2018/19 Update:

This has been one of my most popular articles over the years, and the data for DHEA and women has only improved since writing it circa 2010. I believe I was the first person to really stress the sex differences of supplemental DHEA in men vs women, and several recent studies confirm it. For example, a recent study (J.Endocrine. 2018 Oct 11.) found DHEA supplements improved sexual function in premenopausal women, mostly likely due to the bump in testosterone levels, although DHEA may have additional benefits not directly associated with it’s conversion to T in women.

Even more interesting, a compilation of studies found DHEA improve bone mineral density and body comp in women, but not men. Again, no surprise to me! As expected, the effects will be more dramatic in older women due to their age related decline in various hormones that DHEA can help restore, but it’s also helpful to younger women (see below) in my experience.
I have posted links to the recent studies at the end of this article for those interested.
Just recently (Jan 2019),  A women asked me what I thought of the drug INTRAROSA (Prasterone). Her doctor mentioned it for her to consider and said he’s seen good responses in women using it. On the site it says:

“INTRAROSA™ is a steroid indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe dyspareunia, a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy, due to menopause.”

So I did some digging to see what this amazing “steroid” that helps women? Yup, just good old dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). And typical of those sneaky bastards in pharma, they list is as 3β-hydroxyandrost-5-en-17-one.”

Yup, another way of writing DHEA….I was really blown away by all that. I wish someone had turned me onto this one before, but at least I found it. Per usual, a cheap supplement has been re sold as a wildly over expensive drug and given a different route of administration.

DHEA; The Most Underrated Supplement For Women?

Sumi Singh Fitness Model

BrinkZone author and Fitness Model Sumi shows what healthy sexy bodycomp looks like!

Have you ever noticed if a supplement, drug, etc is tried in men, and fails to work, it’s written off as being ineffective? Although improving, it’s well known that men have been the standard subjects in research, with the results often being applied to women as an afterthought.  In recent years, that situation has improved and women are viewed as the physiologically distinct people they are from men, and studies looking at specific effects in women – using women as the test subjects – has grown dramatically. That’s the good news at least. The bad news is, there’s still plenty of research out there done on men, being applied to women, sometimes to the detriment of women. Obviously, men and women are not so different that a great deal of research fails to be perfectly applicable to both sexes, but the fact remains a great deal of prior research was done looking at men, and the results, good or bad, applied to women more as an after thought.
Such is the case with DHEA in my view…

What is it?

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been around as a supplement for a long time, so I’m not going to go into great depth on in this article as there’s a ton of info out there already on DHEA and it’s fully covered in my ebooks. To quickly summarize: DHEA is a hormone produced primarily in the adrenal glands with minor amounts produced by the testes. It is found in both men and women. DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone in the human body, and like all steroid hormones, ultimately comes from cholesterol. Most DHEA in the body is found as DHEA-sulphate (DHEA-S). DHEA is a major precursor to other steroid hormones. That’s the basic run down of DHEA.

From a strictly health perspective…

From a strictly health perspective – for those deficient due to aging or other causes – DHEA appears beneficial when used as a supplement for general health and well being in both sexes.   It’s well established that DHEA levels fall off as we age, and the research on health uses of DHEA justifies using small amounts to counter this age related drop off or deficiencies from other causes. DHEA levels rise slowly till they peak at around 30 years of age, and decline steadily after age 35, with levels reduced by 70-80% by age 75. This effect is one of the most consistent and predictable changes in aging  known with lower endogenous levels of DHEA/DHEA-sulfate found in advancing age strongly correlated with a myriad of health conditions best avoided.(1) For example, levels of DHEA and or DHEA-s in older men is strongly predictive of death by cardio vascular disease .(2)

Only blood tests will tell a person what their DHEA/DHEA-s levels are and where they are compared to others in their age group. As this is not an article focused on the potential health benefits of DHEA in deficient populations, that’s all I’m going to say on the matter here.

What about DHEA as a “muscle builder” in healthy young men?

DHEA often gets marketed as a “muscle builder” to men. As a muscle building supplement in young healthy men, DHEA is essentially worthless, and high intakes may in fact be counter–productive to gaining muscle as high doses also cause an increase in estrogen and the effects on testosterone are minimal. Studies have been conflicting in this area at best, and most “real world” users report no improvements in strength, muscle mass, etc from using DHEA. So, for  healthy young men with normal DHEA levels, it’s a bust as a “muscle builder” due to the fact it converts to testosterone poorly and raises estrogens levels when used at high doses.

“What About Us Women Will?!”

OK, this finally brings us to women and DHEA after the long winded intro above, but finally, here we are! Although the research in men using DHEA has been unimpressive and contradictory, such is not the case with women. In women, research using DHEA is much more consistent and compelling and there appears to be some gender specific responses to DHEA use.(3)
As a supplement that can improve mood, libido, memory, and possibly alter body composition (i.e., increase muscle, improve bone density, and reduce bodyfat), DHEA appears to be a winner for women. Most of the research has been done in DHEA deficient populations, but data – and real world experience- suggests it’s also a benefit to women not medically deficient in this hormone. Although the benefits of this hormone to women comes predominately from its conversion to testosterone, it also appears some of the effects may be due to other mechanisms.(4). One recent study concluded:

The use of DHEA therapy may also be discussed in women of any age when a trial of androgen supplementation seems justified because of the existence of an inhibited sexual desire or a sexual arousal disorder associated with documented androgen deficiency. The rather weak conversion of DHEA into testosterone protects from the risk of overdosing associated with testosterone preparations.

Side Bar: Testosterone myths. Testosterone is often viewed as a “male” hormone. Although testosterone is the dominant androgen in men, it’s a hormone essential to the health and well being of both sexes, just as men produce and require some estrogen. How important can this hormone be to women? Karlis Ullis, MD, a faculty member of the UCLA School of Medicine, who treats women with hormone imbalances states:

It is clear to me, both from my clinical practice and from research, that testosterone is vital for women to preserve their lean mass and to prevent obesity. Not only will testosterone help mobilize body fat and negate some of the fat storing effects of estrogen, it is also extremely effective in building lean mass in women – even at small doses. Hormone replacement therapy that only includes estrogen and progesterone but leaves out testosterone is a curse of many a women’s fat loss program. This is not only a concern for postmenopausal women. Young women should think twice about using birth control pills. Birth control pills elevate estrogen and progesterone levels while drastically lowering testosterone levels. This is reason why many women experience large gains in fat as well as a decreased libido when using birth control pills.

In women with established adrenal insufficiency, studies find 50mg DHEA corrects  low serum concentrations of DHEA/DHEA-S, and brings  testosterone into the “normal” range. With one recent study finding “DHEA treatment significantly improved overall wellbeing as well as scores for depression, anxiety, and their physical correlates. Furthermore, DHEA significantly increased both sexual interest and the level of satisfaction with sex.”(5)

Side Effects

Are there any side effects to DHEA use for women? Generally, they are easily dealt with by lowering the dose and “… are mostly mild and related to androgenic activity of DHEA in women and include increased sebum production, facial acne, and changes in hair status.” (6)

In my experience, the above is related to dose. The low-normal dose recommended (see below) rarely if ever causes side effects, but there’s no free lunch in biology, and adjusting any hormone up or down, comes with potential for side effects along with the benefits. The issue – as in the case with any drug, supplement, etc – is whether the benefits outweigh the risks/side effects. As the (potential) benefits of DHEA  high, and the side effects at best mild to non existent, my opinion is the risk/benefit ratio is very much in favor of using DHEA, but everyone has to decide for themselves on that score.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Believe me, there’s a lot more research I could cover, but I hope the above covers the essential points regarding DHEA and it’s potential value to women specifically. So, let’s sum it all up: For women over 40, or those with diagnosed adrenal insufficiency (AI), DHEA could be of considerable value to general well being as well as libido, mood, etc. Typical doses are 25 – 50mg and working with a medical professional to fine tune dosages is recommended.

For “normal” women under 40, and or have not been diagnosed with AI, 10-15mg  seems to do the trick a far as achieving replacement levels of DHEA-s, and starting at the lower dose and assessing over a few months is recommended. The effects are more pronounced at 25-50mg, and most women will notice improvements in mood, libido, and possibly muscle mass and or bodyfat, at those lower doses. The effect is increased at higher doses, but possible side effects mentioned above also become more common. At 50-100mg+, DHEA does act as a mild anabolic agent in women in my experience, and I have seen some fairly impressive results of increased muscle mass and decreased bodyfat at the higher doses, but it’s not dramatic compared to other anabolic hormones used by some female athletes. High doses of DHEA will also elevate estrogen levels, so that too should be kept in mind.

See you in the gym ladies!

Citations:

(1,3) Cameron DR, Braunstein GD. The use of dehydroepiandrosterone therapy in clinical practice. Treat Endocrinol. 2005;4(2):95-114.
(2) XV International Symposium on Atherosclerosis.
(4) Buvat J. Androgen therapy with dehydroepiandrosterone..World J Urol. Nov;21(5):346-55. – 2003
(5) Arlt W, et al. DHEA replacement in women with adrenal insufficiency–pharmacokinetics, bioconversion and clinical effects on well-being, sexuality and cognition. Endocr Res. 2000 Nov;26(4):505-11.
(6) DHEA: why, when, and how much–DHEA replacement in adrenal insufficiency.Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2007 Sep;68(4):268-73. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

2018 Syudy #1

Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation on sexual function in premenopausal infertile women.

Endocrine. 2018 Oct 11. doi: 10.1007/s12020-018-1781-3.
Abstract
PURPOSE:
To investigate the effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation on female sexual function in premenopausal infertile women of advanced ages.
METHODS:
This observational study was conducted in an academically affiliated private fertility center. Patients included 87 premenopausal infertile women, 50 of whom completed the study including the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaires and comprehensive endocrine evaluation before and 4-8 weeks after initiating 25 mg of oral micronized DHEA TID.
RESULTS:
Age of patients was 41.1 ± 4.2 years, BMI 24.4 ± 6.1 kg/m2, 86% were married, and 42% were parous. Following supplementation with DHEA, all serum androgen levels increased (each P < 0.0001), while FSH levels decreased by 2.6 ± 4.4 from a baseline of 10.3 ± 5.4 mIU/mL (P = 0.009). The FSFI score for the whole study group increased by 7% (from 27.2 ± 6.9 to 29.2 ± 5.6; P = 0.0166). Domain scores for desire increased by 17% (P = 0.0004) and by 12% for arousal (P = 0.0122); lubrication demonstrated an 8% trend towards improvement (P = 0.0551), while no changes in domain scores for orgasm, satisfaction, or pain were observed. Women in the lowest starting FSFI score quartile (<25.7), experienced a 6.1 ± 8.0 (34%) increase in total FSFI score following DHEA supplementation. Among these women, improvements in domain categories were noted for desire (40%), arousal (46%), lubrication (33%), orgasm (54%), satisfaction (24%), and pain (25%).
CONCLUSIONS:
This uncontrolled observational study implies that supplementation with DHEA improves sexual function in older premenopausal women with low baseline FSFI scores.

2018 Syudy #2

Study:
Sex-specific Effects of DHEA on Bone Mineral Density and Body Composition: A Pooled Analysis of Four Clinical Trials.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2018 Nov 12.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
Studies of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) therapy in older adults suggest sex-specific effects on bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition, but the ability of a single study to reach this conclusion was limited. We evaluated the effects of DHEA on sex hormones, BMD, fat mass, and fat-free mass in older women and men enrolled in four similar clinical trials.
DESIGN:
Pooled analyses of data from four double-blinded, randomized controlled trials.
PARTICIPANTS:
Women (n=295) and men (n=290) aged 55 years or older who took DHEA or placebo tablet daily for 12 months.
MEASUREMENTS:
12-month changes in BMD, fat mass, fat-free mass, and serum DHEA sulfate (DHEAS), (17)estradiol, testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).
RESULTS:
Women on DHEA had increases (mean±SD; all p<0.001 vs placebo) in DHEAS (231±164 μg/dL), testosterone (18.6±20.9 μg/dL), (17)estradiol (8.7 ±11.0 pg/mL), and IGF-1 (25.1±52.3 ng/mL), and men had increases in DHEAS (269.0±177 μg/dL; p<0.01), (17)estradiol (4.8±12.2 pg/m; p<0.01), and IGF-1 (6.3±41.4 ng/mL; p<0.05). Women on DHEA had increases in lumbar spine (1.0%±3.4%) and trochanter (0.5%±3.8%) BMD and maintained total hip BMD (0.0%±2.8%); men had no BMD benefit and a decrease in fat mass (-0.4±2.6 kg; all p<0.01 vs placebo).
CONCLUSIONS:
DHEA therapy may be an effective approach for preserving bone and muscle mass in women. Key questions are 1) the extent to which longer duration DHEA can attenuate the loss of bone and muscle in women, and 2) whether DHEA has a more favorable benefit-to-risk profile for women than estrogen therapy.
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66 Comments

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  1. Sumi 9 years ago

    Good stuff, thanks for posting Will!

    • David 9 years ago

      Will, you didn't say what dosage or form. I am a guy, and I have been using sublingual, is this what you would recommend?

      • Author
        willbrink 9 years ago

        David, I did write the dose. You might want to re read 🙂
        As for form, basic DHEA as found in capsules is fine. I get mine from the Life Extension Foundation.

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      Actually, it was my mention to you about it the other day that it occurred to me I had not written an article about DHEA specific to women,

  2. Kathleen 9 years ago

    this is really interesting and raises a bunch of questions for me as a figure competitor age 42. What dosage level was it where you saw the impressive gains in lean mass for women? Is it at the 50 – 100 dosage level where the saw the impressive results? Is that a high dosage? What are the side effects? And forgive my ignorance but it this a legal supp that passes the muster of say, the INBF? Can you take this safely on a regular basis (i.e., creatine, fish oil and now, DHEA) or does on go on and off? Thanks for this!

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      Kathleen, if you read the article closely, I think you will find most of your questions answered. I'm not sure what the INBF policy is on that. That's something you will have to track down. I'm sure they have a list of what's banned, etc on their web site or some other place.

      • Kathleen 9 years ago

        Thanks Will, reread article more carefully. So, here are 2 excerpts from the INBF banned substances list, it looks like one is not "natural" if DHEA is used although this 7-oxo-DHEA version is OK:
        All hormonal precursors (DHEA, androstenedione; 19norandrostenedione; andrestenediol; 5AD; androstene TRIONE; 17androdione; etc.) are banned.
        7-oxo-DHEA (also known as 7-keto-DHEA), 7alpha-hydroxy-DHEA (7alphaOH-DHEA) and 7beta-hydroxy-DHEA (7beta-OH-DHEA) are not banned by the WNBF or INBF when used for weight loss. Although hormonal metabolites of DHEA, they do not elevate testosterone levels and can be used by WNBF or INBF athletes.

        • Author
          willbrink 9 years ago

          Looks like you have your answer Kathleen. DHEA is banned by INBF, so if competing in INBF is your major concern/focus, probably best to avoid the DHEA.

  3. makster 9 years ago

    Interesting info Will. Thanks

  4. Kathleen 9 years ago

    Thanks, Will. I am almost 55, a female, and work with an alternative MD who orders blood tests every six months. All my hormones are shot, so he has me taking a variety of bioidenticals, plus DHEA. Worth noting: Not all brands of DHEA are effective. I took a store brand from a chain vitamin store (which will remain nameless) last year and my doc was dismayed with the results. I'd been taking 50 mg of this brand and, after checking my blood last December, he was still unhappy with my DHEA levels. He emphasized the need for taking a quality, reliable brand of DHEA. Life Extension willn no doubt fit that bill (although I do use what he recommended, from Pure Encapsulations.) He says 10 mg at bedtime should do it. We'll see in June!

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      Kathleen. does not surprise me some budget brand of DHEA was not up to snuff. I tell people to buy from quality sources for any supplement.

  5. Lindy 9 years ago

    I am a mid-40s woman on birth control, so it looks like this is a great possibility for me. For dosage, when you say 50 mg, is that once/day, twice/day, ???

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      Lindy, all doses = once per day. Start at lowest recommended dose, and assess from there. Blood work is always the best way to assess objective changes, but subjective changes such as mood, etc are of course worth noting too. Good luck. 😉

      • Lindy 9 years ago

        Very helpful, thanks. Something else I was noticing…When I did a search of DHEA, a lot of 7-Keto info came up. I noticed some products, like Life Extension's, have 7-Keto DHEA and some just have 7-Keto, like Beverly International's 7-Keto Musclean, which I already take. Should I add DHEA or am I already getting it?

        • Author
          willbrink 9 years ago

          7-keto is a different animal. It's reported advantage is that it does not convert to sex hormones, so it would not replace DHEA as described above. Looks modestly effective as a weight loss agent, but I have not seen any recent data on 7-keto. I cover 7-keto in my ebooks, so you might want to consider one or both as they cover pretty much every supplement on the market and come with private forums to ask questions etc.

  6. H.Ghpills 9 years ago

    It is really a nice article DHEA .According to me every woman should look at this article at least once to know more about it and why it is necessary .

  7. Samual Hedges 9 years ago

    Good article with lots of useful details. My exercise program consists mainly of high intense interval training. I find that I am most productive I exercise within the morning.

  8. Great Blog. Thanks for the valuable info.

  9. IkeRed 9 years ago

    will this in anyway effect birth control pills?

  10. Gina 9 years ago

    I'm wondering if you would recommend the brand Vita Plus? I ordered 25mg DHEA by Schiff from an online store but they only had Vita Plus. I attempted to check online for quality reports on this company but have been unable to find any.
    Thanks,
    Gina

    • Author
      willbrink 9 years ago

      I don't know the brand. I order from Life Extension Foundation.

  11. Anh 8 years ago

    Awesome article. Thanks!

  12. Kristen 8 years ago

    Gave it a try i am loving it! I am a recreational trainer and I can notice a nice difference in training and overall well being. The only question I have is should I add any product like DIM/I3C for breast health/female health. Thanks again.

  13. Benefits of HGH Supplements - Reverse the effects of aging with HGH Releasers! 8 years ago

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again right here regularly. I’m fairly certain I’ll learn many new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the following!

  14. DEBORAH 7 years ago

    Great stuff,
    I got the dosage, @ 42 and in “normal range” 25- 50mg.
    But I really need to know a good brand. I have taken DHEA before and I have felt the differnce in brands. I just don’t remember which ones worked and which one’s didn’t .
    SO far I heard Pure Encapsilations and Life Extension, does anyone else have any suggestions?
    Thanks for this wonderful article.
    Never enought written out there for women…..

    • Author
      Will Brink 7 years ago

      I use DHEA from Life Extension Foundation personally. As far as women, I have the best female writers around, and cover women related issues more then most, so it’s an area i pay close attention to.

    • Deborah 7 years ago

      Dear Will,
      You were 100% correct. DHEA is amazing. I have been on it for only 9 days and I feel wonderful. I purchased Finest brand and I am starting off at 25 mg. The only side effect that I have felt,is that I am a little over emotional during the middle of my cycle. But honestly, I don’t care I have felt so wonderful for the past 8 days that it is worth a little crying during a Hallmark commercial.
      And as far as my sex drive, WOW off the charts, that is why I had to drop it down to 25mg, because at 50gm I couldn’t leave the house or the bedroom for that matter :)…
      I did find that it works best 1st thing in the morning before my workout,(empty stomach) because I had too much energy when i was taking it before bed. Does this sound correct?
      My muscles feel tight and strong and the energy level is fantastic……
      Keep up the great work.
      Deb

      • Author
        Will Brink 7 years ago

        Glad you found the info helpful.

  15. inthemood 6 years ago

    I would love to order the Life Ex DHEA but I don’t believe I can have it shipped to Canada. Is there anything else as far as supplementation or foods that would increase DHEA levels if I can’t get the product here.

  16. Susan Shub 6 years ago

    GREAT ARTICLE ! THANK YOU

  17. Katalina 6 years ago

    This is fabulous! I’m a 35 yr old female with 4 kids, that has recently plunged into the world of extreme sports (Muay Thai, MMA). I have been training my head off for some years now, and because of my responsibilities have struggled to maintain balance in both diet, mental and physical.
    I heard about DHEA and mainly avoided it in the past because I try to keep my body as clean as possible and don’t want to mess with the hormones, but my inability to sleep at night, reoccurring respiratory infections, slow muscle recovery, despite eating a high protein, lower carb (this works for me generally speaking), and supplementing out the ying-yang, I was unable to feel better.
    I decided experiment, after reading your article and took 1/2 dose (about 12 mg DHEA) last night before going to bed—I slept for a couple hours, woke up like usual—my head spinning with “Gotta Do!” , ate some carbs and took a full dose of 25 mg and was out like a rock for 9 hours straight! YAY!!!
    I haven’t experienced sleep like that in months. So, gonna continue. Wish I had a doctor that cared for me in my situation, but it’s military healthcare and they don’t care here —so I’m an experiment in progress. Thanks for your awesome information and recommendations.

    • Author
      Will Brink 6 years ago

      Glad the info helped Katalina 🙂

    • Christi 6 years ago

      I am 42 years old avid runner who over the past 8 months have felt like I was in someone else’s body. I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me — in my head I still feel in my 20’s but I suddenly woke up in an old lady’s body. Out of frustration, I finally went to see my doctor last week and had a slew of testing done. My testosterone levels and DHEA levels were almost non-existent so I am on a quest to feel better. I have spent the last several days researching my options and have been reading about the benefits of DHEA supplements. I read your article and went out and purchased the Life Extension Foundation DHEA — I am starting out with the 25 mg dose and am hoping for the best. Thank you for the information.

      • Author
        Will Brink 6 years ago

        I hope it helps! 🙂

  18. Lisa Borsella 6 years ago

    Hello, I would like to thank you for this informative information! I used to take DHEA for years when I turned 30. I am a very fit woman of 48. I forgot the benefits of DHEA, and decided to give it another try, as I am experiencing some age related hormonal issues. I just started taking it 3 days ago. I am so happy I came across your article, because I had read about some negative effects of DHEA in men. Well…I am not a man, so your article hit home that DHEA is different for women than men! Again, I thank you for your knowledge.
    Best Regards,
    Lisa Borsella

  19. Dr. John Crisler 5 years ago

    I start my guys on 25mg twice per day. DHEA just be taken twice per day–every day–because it’s half life is short. But much more than that usually converts to estrogen in adult males. For females, 5-10mg twice per day is about right. For them, excess converts to testosterone. I have successfully elevated E in men (very rare cases) with more DHEA, and T in women.

    • Author
      Will Brink 5 years ago

      Good info, thanx Doc.

  20. Carol 5 years ago

    What are considered normal DHEA and DHEA-S values for women, especially for those over 50 years old?
    Thanks

    • Author
      Will Brink 5 years ago

      Depends on the lab you use as they can vary slightly. If you had your DHEA-s levels checked, you’d see where you fall for age/sex.

  21. Scott I 5 years ago

    I thought I would pass this along, off topic slightly, in regards to trainers being fit. A phys therapy woman came to help my father. He did not want to work out much. I warned her he was lazy. She said we are all lazy. Wrong! It gave him the excuse he needed, already looking for a way out. It ruined the whole possibility. She as not in shape at all. She made excuses for him to relieve her own conscience in my opinion. So if one can not or does not want to be fit, then they are not fit to coach others, either. that’s my view on it now. Walk the walk, or get out and let someone else do the walk. And DHEA might help a little there, But I can not take DHEA. It irritates my liver so I have to use identical T replacement.

  22. Tamara 5 years ago

    I am excited about your article, as I have been tested and am low on DHEA as well as cortisol, but was afraid to supplement because of things I had read about weight gain and androgenic effects. Nevertheless I tried it to see how it worked for me, and within a few days of taking just 10-12 mg I have felt some wonderful effects already. My question is: what are your thoughts on the DHEA cream that can be administered vaginally? I’ve read that oral delivery is, because of the pathway through the liver, poorly absorbed and that unwanted metabolites can form as a result. The vaginal, or in the case of a male, rectal, delivery is purported to bypass those issues. Your thoughts?

    • Author
      Will Brink 5 years ago

      I don’t have any experience with DHEA used via that route. If it gets absorbed well vaginally, and it raises your DHEA, T, etc reliably in blood tests, all good. Oral route is effective and absorption not a major issue with DHEA as studies show.

  23. Deepika Chowdhury 4 years ago

    Wow!!! Thanks for this article Will Smith!! Reading the article and fantastic feedback from Edith Halasik and Janice Mary Hugeth…I am going to buy DHEA and start from this week. Thank you all 🙂

  24. Amel Z 4 years ago

    How about peptides for women? I heard good things about Ostarine

    • Author
      Will Brink 4 years ago

      There’s really no data on Ostarine, a SARM, to support it’s use in young healthy active people. Studies with other SARMS have not been very impressive to date.

  25. Mark Winchester Sr. 4 years ago

    I have to disagree w/ you in that DHEA is a female-only hormone. I’ve been taking 50mg/day for a only little while now & its most definitely dropping my bodyfat. That certainly can’t be due to increased estrogen.

    • Author
      Will Brink 4 years ago

      No place do I state nor claim it’s a ” female-only hormone” and if you read the article carefully, as well as look at all the other DHEA related articles/vids on the site, you’ll see that. DHEA, being in men and women, can’t be a female-only hormone….
      In high doses in men, it can increase estradiol without, or minimal increases in T. Hence, it’s not recommended for men in high doses.

      • Mark Winchester Sr. 4 years ago

        Here’s an interesting story I found on DHEA. I can say personally w/out reservation it most certainly increases androgens.
        “One anecdotal story revealed that a 55-year old man recovering from minor surgery consumed 100 mg of DHEA per day. His pre-supplementation blood test showed DHEA levels were 261 mcg/dl and testosterone at 479 ng/dl. Both of these levels were within normal ranges. After a couple months of DHEA use, the man reported that his DHEA levels had increased to 630 mcg/dl, and his testosterone increased to 1,066 ng/dl. He also reported that he felt like a young teenager again.”

        • Author
          Will Brink 4 years ago

          Anecdotal stories are fine, but do not trump well conducted double blind placebo trials. The man could report what ever he wishes, but what the cause and effect there is, is unknown. The fact remains, high dose DHEA is a poor way to to increase T and tends to include a big increase in estradiol in men above replacement doses. As a general health supplement that’s dosed using blood work, it’s highly recommended (I take 50mg per day) for men and women. As a “T booster” in men at high doses, it’s not recommended for that use. In women, it appears to be a mildly effective T booster per the article.

          • Mark Winchester Sr. 4 years ago

            It damn sure melts the fat. On me anyway.

          • Mark Winchester Sr. 4 years ago

            Morales and his associates conducted a placebo-controlled, crossover study. In this kind of study, half of the participants received 50 milligrams of DHEA per day, while the other half received an identical-looking placebo pill. After a specified length of time, the group receiving the placebo received DHEA, and the group receiving DHEA received the placebo.
            The study found:
            An increase in blood levels of DHEA in only two weeks. The blood levels of DHEA were similar to blood levels of DHEA in persons 20 years of age.
            Study participants demonstrated a perceived increase in physical and psychological well-being.
            Study participants had an increase in the availability of insulin-like growth factor, also known as IGF-I. This finding suggests that DHEA might be helpful for diabetes mellitus by creating insulin-like properties, and also for increasing muscle mass by creating growth-promoting properties.

          • Mark Winchester Sr. 4 years ago

            The paramount issue here is artificial (DHEA/Test.?Gh etc.) exogenous elevation of androgen levels is not going to unequivocally equate to better strength training results. < That is a highly individualized matter. A man w/ 400ng/dl Test level might gain 25lbs lbm doing the exact thing another man w/ 1000ng/dl Test level might. Even in HRT applications there is a negative-feedback loop which happens in the HPTA when exogenous hormones are introduced to the system and a endogenous reduction of testosterone will gradually occur in every case, even in hypo-gonadal men. The public sees an advanced bodybuilder & automatically think "He's on steroids" when in alot of cases they're dead wrong.

          • Author
            Will Brink 4 years ago

            Mark, did you cut and paste this info from some place? If so, you should credit/cite the source. Two, I’m unclear how it relates to the issue discussed here.

  26. Mark Winchester Sr. 4 years ago

    My point is the universal thought re: bodybuilding is the higher concentration of testosterone a person has the greater they’re results are going to be. Which is patently wrong.
    Morales, A. et al (1994) “Effects of replacement dose of dehydroepiandrosterone in men and women of advancing age” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 78: 1360-67.

    • Author
      Will Brink 4 years ago

      Actually, it’s not wrong (there’s plenty of data to support that) and I’m unclear how the abstract you posted from 94 supports or denies the premise one way or another. T levels are well correlated with LBM. etc, but per articles and vids here, DHEA has many benefits to men and women outside of conversion to androgens.

      • Mark Winchester Sr. 4 years ago

        My point is artificially elevating a healthy person’s testosterone level w/ exogenous administration of synthetic testosterone will not increase they’re resistance training results. Here’s a quote from a man whose intellect is more than your’s or mine combined. The one & only Arthur Jones.
        Insofar as I can determine, there is no known drug that will improve the performance, or increase the muscular mass, of a healthy individual. Furthermore, I would like to go record at this point by stating…”I do not believe that such drug will ever be discovered. I think that such a result from any chemical is impossible.”
        I am fully aware that some drugs can improve the condition of a weakened individual, in cases of sickness or accident…but I also believe that a state of normal health is possible only in the presence of a very delicate chemical balance that is regulated automatically by the system. If any chemical is added for the purpose of upsetting this balance, the result can only be counterproductive.
        In effect, there is no such thing as a “super chemical balance”…if the chemical balance is normal, you are healthy…if not, you are sick…and it matters not whether the state of imbalance is produced by too much or too little of a practical chemical. This has been proven repeatedly in literally thousands of tests conducted with animal subjects, and no slightest evidence exists in support of an opposite result with either animal of human subjects.
        Certain hormones will help add muscular mass to a steer, or a gelding…but they will NOT produce the same result with a bull or a stallion. When an animal has been castrated, removing the testicles produces an abnormal situation where normal growth is impossible, giving such an animal the hormone drugs merely tends to restore a normal situation, a situation that would have existed naturally if the animal had not been castrated.
        In such cases you are merely removing something and then trying to replace it in another manner; first creating a subnormal condition and then trying to restore normal health.
        Yet the widespread bias in favor of such so called “growth drugs” borders on hysteria. Even suggesting that the use of these drugs is anything less than necessary automatically labels you a fool in some circles. And there is certainly no doubt that a lot of people are being fooled on this subject; but you can NOT fool your endocrine system, and when you add an un-required chemical for the purpose of disturbing a normal balance, you are NOT improving the situation.
        Pointing to recent strength records as proof of the value of such drugs actually proves nothing. The fact remains that the single strongest human recorded in history established his records long before the drugs were ever used. Paul Anderson established records prior to 1958 that have never been approached and androgenic-anabolic drugs were apparently first used in athletic circles in 1960.
        Bob Peoples established a deadlift record thirty years ago, lifting nearly 800 pounds at a bodyweight of approximately 180; today, a very few individuals have reached or passed that level of performance…but most of them weigh nearly twice as much as he did, and some of them weigh more than twice as much.
        Men who establish such records are merely statistical standouts, literally genetic freaks; they are NOT the products of drugs, regardless of their opinions on the subject.
        Great strength is a result of two factors…(1) individual potential, which cannot be improved…and (2) hard training, which will increase the strength of almost anybody.
        But a third factor exists as a prerequisite…NORMAL HEALTH, without which, reaching the limits of potential strength is simply impossible. So you can improve a sick individual in some cases, but you can NOT turn a normal individual into a superman by chemical means. Such a result is impossible, and ridiculous on the face of it.

        • Author
          Will Brink 4 years ago

          I have forgotten more about this topic than you or Arthur Jones will ever know. Using him as an example of a person with expertise on this area is a total fail and lets me know you, as with Jones, lack an real formal sci/med background of knowledge of this topic. Hence, I’d ask you nicely to refrain from further comment if you’re going to someone like Arthur Jones as an authority on hormones, endocrine issues, etc. If you enjoy the info on my site, you’re more than welcome to stay and enjoy, but this conversation has come to an end for me.
          Thanx

  27. Renee 4 years ago

    I have had my blood tests done and my DHEA levels are low ( testosterone is virtually non existent) along with a few other low tests including Thyroid Free T4 10.6 and TSH 0.4
    My doctor has prescribed me DHEA – I’m just wondering how long it generally takes to see some improvement in mood, weight loss etc.
    Thanks

    • Author
      Will Brink 4 years ago

      Is that the only thing that was prescribed or is there additional meds/hormones involved? DHEA is subtle at best, and unlikely to correct all your hormones listed above as mono therapy. Also depends on dose and other factors, so no real answer can be easily given. If it does raise your T levels and DHEA levels in higher normal ranges, some report benefits in mood quickly (weeks) but physical changes would take longer and DHEA alone, will have subtle effects there. If you were put on DHEA, thyroid, and T, then you’d notice major differences fairy quickly. The effects of DHEA as with all hormones, will be dose dependent also.

  28. Frank Davis 4 years ago

    Thanks for this, Will. And my apologies if this has already been answered in the comments…
    There seems to be some debate among doctors over whether DHEA is appropriate for women who are pregnant or seeking to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. My wife is now nursing our first child, and we are looking to become pregnant again soon. But, her testosterone levels were almost zero in two recent blood tests, and her DHEA was 178 µg/dLL, with a range of 84.8 to 378. We’ve been wondering if DHEA (in addition to weight training and ongoing good nutrition might help with shedding the final bit of the post-baby belly and helping with libido, etc., but we don’t want to put either of our children at risk.
    Is there any compelling research or clinical evidence that DHEA is safe for someone like my wife at this time?
    Thanks!

    • Author
      Will Brink 4 years ago

      Frank, there’s also the low T and low DHEA to consider as a negative to her health and well being as a factor in the decision, and you’ll find lots of info on those issues on this site to research the topic.
      As long as the DHEA is appropriately – dosed using blood work – then I’m unaware of any reasons she should avoid DHEA and it should be a net benefit to her.

  29. Cate 3 years ago

    Hi there,
    I started taking 30mg DHEA a day due to a deficiency and adrenal fatigue. I quickly noticed my mood was elevated, I have more energy and my libido has improved. I am just 24 so of course have concerns on side effects but so far I haven’t even had a pimple. I think this may finally be my savior! Now just to decrease a bit of body fat 🙂

  30. Roxanna 2 years ago

    You are wonderful. Thank you for your advise on DHEA. Happy holidays! ite. Send me your newsletterand lik=nk to forwar to my friends!just y

  31. Annette Gerber 2 years ago

    Hi
    Please advise on the possibility of hormonal related cancers when using DHEA. I am a 42 year old healthy female and do have hormonal related cancer in my family. Where can i find a good DHEA supplement?

    • joy 1 year ago

      I get mine at iherb.com or any online supplier or health food store. I take 25mg daily for years and I’m 79.

  32. joy 1 year ago

    An integrative MD first checked levels about 15 yrs ago and found them low, so I’ve been taking 25mg just about daily for many years. I get levels checked periodically and I am fine. Still have libido and generally very good health and mind at 79.

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