If you’re looking for the best DHEA supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our DHEA Supplements Guide.
Top 10 DHEA Supplements
|#1||Natrol DHEA||More Info|
|#2||BulkSupplements Pure DHEA||More Info|
|#3||Jarrow Formulas DHEA||More Info|
|#4||Life Extension DHEA||More Info|
|#5||Country Life Vitamins DHEA||More Info|
|#6||Pure Encapsulations – DHEA||More Info|
|#7||Nature’s Bounty DHEA||More Info|
|#8||Zhou Nutrition DHEA||More Info|
|#9||Havasu Nutrition DHEA||More Info|
|#10||aSquared Nutrition Pure DHEA||More Info|
DHEA supplements are believed to provide numerous benefits, including improved sex drive, anti-aging properties, the strengthening of muscles and improvements of different health conditions. But, how many of these benefits are proven and backed by science and are there risks associated with DHEA supplements?
Here is a breakdown of what science reveals about DHEA supplements and what should be known about the supplement’s safety and any possible associated risks.
What is DHEA?
DHEA is Dehydroepiandrosterone. Science points to DHEA as a precursor to the male and female hormones that are naturally produced by the brain, gonads and adrenal glands. DHEA is converted into testosterone and estrogen, and DHEA supplements are designed to act as a replacement precursor. These supplements are made from wild soy and yams.
DHEA production naturally peaks during the mid-20s and gradually declines with age in most individuals, just as testosterone and estrogen production also declines with age. Because DHEA supplements have successfully increased levels of testosterone and estrogen, it is believed they may provide health benefits including:
- Strengthening and building the adrenal gland and immune system.
- Slowing changes in the body that are produced by age.
- Improving energy levels, mood and memory.
- Building muscle and improving bone strength.
DHEA does have physiological roles in the body. These roles are not completely understood at this time and vary. DHEA is listed as a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency because it is considered to produce muscularization and may enhance athletic performance. Any such evidence is very limited, but some athletes have been banned from competition for using DHEA.
DHEA is referred to by some sources as the super hormone because it possibly offers treatment for conditions such as depression, weight loss, vaginal atrophy, lupus and more. DHEA is complicated but does show promise and is being studied to determine its ability to treat health conditions and to identify any contraindications or adverse interactions and side effects.
Benefits of DHEA
DHEA has been studied to measure the benefits associated with its use, such as:
Some research suggests that raising DHEA levels through the utilization of a supplement can help to increase bone density, but this is still unproven. It is believed to produce better bone density enhancement in women.
Weight loss may be encouraged with the use of DHEA supplements in older individuals who are suffering from metabolic conditions, but evidence of weight loss for younger, overweight people remains inconclusive.
Adrenal insufficiency is caused when the adrenal glands do not produce enough DHEA and other steroid hormones. Some symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency may be reduced with DHEA supplements. The side effects related to this treatment may be high and additional studies are still required to provide proof of its overall effectiveness.
The autoimmune disorder, Lupus, affects the skin and organs. DHEA levels have tested lower than normal in women who have been diagnosed with lupus. Some studies show that taking DHEA supplements may reduce several lupus symptoms.
The FDA has approved a DHEA medication for post-menopausal pain during sex. Additional studies have displayed results that benefit sexual function such as libido and erectile dysfunction. However, other studies on this subject have been inconclusive. DHEA testing has shown greater, substantiated benefits for postmenopausal women than for men.
There is little evidence that verifies DHEA supplements limit age-related changes. The Mayo Clinic completed a two-year study that examines the use of DHEA supplements in older adults and it was determined that there were no anti-aging benefits.
There is some evidence in a Mayo Clinic DHEA study that suggests DHEA may limit the proliferation of cervical cancer cells.
Athletes sometimes use DHEA supplements in an attempt to increase their muscle strength. There is some weak evidence that confirms this in elderly individuals, but studies on adults have found little or no muscular benefit.
Are There any Side Effects?
There are some side effects associated with DHEA, which may include acne, oily or thick skin, hair loss, upset stomach, changes in menstruation, high blood pressure, nasal congestion, headaches, fatigue, facial hair in women or a deepening of the voice. A rapid or irregular heartbeat and unwanted changes in cholesterol levels have also been experienced. Most of these side effects are the result of DHEA raising testosterone and estrogen levels.
Medical professionals advise that there is little information on the long-term effects that may be caused by elevated hormone levels. DHEA supplements are not suggested for long-term use without the oversight of a health care professional. It is recommended that people with diabetes, heart disease or anxiety avoid taking DHEA supplements.
Individuals who are taking DHEA supplements should be aware of symptoms that indicate they have too much DHEA in their system. These symptoms may include fatigue, abdominal pain, hair loss, high or low blood sugar, hypertension, mania, hypomania, irritability, insomnia, headaches, acne, sexual inappropriateness, liver dysfunction, a reduction in good cholesterol or voice deepening.
DHEA converts to estrogen and testosterone, and very high doses may contribute to or worsen hormone-related conditions including prostate cancer in men or endometriosis, breast cancer or uterine fibroids in women. DHEA may be very beneficial when taken under the supervision of a doctor.
How to Take DHEA
A blood test or salvatory DHEA test should be taken to determine the level of DHEA before beginning to take the supplement. It is important to note that while DHEA is obtained from wild yams and soy in the lab, adding them to your diet will not increase DHEA in your body.
DHEA supplements are available in in a liquid, lozenge or capsule form. Five to seven milligrams daily may be taken to reach the beneficial level of DHEA. The lozenge should be held under the tongue to dissolve before swallowing. Avoid Eating, brushing teeth, drinking and smoking for 30-45 minutes after taking the lozenge. This administration of DHEA is usually preferred in the treatment of autoimmune disease. However, studies do support taking an oral capsule as well.
A greater conversion of DHEA via a supplement to increase testosterone and estrogen is achievable by taking two daily doses in a capsule form. They should be taken before the start of a meal that contains some fat. Taking 25 milligrams of DHEA twice a day is recommended to restore normal DHEA in the body. Micronized DHEA may be three to four times better absorbed than non-micronized DHEA. Read more about DHEA supplements from Board-certified Nutritionist Dr. Debe.
What to Look for in a Good DHEA Product
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) may provide improvements in the appearance of your skin, relieve lupus and treat sexual dysfunction. However, most DHEA supplements have additional unneeded and unwanted ingredients. For example, silica or silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate or stearic acid may be added to DHEA supplements. Hypromellose (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose) may be used as a thickener, titanium dioxide may be utilized for whitening and povidone may be added as a binder.
Look for a DHEA supplement without additives. Minimal-additive DHEA supplements and additive-free DHEA supplements are the best options. DHEA should be the first ingredient. A reputable multivitamin that contains DHEA is another good choice.
7-keto DHEA (7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone) is suggested as a nonhormonal version of DHEA, and it may provide weight loss. However, many of the other possible DHEA benefits may not be accessible with the 7-Keto supplement.
DHEA is not a magic cure and should only be added to your vitamin regimen under the supervision of a physician. Pure Formulas, Puritan’s Pride, BioMatrix, Country Life, DaVinci, Nature’s Bounty, Nature’s Plus and many other health product manufacturers offer high-quality DHEA supplements.