use DHEA supplements, especially for an extended period of time.
Due to the complexity of the DHEA structure, supplements can cause various reactions when taken alongside other medications. You should be cautious when administering DHEA with the following:
• Cardiac glycosides
• Birth control pills
The bottom line, as usual, is to consult your doctor. 
Potential DHEA Side Effects
DHEA supplements are a relatively new product, and side effects from long-term use are unknown. The side effects also differ according to age and medical history.
Commonly-reported side effects include:
- Oily skin and acne, as well as skin thickening
- Hair loss
- Stomach upset
- High blood pressure
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Facial hair in women
- Deepening of the voice in women
- Nasal congestion
- Rapid or irregular heart beat
- Unfavorable changes in cholesterol levels
These side effects generally result from increased estrogen and testosterone levels. 7-ketone DHEA is one of the best DHEA supplement byproducts for reducing many of them. You should still exercise caution if planning long-term use of a DHEA supplement, and always consult a doctor. 
DHEA Product Warnings
DHEA is not suitable for everyone. It is important for you to read all instructions on the label before embarking on a treatment plan. Keep in mind that the effect on one person may not be the same for another.
DHEA has a complex structure and will react differently on individuals. These are warnings found on some DHEA products: You should avoid if you are undergoing treatment for breast cancer or prostate cancer. Avoid if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.
Some supplements state that you should avoid if you’re below 30 years of age except recommended by your doctor.
Consulting a doctor is always the last advice after such warnings. 
Any DHEA Lawsuits?
Manufacturers of DHEA supplements have had a fair share of lawsuits levied against them.
In 2017, a federal lawsuit filed by an Arizona company claims Total Fitness Warehouse is profiting by a health supplement through unfair trade practices. The company’s SUP3R-1 1-Andro DHEA supplement is alleged to have ingredients that synthesis into the illegal and dangerous 1-Testosterone anabolic steroid. It is alleged the company purportedly gave various promises without stating the risks involved.
In 2013, Health Science LLC sued the FDA for their failure to confirm their product’s medical Food Status. The company accused the FDA of not confirming Prastera DHEA, but rather raised two concerns which the plaintiff said were irrelevant. 
Testosterone is a significant part of DHEA. Injecting Testosterone directly is an alternative to DHEA, and would in theory produce similar results as a DHEA supplement.
A research by S.T Page and fellow workers in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (March 2005), shows that medically-supervised testosterone injection improves grip strength, boosts athlete’s performance, improves lean muscle mass and has few negative side effects.
Pregnenolone is a steroid like DHEA that claims much the same benefits, but using Pregnenolone comes with an additional advantage. It raises the level of progesterone, which is a female steroid of which DHEA is not a precursor of. In the publication by E.W Freeman in the Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology (2010), it shows that progesterone intake enhances mood score, among many other DHEA benefits.
Hormone therapy is meant to be administered under medical supervision. Do not attempt to purchase or use exogenous hormones without the consent of a physician.
Increasing DHEA levels
Certain circumstances can raise your DHEA level. For instance, caloric restriction has been shown to increase DHEA. This is the basis for the hypothesis that caloric restriction increases longevity. Regular exercise is also connected to increasing the natural output of DHEA. 
Buying DHEA over the counter
When buying any supplement containing DHEA over the counter, it is absolutely necessary for you to be aware of what you are buying. You should not self-medicate, but always act on your doctor’s recommendation. A doctor’s prescription may be required even when purchasing DHEA over the counter.
DHEA Muscle Building Facts
Many DHEA facts and claims exist, and you may be wondering about the impact of DHEA to raise testosterone levels, for the purpose of bodybuilding. Studies have shown there is no connection between DHEA and muscle building, and taking DHEA doesn’t in any way increase muscle strength or mass. 
However, research reports that DHEA supplement can improve physical performance in weak adults, and those with deficient adrenal gland problems. 
We can establish that DHEA doesn’t have any significant effect on bodybuilding, at least according to various clinical studies.
DHEA Can Increase Testosterone in Both Men and Women
Supplements containing DHEA are often used by athletes in the belief it improves muscle strength. We have already established the truth concerning this above. The body naturally produces DHEA in a controlled measure, as required. This is circulated around the body for cell functions. You should be mindful of synthetic DHEA supplements, because they increase testosterone levels in both sexes and should not be overused. If not controlled, this can have adverse effects on the body and growth levels.
DHEA Dangers During Administration
As with many prescription drugs, side effects are common, and there are DHEA dangers you should be mindful of. Any anabolic or pro-hormone supplement comes with risks. The higher the dose, the more dangers are involved. It is not only hazardous to your health, but can be harmful to others from the resulting effects. DHEA dangers may result in:
• Aggressive behavior
• High blood pressure
• Psychological symptoms
• Effect on cholesterol level
• Liver problems
DHEA effect on Testosterone and Estrogen Levels
It is already established that DHEA can raise one’s testosterone level, as well the estrogen level in both men and women.
As a woman, you may experience some changes due to the increased testosterone levels. Your voice may change, and you may even experience facial hair growth or hair loss.
Likewise, DHEA can have undesirable effects for men such as breast enlargement, reduced sperm production, and shrunken testicles.
Why You need DHEA Test and Evaluation Before Dosage
Many cases involving the use of a DHEA supplement are for more serious medical conditions. It is the doctor’s responsibility to carry out adequate DHEA testing, and properly evaluate the situation before any dosage is prescribed.
DHEA interacts with other medications, and can reduce their effectiveness. You should be aware that using DHEA has some side effects, and adequate tests are necessary for your doctor to prescribe an accurate dosage level.
The Skin and DHEA Cream
When the production of DHEA declines at an older age, the skin is one shows these effects through dryness and wrinkles.
The skin is another rare spot in the body where DHEA is converted to other hormones. DHEA also serves as the base for sebum, the skin oil. This oil gives protection against carcinogens and keeps it hydrated.
For effectiveness in the body, DHEA must be released to the body in a bioidentical cream, for maximum absorption and proper function.
DHEA cream helps against aging by renewing the skin’s freshness and keeping it properly hydrated.
Not many DHEA creams are available, and a particular product seems to be dominating in this area.
Though reports have come out to support the anti-aging power of DHEA supplements, there are equally similar reports refuting the claims.
Studies by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and National Institute on Aging show there is not enough evidence on the anti-aging ability of DHEA.
DHEA Sulfate Low: Treatment Options
Doctors carry out DHEA tests to learn a patient’s DHEA levels. With this test, your doctor can determine the performance of your adrenal glands. Your DHEA level can be affected by your age and sex. If you are female between 30-39, the normal DHEA range is between 45 and 270 ug/dL. In the case of a low DHEA sulfate situation, treatment options include taking synthetic DHEA in cream form, or in pills. Surgery may be recommended for an adrenal tumor.
Affordability of the Best DHEA supplement
DHEA products on the market are quite affordable. Some products in stores cost in the range of $5 to $12 for 50 mg of 90 capsules. The same goes for DHEA for sale on Amazon. When looking for the best DHEA supplement to buy, the number of capsules and the milligram size are considerations that determine the price of the product.
What Users Are Saying
“”Great when I had hot flashes.””
“”Had to stop taking this as my DHEA levels became too high.””
“”Half my hair fell out… If you are wanting to take DHEA independent of a doctor’s supervision, then you might want to start out taking 5 mg.””
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 this year is our product called Pronabolin. The supplement contains nine clinically-tested ingredients. Results are often found in publications such as The Aging Male.
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