5 mins read

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormonal agent that is turned into male and female sex hormonal agents in the body. Prescription DHEA is utilized to deal with thin vaginal tissue.

DHEA is made by the adrenal glands and by the liver. DHEA levels appear to decrease as people grow older. DHEA levels appear to be lower in individuals with depression and after menopause.

People commonly utilize prescription DHEA for vaginal tissue thinning. DHEA supplements are used for aging skin, depression, infertility, muscle strength, heart disease, impotence (ed), and numerous other conditions, however there is no good clinical proof to support a lot of these other uses.

DHEA is banned by the national collegiate athletic association (ncaa), the global olympic committee, and the world anti-doping company (wada). Don’t puzzle DHEA with 7-alpha-hydroxy-DHEA, 7-beta-hydroxy-DHEA, and 7-keto-DHEA. These are all various types of DHEA however are not the same as DHEA. [2]



DHEA is produced in the zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex under the control of adrenocorticotropic hormone (acth) and by the gonads under the control of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh). It is likewise produced in the brain. DHEA is synthesized from cholesterol by means of the enzymes cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (cyp11a1; p450scc) and 17α-hydroxylase/ 17,20-lyase (cyp17a1), with pregnenolone and 17α-hydroxypregnenolone as intermediates. It is derived mostly from the adrenal cortex, with only about 10% being secreted from the gonads. Roughly 50 to 70% of distributing DHEA originates from desulfation of DHEA-s in peripheral tissues. DHEA-s itself stems nearly specifically from the adrenal cortex, with 95 to 100% being secreted from the adrenal cortex in ladies.

Increasing endogenous production

Regular exercise is known to increase DHEA production in the body. Calorie restriction has likewise been revealed to increase DHEA in primates. Some theorize that the increase in endogenous DHEA caused by calorie constraint is partially responsible for the longer life span understood to be associated with calorie limitation.


In the flow, DHEA is primarily bound to albumin, with a small amount bound to sex hormone-binding globulin (shbg). The little rest of DHEA not associated with albumin or shbg is unbound and totally free in the blood circulation.

DHEA easily crosses the blood– brain barrier into the central nervous system.

Metabolic process

DHEA is transformed into DHEA-s by sulfation at the c3β position through the sulfotransferase enzymes sult2a1 and to a lower level sult1e1. This occurs naturally in the adrenal cortex and during first-pass metabolic process in the liver and intestines when exogenous DHEA is administered orally. Levels of DHEA-s in circulation are roughly 250 to 300 times those of DHEA. DHEA-s in turn can be converted back into DHEA in peripheral tissues by means of steroid sulfatase (sts).

The terminal half-life of DHEA is short at just 15 to 30 minutes. On the other hand, the terminal half-life of DHEA-s is far longer, at 7 to 10 hours. As DHEA-s can be converted back into DHEA, it acts as a circulating tank for DHEA, therefore extending the period of DHEA.

Metabolites of DHEA consist of DHEA-s, 7α-hydroxy-DHEA, 7β-hydroxy-DHEA, 7-keto-DHEA, 7α-hydroxyepiandrosterone, and 7β-hydroxyepiandrosterone, as well as androstenediol and androstenedione.


During pregnancy, DHEA-s is metabolized into the sulfates of 16α-hydroxy-DHEA and 15α-hydroxy-DHEA in the fetal liver as intermediates in the production of the estrogens estriol and estetrol, respectively.


Prior to adolescence, DHEA and DHEA-s levels elevate upon distinction of the zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex. Peak levels of DHEA and DHEA-s are observed around age 20, which is followed by an age-dependent decline throughout life eventually back to prepubertal concentrations. Plasma levels of DHEA in adult males are 10 to 25 nm, in premenopausal females are 5 to 30 nm, and in postmenopausal females are 2 to 20 nm. Alternatively, DHEA-s levels are an order of magnitude higher at 1– 10 μm. Levels of DHEA and DHEA-s decrease to the lower nanomolar and micromolar ranges in males and females aged 60 to 80 years.

DHEA levels are as follows:.

  • Adult guys: 180– 1250 ng/dl
  • Adult women: 130– 980 ng/dl
  • Pregnant ladies: 135– 810 ng/dl
  • Prepubertal children (<< 1 year): 26-- 585 ng/dl
  • Prepubertal kids (1– 5 years): 9– 68 ng/dl
  • Prepubertal kids (6– 12 years): 11– 186 ng/dl
  • Teen young boys (tanner ii– iii): 25– 300 ng/dl
  • Teen girls (tanner ii– iii): 69– 605 ng/dl
  • Teen boys (tanner iv– v): 100– 400 ng/dl
  • Teen girls (tanner iv– v): 165– 690 ng/dl


As almost all DHEA is originated from the adrenal glands, blood measurements of DHEA-s/DHEA are useful to discover excess adrenal activity as seen in adrenal cancer or hyperplasia, consisting of certain kinds of genetic adrenal hyperplasia. Ladies with polycystic ovary syndrome tend to have raised levels of DHEA-s. [3]

Working system

Dehydroepiandrosterone (3β-hydroxy-5-androsten-17-one, DHEA) and its sulfated metabolite DHEA-s are the most plentiful steroids in circulation and decline with age. Rodent studies have shown that DHEA has a wide array of results on liver, kidney, adipose, reproductive tissues, and main anxious system/neuronal function. The mechanisms by which DHEA and DHEA-s impart their physiological effects may be direct actions on plasma membrane receptors, consisting of a DHEA-specific, g-protein-coupled receptor in endothelial cells; different neuroreceptors, e.g., aminobutyric-acid-type a, n-methyl-d-aspartate (nmda), and sigma-1 (s1r) receptors; by binding steroid receptors: androgen and estrogen receptors (ars, erα, or erβ); or by their metabolism to more powerful sex steroid hormones, e.g., testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol, which bind with greater affinity to ars and ers. DHEA prevents voltage-gated t-type calcium channels. DHEA triggers peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (pparα) and automobile by a mechanism apparently including pp2a, a protein phosphatase dephosphorylating pparα and car to activate their transcriptional activity. We review our recent study showing DHEA triggered gper1 (g-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1) in hepg2 cells to stimulate mir-21 transcription. This chapter evaluates some of the physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of DHEA and DHEA-s activity. [4]


DHEA is converted into male and female sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone.

Low levels of DHEA have actually been found in some people with conditions like diabetes, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and kidney illness. This has led to interest in using DHEA supplements as alternative solutions to deal with or avoid those conditions.

DHEA is often used as a supplement by individuals with the following health issue. However, many of these are not yet supported by research:.

  • Alzheimer’s illness
  • Fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Tiredness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Menopausal signs
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Several sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s illness

DHEA is likewise said by some to slow the aging procedure, improve sports efficiency, boost libido, promote weight reduction, and boost the immune system.

In addition, DHEA supplements are frequently marketed as testosterone-boosting agents and utilized for such purposes as increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat mass.

Notably, the fda has actually not authorized DHEA for the treatment of any condition.

Benefits of DHEA

Vaginal atrophy

After menopause, some women experience vaginal discomfort throughout sexual intercourse or serious dryness of the vagina. Intravaginal administration of DHEA administered resulted in enhanced vaginal health and lessened pain.

In 2016, the fda authorized intrarosa, a DHEA suppository, for menopausal women with vaginal atrophy and pain throughout sex.

DHEA has actually not been authorized by the fda for any medical use other than vaginal atrophy. Scientists are investigating its potential for a number of other functions, however larger and more powerful medical trials are still required for all of them. Talk to your physician before utilizing DHEA, and do not utilize DHEA in place of an approved medication or treatment.


DHEA levels affect testosterone and estrogen levels since it is a precursor to these hormones. Low DHEA is likewise connected with sexual dysfunction.

Women in some cases take DHEA as a supplement throughout menopause to increase their level of estrogen.

Ovarian reserve is the capacity for the ovaries to produce a healthy egg that is ready for fertilization. Women with poor ovarian reserve who also did not react well to ivf were provided DHEA. These ladies had a greater rate of pregnancy and greater ovarian reserve than the group who did not take DHEA.

This research study only included 30 volunteers. Larger and more robust medical trials are required to figure out the role of DHEA in fertility.

Brain function & mental health

DHEA stimulates nerve cells and inhibits cortisol. In people, salivary DHEA increases with cognitive jobs and working memory.

DHEA likewise takes part in the psychological policy of memory and the connections in between the amygdala and hippocampus (memory center).

In a rat model of alzheimer’s, DHEA supplements lowered signs and enhanced memory.

DHEA levels in the brain are likewise involved in visual processing, awareness, and attention.


DHEA has anti-cortisol homes and secures against depression.

In a meta-analysis of 22 research studies, DHEA improved depressive symptoms in both old and young patients. However, just 3 of these research studies were concentrated on young clients. The authors of this analysis called the use of DHEA in anxiety “promising,” but more robust scientific trials are still needed.

Aging skin

Topical application of DHEA enhanced markers associated with skin aging in a pilot study of 40 postmenopausal women.

In another research study of 280 older males and females, an oral DHEA supplement restored blood levels of DHEA to levels anticipated in more youthful individuals and improved the look and structure of the skin.

The arise from these studies were promising, however they need to be duplicated in bigger and more robust trials.

Heart health

Low levels of DHEA are related to heart disease in guys.

DHEA is manufactured from cholesterol, and DHEA levels slowly decrease as people age. One research study found that DHEA relaxed the capillary (thus reducing high blood pressure) which DHEA levels were inversely connected with heart disease; the authors suggested that it could be an important hormonal agent in the prevention and treatment of cvd. Nevertheless, additional studies are needed.

Weight management

DHEA-s just had impacted the weight of obese men, however not ladies. DHEA-s supplements led to weight loss and reduced blood insulin levels.

Pets that took DHEA supplements lost more weight than ones that took a placebo. They likewise had lower cholesterol.

DHEA supplementation caused substantial weight loss in rats and also increased their energy use.

On the other hand, anorexic females treated with 100 mg of DHEA experienced higher enhancements than those who got placebos. Their weight increased, as did their state of mind.

DHEA may play a role in weight management and balance, however a lot more studies will be required to expand our understanding of that function.

Insulin resistance

Elderly human beings that went through 6 months of DHEA replacement treatment had actually decreased insulin resistance and improved glucose tolerance.

In overweight rats, DHEA administration integrated with workout helped lower insulin resistance and increased weight loss. Blood sugar and insulin sensitivity improved.

A lot more scientific research studies will be required to clarify the result of DHEA on insulin level of sensitivity.

Sleep quality

DHEA administration improved sleep quality in 10 boys. Rem sleep, which is associated with memory development, increased.

Because this is a single research study on only 10 individuals in one demographic, much more scientific studies will be needed to understand the function of DHEA in sleep.

Bone density

In a study of over a thousand south korean guys, DHEA increased bone mass and decreased the signs of osteoporosis.

DHEA might increase bone (osteoblast) formation and prevents bone (osteoblast) cell death, thus increasing bone volume and bone mineral density. Some scientists have actually recommended utilizing DHEA in menopausal females with osteoporosis.


Low DHEA levels are associated with inflammatory states in human clients; however, it is currently uncertain whether taking DHEA might minimize swelling.

Animal and cell studies have been mainly promising, if limited. DHEA stops inflammation and restored normal colon length. It stabilized the immune actions from bowel illness that cause damage.

DHEA minimized inflammation due to hiv and prevented neuron degeneration.

In the feline design of hiv (called fiv), DHEA likewise avoided neuron loss.

DHEA tends to be lowered in people with asthma. According to some scientists, it might reduce inflammation in the lungs and prevent the active reactivity of the air passages.

Nonetheless, the precise role of DHEA in inflammatory states is uncertain. Additional studies will be needed to clarify.

Muscle repair work

In a cell research study, DHEA secured against oxidative tension and prevented apoptosis (programmed death) in muscle cells. It increased the results of anti-oxidants and stopped the procedures that lead to atrophy.

This effect has yet to be examined in animals or humans.

DHEA advantages for guys

There are many claims out there about the potential health benefits of DHEA for males. Throughout the years, DHEA supplements have actually been promoted for their ability to improve sexual function, enhance energy, treat adrenal insufficiency, and manage body fat and body structure.

Nevertheless, research on the benefits of DHEA has actually produced blended results, and big, randomized trials are needed to verify DHEA’s prospective benefits for wellness. Before beginning DHEA, talk about the potential benefits with your healthcare provider.

DHEA for impotence

Since DHEA develops into sex hormones, it appears only natural that males would turn to the additional type to much better their sex lives. A number of little studies have actually suggested that DHEA can enhance erectile dysfunction (ed), a condition where a man can’t get or preserve an erection enough for satisfying sex.

One research study in urology looked at men with ed and discovered that those who took DHEA daily for six months had actually an improved capability to achieve or preserve an erection; however, it did not impact their testosterone levels. Other studies have not shown that DHEA helps ed, so more research study is needed.

DHEA for muscle mass and muscle strength

According to the nih’s report on dietary supplements for exercise and athletic efficiency, DHEA has actually not demonstrated any tested advantage for physical efficiency in regards to boosts in muscle strength, aerobic capacity, lean body mass, or testosterone levels in men.

DHEA for obesity

Some small research studies recommend that DHEA may help in reducing abdominal fat and insulin resistance, factors connected to type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, other studies do disappoint that DHEA works for weight reduction and dealing with weight problems.

More research study is needed to recognize an association between DHEA and weight problems or weight loss.

DHEA for immune function

Little proof exists to describe DHEA’s possible effect on the body immune system and immune function. For the few immune illness for which DHEA has actually been checked, like sjogren syndrome, the results have actually not been assuring. There is inadequate data to understand whether DHEA can assist with other immune conditions like ulcerative colitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or crohn’s illness. [7]

How to increase DHEA naturally in males

For people who would like to know how to increase DHEA naturally, food sources packed with this hormone don’t exist. Wild yams include a comparable substance, which is suggested to produce this hormonal agent in the lab.

The body is more than capable of manufacturing its own DHEA sources. However, there are some options that can provide a modest impact at finest. Dealing with the hormonal imbalance can help with that.

Experts recommend you:.

Get good quality sleep

Sleep deprivation can set your vitality and hormonal agents in a down spiral. It also heightens the possibility of heart disease.

Manage stress

Tension is connected to a series of health problems. It’s not surprising that it can affect estrogen, cortisol, and DHEA sulfate. The increase in cortisol leads to elevated blood pressure and heart rate. While the excess of estrogen activates unnecessary havoc through the body.

Carry out vigorous exercise

Activities such as football, swimming, running, or weight training aid with DHEA production. They are likewise a great way to combat weight gain.

When working with dehydroepiandrosterone, supplements is typically the go-to option. It can help with adrenal imbalance. It might also have some result on weight problems, depression, skin, and specific psychological conditions. But, research study is often mixed and often contradictory.

Be sure to speak to a medical professional about DHEA replacement. Ask about oral DHEA and whether it is right for your estrogen.

Before you start dealing with your DHEA shortage, adrenal deficiency, or any other problem you may have, the physician will advise you on the very best strategy to take with serum DHEA. This is a beneficial idea for both males and postmenopausal females. [8]

Side effects

Many sources advise against using DHEA, specifically without first seeking medical suggestions, because of the possible adverse effects.

DHEA impacts the endocrine system, which suggests it affects hormonal activity. Hormonal modifications can influence on a variety of body systems. As a result, a variety of adverse effects are possible.

In addition, DHEA has actually not been checked or widely utilized over an extended period of time, so it is not clear what the long-term effects might be.

Negative effects appear to differ in different age and between illness.

They include:.

  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Stress and anxiety, agitation, anxiousness, uneasyness, and aggressive habits
  • Blood in the urine
  • Chest discomfort and unusual heart rhythm
  • Crawling sensation on the scalp
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye issues
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Mood and psychological changes
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Mania in people with bipolar disorder
  • Rashes
  • Weight gain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Acne
  • Bleeding and blood-clotting issues

DHEA might impact males and females differently.

Adverse effects in ladies

Ladies may experience the following:.

  • Smaller breast size
  • Deepened voice
  • Bigger genital areas
  • Irregular or abnormal menstruation
  • Increased discharge
  • Oily skin
  • Increased hair development

Adverse effects in males

Male might experience the following:.

  • Smaller testes
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Enlarged or tender breasts

A brand-new variation of DHEA, referred to as 7-keto-DHEA is a natural byproduct of DHEA. Due to the fact that 7-keto-DHEA is not converted to steroid hormonal agents by the body, the threat of some of the hormone side effects is lowered.

Although 7-keto-DHEA has been promoted as helping in weight-loss, constructing muscle and promoting the body immune system, evidence supporting any of these claims is limited. [9]


The following dosages have been studied in clinical research:.

By mouth:

For aging skin: 50 mg of DHEA taken daily for 12 months has been used.

For depression: 30-450 mg of DHEA taken daily for 6 weeks has actually been utilized, either alone or together with antidepressant drugs. DHEA has also been used in increasing doses up to 500 mg daily for 8 weeks.

Applied to the skin:

For aging skin: a 1% DHEA cream has been applied to the face and hands twice daily for up to 4 months.

Vaginal thinning: vaginal inserts containing 0.25% to 1% DHEA have been used daily for 12 weeks. A particular vaginal insert containing 0.5% DHEA (intrarosa, endoceutics inc.) Is a prescription medicine utilized for this condition. [10]


Possible interactions include:.

  • Antipsychotics. Use of DHEA with antipsychotics such as clozapine (clozaril, versacloz, others) might minimize the drug’s efficiency.
  • Carbamazepine (tegretol, carbatrol, others). Use of DHEA with this substance abuse to deal with seizures, nerve pain and bipolar illness might lower the drug’s effectiveness.
  • Estrogen. Do not utilize DHEA with estrogen. Combining DHEA and estrogen might cause signs of excess estrogen, such as queasiness, headache and insomnia.
  • Lithium. Use of DHEA with lithium might lower the drug’s efficiency.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Use of DHEA with this type of antidepressant may trigger manic symptoms.
  • Testosterone. Don’t utilize DHEA with testosterone. Combining DHEA and testosterone might cause symptoms such as low sperm count and bigger breasts in men (gynecomastia) and the development of typically male qualities in ladies.
  • Triazolam (halcion). Utilizing DHEA with this sedative may increase the results of this drug, triggering extreme sedation and impacting your breathing and heart rate.
  • Valproic acid. Use of DHEA with this medication utilized to deal with seizures and bipolar disorder might reduce the drug’s efficiency. [11]

Safety measure

  • Constantly consult your physician before you utilize a natural item. Some products might not mix well with drugs or other natural items.
  • This item may hinder some lab tests. Make certain to talk with your physician about this and all drugs you are taking.
  • Do not utilize this item if you are pregnant or plan to conceive soon. Use contraception you can rely on while taking this product.
  • Do not utilize this item if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not utilize this item if you have health problems that are sensitive to hormonal agents. These are problems like breast cancer, prostate cancer, or endometriosis.
  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs that impact your hormones. These are drugs like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, anastrozole (arimidex), exemestane (aromasin), fluvestrant (faslodex), letrozole (femara), or tamoxifen (nolvadex).
  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin (coumadin), heparin, or enoxaparin (lovenox).
  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase (activase), reteplase (retevase), or streptokinase (streptase).
  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to assist with swelling or inflammation that can also increase your danger of bleeding. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids), aspirin, ibuprofen (advil), or naproxen (naprosyn or aleve).
  • Take extra care if you are arranged to receive the vaccine for tuberculosis. This item can make the vaccine less effective.

Take extra care and contact your physician if you have:.

  • Kidney issues
  • Liver problems
  • Issues with your uterus or ovaries
  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol issues
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer, particularly breast or prostate cancer
  • Low state of mind or other state of mind conditions
  • Psychological health issue
  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood glucose. [12]


DHEA is produced in huge amounts relative to hormonal agents manufactured by other steroid-secreting organs, yet its precise function in normal homeostasis and pathophysiologic states remains a mystery. [13]


  1. Https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/dehydroepiandrosterone
  2. Https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-331/DHEA
  3. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/dehydroepiandrosterone#biochemistry
  4. Https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30029731/
  5. Https://www.verywellhealth.com/DHEA-what-should-you-know-about-it-89136#toc-uses
  6. Https://supplements.selfdecode.com/blog/DHEA-DHEA-s/
  7. Https://ro.co/health-guide/DHEA-for-men-benefits-side-effects/#DHEA-benefits-for-men
  8. Https://www.bensnaturalhealth.com/blog/sexual-health/how-to-increase-DHEA-naturally
  9. Https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308684#side-effects
  10. Https://www.rxlist.com/DHEA/supplements.htm#dosing
  11. Https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-DHEA/art-20364199
  12. Https://www.drugs.com/npc/dehydroepiandrosterone.html
  13. Https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate
Our Score
Previous Story


Next Story


Latest from Blog