DHEA Supplement Uses, Dosage, Side-effects, Benefits, and Other Relevant Information

A Complete Guide to DHEA Supplement


DHEA is a steroid precursor to testosterone and estrogen and may significantly affect ageing, cognitive function, and fertility.


DHEA is a short form of Dehydroepiandrosterone, also known as Prasterone and 3β-hydroxyandrost-5-en-17-one. Dehydroepiandrosterone is a steroid hormone in human body secreted by the adrenal gland located on the top of the kidneys. DHEA is also produced in limited quantities in the gonads (Ovaries and Testes) and brain. Gonads are glands that secrete hormones essential for reproduction and other bodily processes. DHEA acts as a precursor compound for producing other sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. Early adulthood in the twenties is when the body naturally reaches its peak level of DHEA, and as we age, that level declines.  This decline cause testosterone and estrogen to decrease as well. There is a solution for the decline of DHEA natural production, and it is synthetically produced in the laboratory in the form of supplements to maintain the level. As a result, several declarations concerning their possible health advantages have been made.

  • Molar Mass: 424 g/mol

  • Chemical Formula: C19H28O2

DHEA Structural Formula

DHEA functions in the human body

DHEA Capsule

Without DHEA, the human body cannot produce testosterone and estrogen. DHEA also counterbalance cortisol which minimizes stress level. Research on the relationship between DHEA and cortisol levels indicates that having more DHEA than cortisol may help you tolerate stress and its physiological repercussions. DHEA is a precursor hormone which means it converts into other hormones with a more direct effect on the human body. Therefore, DHEA is an extremely powerful compound and an essential source of estrogen for females and males.

Recommended Dosage of DHEA Supplement 

DHEA supplements seem to serve well for people over 40. The doses depend upon the body’s requirement, medical history, and other relevant details of the consumer; therefore, it is available from 10 to 500 mg doses. A common allowable dose is 25 mg to 50 mg per day. A dose of 50 mg per day has been used safely for a year, and a dose of 25 mg per day has been used successfully for two years. DHEA 100 mg is also considered a safe dose. DHEA 200 mg can be used among young people for the treatment of testosterone enhancement as well.

Once you decide to start this supplement, do consult your doctor if you take other drugs regularly. Blood thinners, anticonvulsants, hormone therapy, and medications for diabetes, heart disease, and liver issues could possibly all interact with them.

DHEA Interactions

Do not consume DHEA with:

  • Antipsychotics such as Clozaril or Versacloz can reduce the DHEA’S effectiveness.
  • Estrogen, when combined with DHEA, can cause nausea, insomnia, or headache
  • When used with DHEA supplements, lithium can affect the drug’s effectiveness.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can cause manic symptoms when used with DHEA.
  • Don’t use testosterone with DHEA, and it can result in low sperm counts and gynecomastia.

Forms of DHEA available in market

DHEA Powder

DHEA Cream

The synthetic form of DHEA is available in powder form, capsules, gel, or topical cream in supplements or as medication termed Prasterone. DHEA supplements are formed in laboratories from Diosgenin which is a plant sterol. This plant sterol is extracted from wild yams. Hence wild yams and soy are known as natural sources of DHEA. However, it is doubtful that eating wild yam or diosgenin will raise DHEA levels because it is thought that the body does not convert diosgenin into DHEA.

DHEA for men

Treatments Performed from DHEA Supplement

DHEA is promoted for the treatment of the diverse conditions listed below:

  • Exercise-induced muscle damage
  • Major depression
  • Hormone replacement therapies
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Low bone density
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Heart disease
  • Cervical cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • Infertility
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual dysfunction

Other than these treatments, DHEA may also be effective for improving aging skin in the elderly. Moreover, a version of the DHEA supplement termed as 7-Keto is greatly popular for reducing body fat and raising metabolism. It is believed that leaner body mass and a faster metabolism will burn calories more effectively, making it simpler to lose weight and keep it off.

How to keep DHEA balanced in the body

One can enhance the DHEA in their body in several ways. In order to regulate the natural production of DHEA, one should take proper sleep for 8 hours. The sleep cycle should be maintained in a way that you go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily. Balancing blood sugar levels also maintains the DHEA level in the body. Consume protein and fibre, take vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and avoid desserts and pieces of bread. Sun exposure is the best source of Vitamin D which assists in healthy production of DHEA. Must apply sunscreen and take a sun bath for about 30 minutes daily. Do gentle workouts daily, like yoga, pilates, or walking. Go for a DHEA checkup; if it's too high, then reduce foods that have high cholesterol like read meat, eggs, and fried foods. One can also buy DHEA supplements if testing shows that your levels are low to keep DHEA balanced in the body.

Benefits of Taking DHEA

Perks associated with the use of DHEA

DHEA’s primary task as a precursor hormone is to build other essential hormones, and it is an androgen or male sex hormone. Yet its function and effect on the human body do more than those titles. It is the strongest healthy aging hormone in the body. The balanced level of DHEA is responsible for keeping one’s skin moisturized and bones strong and maintaining cortisol levels. An increased level of cortisol may have various negative issues; there comes DHEA to resist it. 

Other than these benefits, this hormone also assists people to boost sexual drive, enhance muscle mass and fight depressive disorder. 

Some other common benefits of the DHEA hormone are listed below:

  • Building up the adrenal gland function
  • Building up bone and muscle strength
  • Providing more energy
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Slowing natural changes in the body that come with age
  • Improving mood and memory

Signs of low DHEA in the Body

Below are the signs that indicate that the level of DHEA is low in your body, and you need to balance it in any way.

  • Mild or extreme depressive disorder
  • Elevated levels of prolactin
  • Low bone density
  • Heart diseases
  • Low levels of testosterone
  • Salt cravings
  • Infertility
  • Chronic stress
  • Low libido
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Side effects from low and high levels of DHEA 

Dietary supplements should only be taken under the guidance of a skilled healthcare professional due to the risk of side effects and drug interactions.

Some reported side effects of DHEA supplements are:

  • Facial hair growth
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • Deepening of the voice of women
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach issues
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid or unstable heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Skin thickening
  • Headache
  • Unfavourable changes in cholesterol levels

The risk of hormone-sensitive malignancies, including breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer, is enhanced since DHEA can also be converted by the body to estrogen.

High levels of DHEA adverse effects include:

  • Acne or oily skin
  • Low energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • PCOS and accompanying symptoms, including excess hair growth
  • Irregular or absent menstrual cycle
  • Hair growth on the whole body
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia in children

Low levels of DHEA side effects include:

  • Decrease in bone mineral density
  • Low estrogen production in women
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Infertility
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Osteoporosis – weak bones
  • Reduces life span for men\


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