DHEA, Anti-Aging Hormone: What is it? Is it Safe?

Also known as dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA is a hormone made in the brain and adrenals that is known as the anti-aging hormone.

DHEA is banned by sports organizations due to its ability to affect male hormone levels.

The Anti-Aging Hormone

This hormone does decrease as we age. Proponents note that low levels are associated with many forms of illness, however, it’s important to recognize that these associations are not evidence that low DHEA causes these illnesses.

Safety Concerns

Natural Medicines, TM states that DHEA is “possibly safe” when taken by mouth in the usual dose of 50 mg daily for up to 6 months.

It may be unsafe when taken for too long or in too high a dose. The concern is that DHEA may increase the risk of hormone sensitive cancers when higher than normal levels are reached. Apparently, this is possible with the typical 50-100 mg daily dose.

It not considered safe in pregnancy due to the potential for causing higher than normal male hormone levels.

Research on DHEA

DHEA has been found to have some effectiveness for aging skin, depression, and infertility.

DHEA has been studied and found to be possibly ineffective for treating aging, loss of muscle strength and rheumatoid arthritis. Research has not found DHEA to improve cognitive function.

Seek Medical Advice

Given the complex nature of our bodies’ hormonal systems and the potential for increased cancer risk, it is recommended that this particular supplement be taken only on the advice of a physician.

Lab Testing for DHEA Levels

If your physician approves of DHEA supplementation, you will want to have your dosage adjusted according to the amount present in your blood. WalkInLabs allows individuals to request this DHEA test online.

About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Founder of NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph Figon has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Connect on Linkedin