What is the Best DHEA Supplement ?
Dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA for short, is a naturally occurring hormone within the body. Touted as the “pro hormone”, it’s linked to lean muscle mass and longevity and loved by pro athletes and bodybuilders alike.
DHEA has a lot of benefits for the average Joe too. With so much interest in this wonder hormone, I thought I would check out the best DHEA supplements available.
What is DHEA?
As mentioned, dehydroepiandrosterone is an androgenic steroidal hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands (just above the kidneys) in the body.
Production of DHEA peaks in your mid 20s. Once you hit the big 3-0 it significantly decreases with every year that goes by.
This hormone plays a role in over 150 metabolic functions in the body and is one of the most abundant hormones in both men and women. It is often referred to as the “parent hormone” as it plays an important role in production of both male and female sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
DHEA also helps manage weight, improves heart health, bone density and fights fatigue. This is one of the reasons why over the age of 30 as the natural production of DHEA declines, many people notice themselves putting on weight, feeling more sluggish and experiencing lowered libido.
Who Should Use DHEA Supplements?
DHEA supplements work like a natural anabolic steroid and ramp up the production of natural growth hormone. It can significantly improve your body composition by building lean muscle mass and fighting fat. Therefore, it is no surprise that DHEA supplements are extremely popular within the hardcore fitness community.
In fact, DHEA works so well at boosting physical performance that although they tend to be incredibly safe to use, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have banned DHEA supplements due to their strong performance-enhancing capabilities.
However, many other people can benefit from DHEA supplements for a number of reasons.
Overcome Sexual Dysfunctions
Although there are noted risks of side effects, DHEA supplements have been shown to be an important source of sex steroids for both men and women. Studies have shown that DHEA supplements have helped many people overcome certain sexual dysfunctions, increase libido, menopause symptoms like vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction.
Prevent Cognitive Decline
Cognitive decline is something that affects millions of people as a result of aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, DHEA supplements could help slow or even reverse cognitive decline, including slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Improve Heart Health
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death throughout the world. More than 17 million death globally are a result of the disease each year which accounts for over 31% of all global deaths.
Studies have shown that DHEA plays an important role in improving heart health by preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It also reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by interfering with atherogenic processes.
Lower Risk of Diabetes
According to a report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 29 million Americans (or 9.3% of the entire population) are diabetic. A huge percentage of those are sufferers of type 2 diabetes more often than not brought on by poor diet and lifestyle. Moreover, a further 86 million Americans are prediabetic, many of whom aren’t even aware they have the condition.
Type 2 diabetes is a preventable pandemic in the US and costs the American health care system over $245 billion each year according to the American Diabetes Association. Therefore, with staggering figures like these, it is clear to see that there is an outcry for any kind of preventative measures.
Studies on animals have suggested that DHEA supplements could help prevent diabetes by protecting against insulin resistance directly induced by poor lifestyle and diet.
DHEA Supplement Risks Side Effects
It is important to remember that DHEA is a powerful hormone and does not work in the same way as a standard vitamin or supplement. Hormones are not easily excreted through urine and when taken or produced in excess, can cause severe hormonal imbalances and side effects.
Although the National Institutes of Health suggest that between 20 and 50 milligrams of DHEA supplements daily are both sufficient and safe for adults over the age of 30, hormones affect everyone differently. Therefore, if you feel you may benefit from DHEA supplements, it is advised to speak with a healthcare professional before self medicating.
Also, as DHEA is naturally abundant in the body under the age of 30, you should never use supplements under this age unless specifically told to do so (and you are being continuously monitored) by a physician.
Even adults over the age of 30 should be cautious, especially women. The use of DHEA supplements can result in some seriously undesired side effects for ladies. As DHEA is predominantly converted into sex hormones, excessive amounts can lead to high levels of testosterone in women, causing irregular periods, fertility problems and facial hair growth. I mean let’s face it, beards are fashionable but on ladies, not so much!
The Best DHEA Supplements
I have taken a look at all of the DHEA supplements currently on the market and chosen five of the best to share with you today.
Our Choice for the Best DHEA Supplement
Although a close call between the top two products, I think I would have to go with the Pure Encapsulations DHEA supplement. Not only is it a great quality, pharmaceutical grade product, but it’s hypoallergenic and vegan friendly. Therefore, I think it would appeal to most people and would be a good choice for anyone looking to try DHEA supplements for the first time.