DHEA Information and 5 Important Benefits

Author's note: It is important to speak with your Dr. before taking any dietary supplement. I hold a Bachelor's of Science degree is Exercise Science and Health Promotion. The following information is from my own research via peer reviewed journals and my own personal experience.     

What is DHEA?  

As we grow older many of us experience a dramatic drop in DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) levels. This is  especially true of adults after the age of  40. DHEA is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands.  Like all hormones, it is imperative for the body to maintain balance.  Like testosterone or estrogen, we don't want neither too much nor too little of one hormone. Sadly, as we age our bodies don't do such a great job keeping hormones in balance. This being the case, many adults may benefit from supplementing with DHEA as a result of lowering DHEA levels.

5 possible benefits that may help those who are low in DHEA.

1.  Many people with low levels of DHEA report improved mood and elevation of depressive symptoms.  DHEA is not a treatment for everyone with depression, however low levels of DHEA in older indivisuals may lead to depression, and thus supplementing with DHEA may provide some benefit here. Because DHEA can cause hormonal fluctuations, it's important to talk with your family physician before adding DHEA to your supplement regimen.

2.  Weight loss has been reported in many studies by those who supplement with DHEA. It should be noted that the weight loss of those supplementing with DHEA is typically only achieved for those who are deficient in the hormone in the first place. This being said, if you are a youngster (in your 20s) trying to lose weight via DHEA, you likely won't see any benefit.

3.  Having adequate DHEA levels has been shown in some studies to decrease the incidence of some cancers.

4.   DHEA has been shown in deficient individuals to help with fatigue. Again, this is typically reported by people who were deficient in DHEA.  A person suffering from fatigue but produces enough DHEA likely won't see a benefit here.  

5.  Some skin-care products now come with DHEA as there have been a few studies that suggest that DHEA, when applied topically, may help fight the signs of aging.

Where to get DHEA?

Although some foods, i.e. soy beans have been shown to increase DHEA levels,  most individuals find that supplementing with DHEA is the most effective method. DHEA is widely available, and can be found at just about any health food store: both online and off for around $5-10 for a 3-month supply.  While most often people find positive effects supplementing with 25mg/day of DHEA, some individuals require more and others require less. DHEA  can have profound effects on mood and health, however it is important to speak with your Dr. before supplementing with DEHA to A. find out if you are deficient in the first place and B. to find out exactly how much you need to be taking, if indeed you need to be supplementing with DHEA at all.

Thanks for reading!