DHEA Information: What Is DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
DHEA is a weak androgen* produced in the adrenal
glands, and it's one of the main precursors of testosterone. You
may have heard that DHEA is 2 steps away from testosterone. What
this means is just that DHEA first converts into either Androstenedione
or Androstenediol, which is then converted into testosterone. Hence, it's
2 steps from testosterone. However, these can go through further conversion to prouce estrogens estrone and estradiol.
With age, DHEA levels can decline up to 90%,
and it peaks in your 20's. Because DHEA is a main precursor of
testosterone, it's often used to boost sex hormone levels, and
used by athletes to boost testosterone levels. Studies have shown
that supplementing 50-100mg of DHEA per day helped increase muscle
mass and improve overall health condition in 40 to 70 year old
DHEA Supplement and DHEA Research
Many athletes use DHEA to increase androgen
levels such as androstenedione and testosterone; however, its
effectiveness as an anabolic agent still lacks thorough and long
term research. Despite this, there have been some research which
had shown DHEA to have some anabolic and anti-catabolic effects.
In a study done by Medical College of Virginia,
male participants weighing 170lbs with 16% body fat took 1600mg
of DHEA per day for 4 weeks. The DHEA group did not change in
body weight but their body fat percentage decreased by 31% down
to 11%, and gained the lost fat weight in lean muscle mass. The
placebo group show little or no improvements in body fat to lean
Don't be fooled though... In a similar study done at the University
of Rochester, a group of healthy men took 1600mg of DHEA for 4
weeks, but the researchers found no improvement in body fat to
lean mass composition, suggesting that DHEA did not help lose
fat and gain muscle.
So what's the verdict on DHEA? Does it work
or not? Researchers believe that DHEA has more positive and noticeable
effects on older individuals who naturally have lower levels of
DHEA. Take a look:
In a study done by University of California,
30 participants with average age of 54 took 50mg of DHEA per day
for 3 months. At the end of the research, they found no changes
in composition of body fat and lean body mass, or metabolism.
However, most of the participants had an improved sense of well
being. They reported better sleep, more energy, and better ability
to handle stress.