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DHEA

Also indexed as:Dehydroepiandrosterone
DHEA: Main Image

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is one of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. After being secreted by the adrenal glands, it circulates in the bloodstream as DHEA-sulfate (DHEAS) and is converted as needed into other hormones.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Addison's Disease
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
DHEA is largely produced by the adrenal glands, and people with Addison's disease often have subnormal levels. Some, though not all, research indicates DHEA supplements may relieve some Addison's disease symptoms.
Athletic Performance and Improved Strength in Older Men
100 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
DHEA is a hormone that is used by the body to make the male sex hormone testosterone. In one double-blind trial, DHEA was effective for improving strength in older men.
Crohn's Disease
Take under medical supervision: 200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
In a preliminary trial, six of seven people with Crohn's disease went into remission after taking DHEA for eight weeks.
Depression
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Some studies have reported lower DHEA levels in depressed people. However, DHEA appears to be effective for only a minority of depressed people.
Erectile Dysfunction
Take under medical supervision: 50 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Some men with erectile dysfunction have been reported to have low blood levels of DHEA. Supplementing with DHEA may improve erectile function and libido.
HIV and AIDS Support
200 to 500 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Large amounts of supplemental DHEA may alleviate fatigue in HIV-positive people.
Lupus
Take under medical supervision: 50 to 200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Treatment with DHEA may improve symptoms and decrease disease activity.
Osteoporosis
Take under medical supervision: 50 mg per day2 stars[2 stars]
DHEA may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis. In one trial, bone mineral density increased among healthy elderly women and men who were given DHEA.
Ulcerative Colitis
Take under medical supervision: 200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, 6 of 13 people with ulcerative colitis went into remission after taking supplementing with DHEA.
Alzheimer's Disease
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with Alzheimer's disease may have low DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) levels, and supplementation may improve mental performance.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
DHEA is a hormone that has been found to be low in some people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Immune Function
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with the hormone DHEA may improve immune functioning.
Menopause
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
DHEA improves the response of brain chemicals (endorphins), which are involved in sensations of pleasure and pain. Supplementing with it may improve mood symptoms.
Multi-Infarct Dementia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with deterioration of mental functions resulting from multiple small strokes (multi-infarct dementia) may have lower than normal DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) levels.
Obesity
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
DHEA has been shown to help decrease body fat in men.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.