Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is available in dietary supplement form and naturally found in the human body. As per several studies, keeping your hormones balanced is the solution to looking and feeling better.
However, there are several other ways of balancing hormones, supplements, or medication is also a great altar to manage hormone levels and for an improved health condition. Besides the natural hormone, DHEA is also a popular supplement that affects the levels of other hormones in our bodies.
So, what exactly this DHEA is, and how it works?
Dehydroepiandrosterone, known in everyday language as DHEA, is a hormone that gets generated by our body’s adrenal glands, which is located just above our kidneys.
However, scientists still don’t know everything DHEA actually does. Some of DHEA gets converted into male and female hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Forerunners are elements that are getting transformed into a hormone by our body.
So, might be you are wondering that if it gets produced by our body, then why do we need to take it as a supplement?
Its production peaks in the mid-20s. In most people, the production gradually declines with age, and this decrease is connected to several diseases.
Throughout adulthood, almost 81% of DHEA levels get reduced and can associate with heart disease, depression, and mortality.
This is the reason why several claims that they have noticed potential health benefits of using DHEA, such as:
- It Strengthens our immune system
- Slow body changes which come with age
- Built-up the adrenal gland
- Improve energy level
- Improve mood and memory
- Strengthens bone and muscles
DHEA FOR IMPROVING HEALTH CONDITION
Though more research is still needed, DHEA has shown promising results in depression, as it easing it mild to moderate, which generally occurs in middle-aged people. Plus, it is also effective in showing down the aging effects in the elderly. As per studies, DHEA supplements have reported positive anti-aging effects, where a few have also reported no effects.
Low DHEA level in our body, occurs low bone density and bone fracture, which comes with age. Several studies have investigated whether DHEA is useful in improving bone density, especially in aged adults. However, as per a few reviews, taking DHEA supplements for two to three years enhances bone density in older women, but not for men.
So, you might need to take this medicine for a longer time for experiencing increased bone density.
IMPROVE SEXUAL FUNCTION, LIBIDO, AND FERTILITY
Many studies have proven that DHEA is useful in improving male and female sex hormones and affects their sexual functionality as well.
It also improves the function of ovaries in the female body with impaired fertility.
A medical team has conducted research on 25 women who were suffering from infertility, and it has been observed that regular intake of DHEA supplement has increased the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) process.
After DHEA treatment, these women have produced more eggs and fertilized a higher percentage of eggs. With the DHEA supplements throughout IVF, these women had a 24% successful birth rate, compared to the lower birth rate in the other group.
Additionally, many studies have also proven that these supplements increase sexual function and libido in both men and women.
DHEA FOR WEIGHT LOSS
DHEA supplement version, 7-keto was promoted as a treatment for reducing body fat and boosting metabolism. The whole concept behind it was that slimmer body tissue and higher metabolism would burn calories more efficiently. It not only makes it easier to lose weight but also keep it permanently off.
However, some data suggest that normal DHEA supplements can create decreases in total fat mass, mostly for older men or adults whose adrenal glands don’t work correctly.
During an eight-week exercise study and supplement program, which was conducted on overweight grown-ups, it has been noticed that the body weight and fat mass decreased two to three times higher after taking 7-Keto DHEA supplements, compared to placebo.
Adults who were on this supplement have lost about 6.6 pounds and 1.9 % of body weight, where people who were on placebo have lost only 2.2 pounds and 0.7% of their body weight.
Though more research is still going on, the DHEA 7-keto supplement could help you lose fat.
HELPFUL FOR ADRENAL PROBLEMS
Our adrenal glands are a natural producer of DHEA. If you are facing adrenal insufficiency issues, your adrenal glands may not be able to produce sufficient and regular amounts of hormones. That may result in fatigue, weakness, mood swing, and blood pressure changes. It can even advance to become a life-threatening problem.
DHEA supplements are an excellent method to treat signs of adrenal insufficiency. It also reduces anxiety and depression, as well as helpful in improving overall health well-being and sexual satisfaction for both males and females.
DHEA HELPFUL FOR ATHLETIC AND STUDENTS PERFORMANCE
For Athletics or anyone who wants to enhance their stamina, DHEA supplements can be used for improving muscle strength and improving performance. DHEA works as a “prohormone” which helps in increasing steroid hormone levels such as testosterone.
However, there is no such evidence for proving that DHEA helps in enhancing muscle strength. Additionally, the use of DHEA has been banned by many sports associations such as Major League Baseball, Collegiate Athletic Association, etc..
Also, it helps in improving students’ concentration for their studies. Students who are pursuing higher studies, they often need to spend much time in the library and writing their papers. If any student lacks in reading for long can take DHEA medication dose in a normal way for an increase in concentration power. However, it is always advisable for students to discuss with their doctor first, before using DHEA supplements.
DOSAGE AND SIDE EFFECTS
A 10-50mg dose of DHEA supplement is recommended for the age below 30, and 25–50 mg per day for the above. Can use a dose of 50 mg per day safely for one year, and can safely use 25 mg per day for two years.
Though people can notice minimum side effects, such as dull and oily skin, acne, liver issue, changes in cholesterol level, mood swing, and increased hair growth in the armpits and pubic area, other studies say that it can be used for up to two years without severe side effects.
Since DHEA increases the level of both testosterone and estrogen, Men can experience such symptoms as:
- Breast expansion
- Dwindled testicles
- Voice modulation
- Aggressive behavior,
- Lessened sperm production
Women can face changes, such as:
- Increased Hair loss
- Increased facial hair growth
- Blood pressure related issues
TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
If you are planning to use DHEA r already using it, here are several reasons, you should consult with your doctor first:
- A few DHEA medications can cause severe medical conditions, which need to be assessed and treated by health professionals.
- It can interact with other medicines if you are using any
- As it raises the level of the hormone in both males and females, it can harm hormones.
THE BOTTOM LINE
May primarily see the beneficial effects associated with DHEA in those with low DHEA levels or certain health conditions, for youth, taking DHEA is not necessary.
However, it is advisable to take DHEA specifically for older adults and those with specific adrenal, sexual or fertility problems.
Consult your physician before going on medication.
Kaylee Brown is the mother of two beautiful daughters. She’s a fitness freak, recently blessed with two twin daughters. She loves to read and write blogs related to health and fitness. Apart from that, she is the senior subject matter expert at Edumagnate.