What is DHEA?
As we get older, we produce less and less DHEA. Testosterone levels are also known to drop as we age, so we can see the correlation between declining DHEA levels and diminishing testosterone levels. It’s important to note that DHEA is not a nutrient or vitamin of some sort; it is a hormone.
Similar to when
individuals supplemented with Melatonin, you are precisely
supplementing with a hormone. Although you can purchase it at your
local pharmacy, this is a synthetically made hormone. This article
will hope to show the dosage, benefits, and side effects of DHEA
supplementation and if this touted supplement is worth your money.
DHEA has its pros and cons when it comes to supplementing with this hormone. Research is quite conflicting and it can be difficult to track what the current word on DHEA is. Some of the potential benefits of DHEA are:
Improving sexual function in women and men
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The real issue is that there are far too many conflicting studies on supplementation usage of DHEA to establish if this is an efficacious hormone to add to your arsenal. By staying within the recommended dosage alluded below and by your physician, side effects should be minimal to non-existent.
DHEA appears to be safe in dosages between 25-200 mg. Always consult your physician for advice when it comes to supplementation. (Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA))
Testosterone and Estrogen:
In the bodybuilding world, testosterone and estrogen are two hormones that stick out exponentially to us. Men are constantly trying to increase their testosterone levels while minimizing how much is aromatized into estrogen. Higher testosterone levels are associated with more muscular gain, increased libido, and an increase in overall well-being. Essentially, testosterone is king. How does oral consumption of DHEA effect testosterone levels?
It was thought that supplementing with a hormone that is a precursor to testosterone would yield a serum rise in the aforementioned hormone. However, research has shown that supplementing with DHEA has no effect on serum testosterone levels.
"In 10 young men (23 +/- 4 yr old), ingestion of 50 mg of DHEA increased serum androstenedione concentrations 150% within 60 min (P < 0.05) but did not affect serum testosterone and estrogen concentrations."
"An additional 19 men (23 +/- 1 yr old) participated in an 8-wk whole body resistance-training program and ingested DHEA (150 mg/day, n = 9) or placebo (n = 10) during weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8. Serum androstenedione concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) increased in the DHEA-treated group after 2 and 5 wk. Serum concentrations of free and total testosterone, estrone, estradiol, estriol, lipids, and liver transaminases were unaffected by supplementation.” (Brown GA, 1999)
This shows that supplementing with DHEA for performance enhancement proves to be futile.
So far you’re thinking: “DHEA is a waste to supplement with.” Although you may be right, DHEA does have metabolites that have a little more legitimacy when it comes to performance enhancement. This metabolite is known as 7-Keto DHEA, or simply 7-Keto. Although further research is needed, one study showed that 7-Keto DHEA has the potential to:
Increase fat loss when diet and training are efficient
Favorable body composition changes
Increase in thyroid activity
“Our results indicate that one hour of cross-training three times per week supplemented with 200 mg of 7-Keto™ per day yields a significant reduction in both body weight and body fat. Furthermore, 7-Keto™ elevated T3 significantly, which may indicate an effect on basal metabolism.” (Carlon M. Colker, 1999)
Author’s note: Why would we be skeptical? This test was done on 30 overweight individuals. Of course when overweight people begin to exercise they will lose weight. Also, this study doesn’t note dietary intake.
Checking your DHEA Levels – Do I Have Low DHEA Levels?
As previously mentioned, DHEA is a hormone produced in your body, thus you can have a physician check and monitor your DHEA levels within your body. Some health risks of low DHEA levels include, but aren’t limited to:
ischemic heart disease
(Traish AM, 2011)
Typical blood levels of DHEA can fluctuate by gender and age.
“Typical normal ranges for females are:
Ages 18 - 19: 145 - 395 ug/dL
Ages 20 - 29: 65 - 380 ug/dL
Ages 30 - 39: 45 - 270 ug/dL
Ages 40 - 49: 32 - 240 ug/dL
Ages 50 - 59: 26 - 200 ug/dL
Ages 60 - 69: 13 - 130 ug/dL
Ages 69 and older: 17 - 90 ug/dL
Typical normal ranges for males are:
Ages 18 - 19: 108 - 441 ug/dL
Ages 20 - 29: 280 - 640 ug/dL
Ages 30 - 39: 120 - 520 ug/dL
Ages 40 - 49: 95 - 530 ug/dL
Ages 50 - 59: 70 - 310 ug/dL
Ages 60 - 69: 42 - 290 ug/dL
Ages 69 and older: 28 - 175 ug/dL
Note: ug/dL = microgram per deciliter”
Brown GA, V. M. (1999, December). Effect of oral DHEA on serum testosterone and adaptations to resistance training in young men. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10601178
Carlon M. Colker, G. C. (1999). Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://www.asep.org/asep/asep/colker2.pdf
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21678
DHEA-Sulfate Test. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003717.htm
Traish AM, K. H. (2011, November 11). Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)--a precursor steroid or an active hormone in human physiology. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22032408
Author’s Note: This information is intended to supplement your knowledge, not to replace advice from your health care provider. Interactions between your current medications and the above topic are not noted, therefore never use supplements without approval from your health care provider.
Where to Buy DHEA Cheap:
|Product Name||Size||Lowest Price||Main Ingredient / Dollar||Go to Cheapest Store|
|Ultimate Nutrition DHEA 100mg||100 Capsules||501.25 Milligrams of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) per dollar|
|Ultimate Nutrition DHEA 50mg||100 Capsules||387.90 Milligrams of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) per dollar|
|Ultimate Nutrition DHEA 25mg||100 Capsules||279.33 Milligrams of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) per dollar|