What is DHEA?
DHEA is short for dehydroepiandrosterone. DHEA is a precursor to testosterone, meaning it converts to androstenedione and then to testosterone. Like testosterone, it is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands and is the most abundant steroid in the human body. Because testosterone can be converted by a process called aromatization, into estrogen, excessive use of DHEA can result in increased levels of estrogen. This can pose a particular problem for men who use excessive amounts of DHEA supplement with the intention of increasing testosterone levels – and all that is associated with increased testosterone.
What are the benefits of DHEA?
There have been many reported benefits with using DHEA, many of which have been long disputed. Many studies are being done in respected medical research labs that are reporting the following:
- May increase the feelings of well-being
- May help to prevent bone loss
- May help to improve memory
- May help to build muscle
- May protect against heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol
- May help to prevent blood clots
- May help strengthen the immune system
- May aid in the fight against fatigue and depression
- May improve oxidative balance in diabetics
Women usually take 5mg to 10mg per day, whereas men usually take 25mg to 50mg per day. I recommend taking it in the morning as many find it can disrupt sleep at night.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome typically have elevated levels of DHEAS and should not use supplementation.