There are some sources of testosterone boosters that have been covered with extensive research, or a number of clinical trials that aim to determine the benefits, or risks of that substance. With DHEA there has been a significant amount of clinical studies that have been designed to determine if this hormonal supplement is beneficial to either men or women.
Want to know more, then read on and find out if DHEA plays a part in increasing testosterone levels in men, or perhaps it might be more akin to aiding women in a way?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is DHEA?
- 2 Can DHEA Boost Testosterone In Men?
- 3 DHEA For Women
- 4 Reviews of Real Users of DHEA
- 5 Benefits Of DHEA
- 6 Side Effects and Dosages of DHEA
- 7 Overall View Of DHEA and Testosterone Boosting Properties?
- 8 References
What Is DHEA?
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a compound that is created in the adrenal glands, which are located just above your kidneys.
Your body naturally produces this hormone and it acts as a precursor to other hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen in women. Natural levels of DHEA peak in men and women in early adulthood, then it starts to reduce from the age of 30 and gradually declines over a longer period.
Can DHEA Boost Testosterone In Men?
The jury is still our on the answer to this question, there hasn’t been enough conclusive evidence to strongly suggests that DHEA can actually boost testosterone in men. It will change your hormones however and because of this, you may find that this supplement is not legal in some countries.
The national governing bodies that oversee the supplements that can be purchased by its residents vary from country to country. DHEA supplements are a weak form of exogenous steroid hormones – a significantly weaker version than main testosterone steroids and are considered a low-risk alternative/
NB – Please note that this substance is banned in many sports and if you’re playing sport at a professional level we would advise that you check with your doctors to be certain that you can use DHEA.
To verify that a supplement is effective and does what it says it does, it needs to pass through some clinical trials that confirm any claims. There have been a few studies that have tested the claim of DHEA raising the testosterone levels in men, here we shall take a look at each of them.
In 2013, a clinical trial was created to test the effects of DHEA on middle-aged men when recovering from a HIIT bout of exercise. Eight men were given 50mg of DHEA and a placebo on separate occasions 12 hours before a bout of HIIT. There was also a control group of men in their early 20s who have higher levels of testosterone naturally.
The results indicated that DHEA supplementation can benefit older men and help them recover from heavy bouts of HIIT training when compared to younger men, who already have high levels of testosterone.
A study in 1998 was conducted to assess the effects of 6 months of 100mg DHEA on both men and women of ages 50-65. The study continued for an entire year, whereby subjects were given 100mg of DHEA for a period of 6 months and a placebo for 6 months.
Natural levels of DHEA within the body were returned to levels that are normally associated with young adults after the 12 month period. There were significant increases in estrogen for the women who took part in the study. There appear to be more benefits for women using DHEA than men, in fact, there have been subsequently more studies investigating such benefits and we go into more detail below.
There were no serious adverse side effects in either men or women who took part in the study.
DHEA For Women
There have been a number of studies that suggest that DHEA can be a beneficial supplement for women who are wishing to regain some of that lost youthful vigour and vitality. As DHEA is a weak estrogen, it helps women who suffer from low levels of estrogen and therefore a low sex drive.
Increasing Libido for Women
There have been a lot of clinical trials that test several claims of DHEA on women, particularly of pre-menopausal or post-menopausal ages. In the references of below, studies showed that women of ages thirty and above who have declining levels of DHEA shown improvement in levels of:
- Cognitive enhancements
- Increases in Bone Mass Density in Women
References can be found below:
- Improvement in strength, hormones using DHEA supplementation – Link
- Bone Mass Density study with DHEA. Link
- Adrenal responses when taking DHEA – Link
- Increases in Testosterone in women and DHEA supplementation – Link
- Improvement in cognitive impairment using DHEA supplements – Link
TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS THAT USE DHEA
Reviews of Real Users of DHEA
As with all the supplements that we highlight on our website we aim to give you the most realistic reviews from people who have taken the supplements as possible. Certainly, it will not be possible for us to take every single supplement that we show on our website, so it’s in our interest to research the most detailed and diverse range of reviews we can find. For DHEA supplements we found over 2000 reviews on Amazon for both the 50mg and 100mg dosages of DHEA.
Here is a selection of the reviews that people have left for DHEA supplementation, we have included positive reviews and a couple of negative reviews.
Reviews Of Those Taking 50mg of DHEA
“Where have you been all my life????
Ok, so I started using this about a month ago. At first I felt there was no change in my function. About a week ago, I started to notice that my outlook on life was more robust. I thought it was the new coffee I was drinking but that was absurd. I began to feel like a glass half full person rather than a glass half empty person. I also noticed that I was physically more active without being agitated or jittery. I was require less sleep, but when I did sleep, it was very high quality. I figure that there was a greater percentage of REM sleep than I usually have, because I did not feel the need to go back to sleep after 5 or 6 hours. I am 64 and I feel like a kid again.
At this point, I have to conclude that the Zhou dhea is the primary contributing factor to my positive change in mood, outlook, sleep and personal interaction with others. Frankly, I was beginning to think that my purpose in life was fading away. I now have a renewed joy of life. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is true. I was becoming a recluse before DHEA, but now I enjoy being around people again.
Thank Zhou nutrition period where have you been all my life???” – Kenny Begun
“I love this product…
I love this product, let me start by saying I received my order very fast almost the next day! I took one tablet in the morning, all I can tell you how I felt the mental fog lift, then the next day I had so much energy, I cleaned my whole garage, the hated job that I never finish, but this day I finished it, also please note, I had so much more energy that could not sleep, so take the pill early, but once I was sleep it was the best sleep ever, and I did not need as much rest… Where have you been all my life… Let me mention one thing, my son and daughter-in-law were moving and just to test the pills I gave them both a pill, two days later they asked if I could order them some they felt so much better, mood energy and sleep what could we ask for…”-Donna
“Disappointed that product did not work for me.
GAVE ME BAD SIDE EFFECTS: anxiety, my blood pressure increase, I became irritable. I couldn’t sleep. I found myself binge eating. There isn’t an option to return otherwise I would have. **EDIT** I would like to let everyone know that that is I was contacted directly by the founder of this company you sent me a very thoughtful email. He absolutely stands behind his products 100% and I was issued a complete refund.”-Donna
Reviews of Those Taking 100mg DHEA
“But overall completely satisfied and will order again.
Have been taking this for about a week now…. Have been working out and losing weight since May…. To date approximately 60lbs… After about a week, notice something, actually notice a lot of things… energy, focus, libido.. (66 years old).. Just a general incredible more alert, well-being feeling… Also I have noticed a bit of skin tightening on stomach from the weight loss… Not sure if it’s this or the working out or a combination… Overall satisfied order again… Will be a regular part of my intake…
Have been taking for about a month now… See, libido, at 66 waking up with the morning Wood again… Energy, just feeling strong and at least 10 to 15 years younger… Just received my second bottle as I did not want to run out… Stuff is amazing.. Thanks for a great product
“Helped with my arthritis pain
I had arthritis pain in my hands, it has helped a lot compared to the past I had to take Aspirin and tried turmeric and other herbs for many weeks nothing was working. After I took this at the end of my first week my hand pain went away. I also notice I had a little more stamina from this maximum strength DHEA which made me a bit more alpha which isn’t bad side effect. I know there are some possible side effects with these type of products but I weighed them it’s not much, my main concern was with estrogen increase but iI am very satisfied with it and I am already on my second month. It doesn’t have any similar effects of pure testosterone focused products, I feel much better with this growth hormone over other products.”
“Will never take it again
I took these lasted for a week and he is what happened to me.
At first, it seemed to be going swimming but by the second day I was having late night panic attacks. 4th and 5th day I was feeling strange my heart rate was raising higher than normal. I average 62 to 85 beats per minute and after taking these for just a week my heart rate was averaging 87 to 145 beats per minute. My breasts were also very tender while taking these. I stop taking it at soon after and now feel back to normal. No more high heart rate, no more panic attacks, no more tender breasts please take it with caution and pay attention to your body, it will let you know when something isn’t right.”
Benefits Of DHEA
There are a number of actual benefits that a physician will suggest that you take DHEA, not primarily to increase your testosterone levels, or estrogen levels but to help with other non-hormonal issues.
DHEA has been tested as an alternative as a treatment for those that are known to suffer from depression. In a 4-week long study, all participants found that their mood and general wellbeing was enhanced, while their memory performance was significantly improved. One participant in the study actually continued treatment for a period of 6 months and found that her depressed feelings were improved dramatically and her memory performances were improved upon by 63%.
Help Prevent Heart Disease
In 1996, a study was conducted to determine if consumption of DHEA would benefit men who are prevalent to suffer from various forms of heart disease. Eighteen men received daily dosages of 50mg of DHEA and 16 received a placebo for a total of 12 days. There were no beneficial changes to those men who consumed a placebo over the 12 week period, but those that consumed DHEA showed improvements in PAI-1 and tPA antigen concentrations.
Side Effects and Dosages of DHEA
There are a number of benefits of consuming DHEA, which have been listed above with reviews of those who’ve consumed this hormone. The benefits are more noticeable after 2-3 weeks of daily consumption before the users start noticing differences in the way they feel and their mood. However, on some occasions, there are instances that would suggest that DHEA has some negative side effects and its consumption comes with a few cautions.
We would not recommend that you consider taking DHEA as a supplement until you are over the age of 30, simply because this is the age when natural estrogen and testosterone levels start to decline naturally and any hormonal supplementation before 30 might suppress the natural production in the adrenal glands.
At the age of 25, the average adult produces between 40-70 milligrams of DHEA, so supplements on the higher scale should be consumed with a little bit of caution. However, when taking oral supplements there is an ‘absorption rate’ to be factored in, the actual percentage of the supplement that is absorbed into the bloodstream and then into the individual cells within the body.
Your body is capable of absorbing different minerals and vitamins at different rates, take for instance the mineral Boron, it has an absorption rate of 90%, whereas, Calcium will be absorbed in a rate of 25-35%. The average range is between 35-80% for most food sources, which implies that if you were to consume a 100mg DHEA tablet on a daily basis, then your body will be likely to ONLY absorb 35 to 80mg, or more than likely roughly 50% of the amount that you put into your mouth.
You will find that most supplement companies will provide tablets of DHEA in ranges of 25mg to 100mg, with average absorption rates this will mean roughly 12mg to 50mg are likely to be digested and absorbed into your bloodstream.
If you take DHEA and notice any of the following symptoms please consider halting consumption:
- Hair loss
- Chest pains
- Rashes, skin hives, swollen or itchy skin
- Breathing difficulties or tightness in your throat or chest region
Minor Side Effects
Although the above are more concerning side effects, there is a chance that you’ll find the following side effects of consuming DHEA:
- Increases in acne breakouts and oilier skin
- Abnormal hair growth, especially in women (known as Hirsutism)
You have to remember that DHEA is a hormone that can alter your mood, thoughts, libido and overall wellbeing, but in turn, this hormone should be taken with caution and avoided if you fall into any of the below categories.
Reasons to Avoid Taking DHEA
When adding an endogenous hormone into your body it is advisable to know the likely benefits, side effects and when you should not consider using the hormone entirely and with DHEA there is no exception either. We suggest that you do not consume DHEA if you:
- Are currently pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- If you suffer from high levels of cholesterol, DHEA might reduce the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol levels.
- You’re a man and you’re being treated for prostate cancer, simply because the main methods to address prostate cancer is to reduce testosterone levels and by taking DHEA you might increase your testosterone levels.
- Likewise, any women that are being treated for breast cancer should avoid taking DHEA as DHEA supplementation can increase estrogen levels.
- If you are under the age of 30, we would not recommend that you consume DHEA. Your body should be consuming enough hormones naturally, without additional supplementation
Interaction with Other Drugs
There might be reasons why you are on certain prescription drugs and in doing so there will always be a risk factor when taking another hormonal substance, it is therefore advisable that you do not take DHEA without consulting your doctor first if you’re taking any of the following:
- SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). There is a risk that the combination of DHEA with any drugs that are designed to treat depression can cause ‘manic symptoms’. SSRIs examples – Citalopram, Celexa, Sertraline, Zoloft, Paxil, Paroxetine, Prozac, Fluoxetine
- Estrogen. If you are already on an estrogen replacement therapy program then consuming another hormonal substance that can produce excessive levels of estrogen and may cause the following symptoms, headaches, insomnia or nausea. Estrogen drug examples, Estradiol, Premarin or Estrace
- Testosterone drugs. If you are already taking or consuming hormonal replacements that will increase the level of testosterone, albeit orally or via injections, it is not advisable to consume DHEA at the same time. If you do then the chances of the following symptoms might increase, oligospermia (low sperm count), man boobs, or the technical term gynecomastia.
- Medicines for Seizure Disorders. If you’re taking drugs that are designed to treat mental health problems, pain or severe headaches we would suggest that you do not consume DHEA. Drugs such as Tegretol, Valproic Acid, Depakote, Depakene or Carbamazepine.
- Medicines for Medical Disorders. Any other medicines that are designed to treat known medical disorders such as, Clozapine, Haloperidol, Haldol, Mellaril, Thioridazine, Stelazine, Moban, Olanzapine, Seroquel, Quetiapine, Molindone, Loxitane, Lithobid, Fluphenazine, Prolixin, Thorazine, Lithium, Risperidone and Lithobid.
Overall View Of DHEA and Testosterone Boosting Properties?
There are a lot of claims on supplements that include DHEA, certainly, some suggest that DHEA will increase your testosterone levels. However, the science doesn’t yet back up these claims entirely with younger men, but there is evidence that DHEA supplementation with middle-aged and older men might show signs of increased testosterone levels. There have been recorded instances that men using DHEA in clinical trials noticed increased mental memory capabilities and were more alert than they were before embarking on the study. This is not surprising as DHEA has been shown to increase your mood, enhance an anabolic environment, support recovery and for women boost their libido.
However, you’ll find that this may, or may not increase your testosterone levels and can be an added testosterone booster ingredient that might enhance already known herbs and minerals that help boost your testosterone levels.
As you can tell there was a lot of work and references that were put into this article to ensure correct information was published to keep our readers informed with information that has been derived through scientific clinical studies:
- Wolkowitz OM, Reus VI, Roberts E et al: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) treatment of depression. Biol Psychiatry 1997; 41:311-318. Link
- Van Vollenhoven RF, Engleman EG & McGuire JL: Dehydroepiandrosterone in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1995; 38:1826-1831.Link
- Beer NA, Jakubowicz DJ, Matt DW et al: Dehydroepiandrosterone reduces plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and tissue plasminogen activator antigen in men. Am J Med Sci 1996; 311:205-210.Link
- Helzlsouer KJ, Gordon GB, Alberg AJ et al: Relationship of prediagnostic serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate to the risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer. Cancer Res 1992; 52:1-4.Link
- Skolnick AA: Scientific verdict still out on DHEA. JAMA 1996; 276:1365-1367.Link
- Van Vollenhoven RF, Engleman EG and McGuire JL: An open study of dehydroepiandrosterone in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1994; 37:1305-1310.Link
- Yen SSC, Morales AJ & Khorram O: Replacement of DHEA in aging men and women: potential remedial effects. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1995; 774(Dec):128-142.Link
- Danenberg HD, Ben-Yehuda A, Zakay-Rones Z et al: Dehydroepiandrosterone treatment is not beneficial to the immune response to influenza in elderly subjects. J Clin Endrocrinol Metab 1997; 82(9): 2911-2914.Link
- McNeil C: Potential drug DHEA hits snags on way to clinic. J Nat Can Inst 1997; 89:681-683.Link
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