Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

  • DHEA Sulfate


Principal Proposed Uses

Other Proposed Uses

Probably Not Effective Uses

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, is the most abundant hormone in the steroid family found in the bloodstream. Your body uses DHEA as the starting material for making the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. A meaningful body of evidence indicates that DHEA might be helpful for the autoimmune disease lupus, at least in women. DHEA may also help prevent osteoporosis (again, in women). Additionally, DHEA appears to be beneficial when taken along with standard treatment for women with adrenal failure. Other uses with some evidence include improving sexual function in men and women and alleviating depression. DHEA does not appear to be effective for improving general well-being in seniors. Keep in mind that DHEA is not a natural supplement. The DHEA you can buy at the store is made by a synthetic chemical process, and it is a hormone, not a nutrient. Although DHEA appears to be safe to use in the short term, its safety when taken for prolonged periods is unknown.

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