dhea Dehydroepiandrosterone

DHEA. Boost Energy, Hormones & Overall Well-Being.

Updated: 12/12/23

Have you been feeling tired lately, had trouble sleeping, or experienced mood swings? You’re not alone. Many of us struggle with low energy levels, subpar hormones and suboptimal wellness as we get older. Now while reaching for another cup of coffee may provide a quick fix some days, it’s definitely not the healthiest long term solution. What if there was a natural supplement that could safely boost your overall well-being by supporting your body’s own production of hormones and neurotransmitters? Well, you may want to check out DHEA.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a natural steroid hormone produced by your adrenal glands. Levels peak in young adulthood and then tend to decline with age. But research suggests supplementing with it may help counteract some of the effects of aging by supporting hormone balance and energy levels. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what DHEA is, the health benefits research has found, proper supplementation, and anything you need to know before giving it a try to feel more like your youthful self again. Let’s get started!

What is DHEA?

DHEA stands for “dehydroepiandrosterone,” a hormone that is naturally produced in the body by the adrenal glands. It is considered a precursor to both male and female hormones, making it a key component in the production of these hormones. As we age, however, our levels of DHEA tend to decline, leading to a number of health issues.

So, where does DHEA come from? As mentioned, DHEA is by the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys. These glands are responsible for producing a variety of hormones that help regulate the body’s functions, including stress response, metabolism, and drive. While DHEA is produced naturally by the body, it can also be in supplement form.

There have been studies for its potential benefits in a number of areas, including improving muscle mass and strength, enhancing cognitive function, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It has also shows to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower cortisol levels – a hormone associating with stress. Additionally, some studies have that DHEA may have anti-aging effects.

DHEA works by binding to and activating receptors in the body, including those that regulate hormone levels. By increasing levels of these hormones, DHEA may help increase muscle mass, improve bone density, and enhance drive. It may also help protect against age-cognitive decline and reduce inflammation in the body.

DHEA Benefits

Boosts Energy and Mood

The levels tend to decline as we age, leading to a decrease in energy levels and mood swings. Supplementing with DHEA can help restore these levels and improve overall energy, mood, and mental focus. In a study with over 200 participants, those who took DHEA supplements reported significant improvements in mood and energy levels.

Improved Cognitive Function & Mood

The brain requires it to function correctly, and low levels of DHEA have links to poor cognitive performance, mood disorders, and depression. Supplementing shows to improve cognitive performance, memory, and concentration. It may also support healthy mood regulation.

Supports Bone Health

It helps to regulate calcium levels in the body which is essential for bone strength. As we age, our bones become weaker and are more prone to fractures. Supplementing with DHEA shows to increase bone density and strength, reducing the risk of fractures.

Improves Immune Function

It plays a crucial role in the immune system, helping to fight off infections and protect the body from harmful pathogens. Supplementing with DHEA can improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections.

Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. It has been shown to improve cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which arteries become clogged with plaque. Additionally, DHEA may have anti-inflammatory effects that protect against heart disease.


Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and prone to fractures. While osteoporosis is more common in older women due to hormonal changes during menopause, it can occur in men as well. It has been shown to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures by promoting the growth of osteoblasts, the cells that build bones. Additionally, DHEA can increase bone mineral density, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones. A study of postmenopausal women shows that those who took DHEA supplements for a year had a 9.5% increase in bone density compared to those who took a placebo.

Postmenopausal Symptoms

As women age and go through menopause, they experience a decline in estrogen levels, which can lead to hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms. It can help alleviate these symptoms by balancing hormones. It shows to decrease hot flashes and improve vaginal dryness and function in postmenopausal women. DHEA can also improve mood and cognitive function, making it a potential treatment for depression and anxiety.

Supports weight loss and muscle growth 

It can also help support weight loss and muscle growth. It shows to increase fat burning and support muscle growth, making it a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders.

Enhances Intimate Health and Passion

It is a precursor to several hormones, which plays a significant role in health and passion. Supplementing with DHEA shows to improve function, increase passion, and decrease symptoms of menopause in women.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

Low levels are a belief to increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Supplementing with DHEA shows to decrease the risk of these diseases by regulating glucose metabolism, reducing inflammation, lowering stress, and improving immunity.

Supports Healthy Aging

Finally, DHEA shows to support healthy aging by improving overall health and well-being. It can help reduce inflammation, support heart health, and even improve cognitive function.

dhea benefits

DHEA Side Effects

Hormonal Imbalance

It is to interact with other hormones in the body. Excessive DHEA consumption can lead to an imbalance in these hormones, which can manifest in mood swings, acne, and, in severe cases, irregular menstrual cycles. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid taking DHEA to prevent any negative effects on the baby.

Liver Damage

Your liver processes and detoxifies everything you consume, including DHEA. Long-term use can put a strain on the liver, leading to damage over time. Therefore, it should be avoided by those with liver conditions, such as hepatitis, and those who regularly consume alcohol or other toxins that can harm the liver.

Aggression, Anxiety, and Mood Changes

It has a positive impact on mood as it helps to reduce depression symptoms. However, excessive use can cause an imbalance in hormone levels, leading to aggressive or anxious behavior. If you have a history of anxiety or mood disorders, then consult your doctor before using DHEA.

Changes in Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels

DHEA supplements can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower your HDL (good) levels. This change in cholesterol levels can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attacks. Additionally, these supplements can make it difficult for your body to manage blood sugar levels, leading to hyperglycemic episodes.

Cardiovascular Problems

Excess can cause cardiovascular problems, including increased blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure or stroke. Individuals with a history of heart disease and hypertension should, therefore, avoid taking DHEA to prevent adverse effects.

Insulin Resistance

Long-term use can lead to insulin resistance, which can cause high blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Individuals who have a history of diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes should, therefore, use with caution or avoid it altogether.

Hair Loss

It can cause hair loss in excess by elevating levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that leads to hair follicle shrinkage. This can result in thinning hair or male-pattern baldness. Hair loss is a common side effect of DHEA consumption, so individuals who are already experiencing hair loss should avoid using it.


It is a recommendation that you use a milligram scale to measure this supplement. Start out taking 5 mg per day and slowly increase to 25 mg over a 1-2 week period of time.

The Bottom Line

DHEA is a versatile supplement with numerous health benefits. It can help prevent and treat osteoporosis, alleviate postmenopausal symptoms, boost immune function, improve cardiovascular health, and potentially even slow down the aging process. If you’re interested in incorporating DHEA into your wellness routine, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider first to make sure it’s right for you. But with its many benefits, DHEA could be the secret weapon you’ve been looking for.

It’s essential to note that while DHEA supplements have many benefits, they also come with side effects. The side effects highlighted in this article are not exhaustive and may vary from person to person. Before taking DHEA supplements, it is a recommendation to consult your doctor and get a full health evaluation to ensure your body can handle the supplements. It’s also crucial to follow the recommended dosage and monitor any changes in your body closely. Remember, informed choices lead to better health outcomes.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Author: Ryan Quigley
Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering the Vegas Golden Knights.