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.

Quality

Price

Our rating

This DHEA product brought to us by Pure Encapsulations offers a pure, pharmaceutical grade, hypoallergenic, non GMO supplement. This is a vegan friendly supplement that offers a 6 month supply at a great price. It is quite a low dosage, but all in all a good choice all round.

Pros


  • Tested for purity
  • Pharmaceutical grade
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gluten, wheat, soy & nut free
  • Non GMO
  • 6 month supply
  • Great price
  • Vegan

Cons


  • Low dosage

Quality

Price

Our rating

I am a big fan of the Bulksupplements brand and I am always impressed with the quality of their pure, no frills products. This is a high quality product at an excellent price, however, it first of all advises you take a very small dose (5 mg) and up it to 26 mg after a couple of weeks, which wouldn’t suit the hardcore gym goer.

Also, there is no clear measurement provided as it comes in powder form, therefore, you need to invest in a milligram measuring scale to be precise with the dosage.

Pros


  • Powder form
  • 25 gram bag
  • Great price
  • Made in the USA
  • Produced in a GMP facility
  • 3rd party tested for purity

Cons


  • Small dosage
  • No clear measurements

Quality

Price

Our rating

This DHEA supplement from MRM offers a good dose at 50 milligrams per serving, is vegetarian friendly and comes in at an excellent price. However, some people saw adverse effects with this supplement including aggression and irritability.

Pros


  • 50 mg per serving
  • Excellent price
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Caplet form

Cons


  • Some users experienced adverse effects

Quality

Price

Our rating

This DHEA supplement is on the lower side with 25 milligrams per serving which may not be high enough for the fitness fanatics out there. It comes at a reasonable price and is vegan friendly with no additives or preservatives. As a heads up, many users report no expiration dates clearly labeled on the this product.

Pros


  • Good price
  • Vegan friendly
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • Capsule form

Cons


  • Low dosage
  • No visible expiration date

Quality

Price

Our rating

This DHEA supplement brought to you by Swanson Ultra offers a seriously potent dose of DHEA at 100 milligrams per serving. They come in capsule form which is not suitable for vegans and vegetarians and are geared towards boosting labido.

Although these come at an excellent price, they are way too strong for most people and above the recommended 50 mg daily. If you have been advised to use a strong dose by your physician, these could be an excellent choice, but for most people a smaller dose would be more appropriate.

Pros


  • High dosage
  • Capsule form
  • Excellent price

Cons


  • Dosage may be too high for many users

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.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!

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