DHEA: Evidence for anti-aging promises is weak
If you’re contemplating taking DHEA, get the facts. Exploration will not always guidance the supplement’s anti-aging promises.
By Mayo Clinic Staff members
DHEA is often touted as an anti-aging therapy, applied to ward off serious ailment and increase physical overall performance. Nonetheless, most investigation will not again up these promises. Here’s what you need to know about DHEA.
What is DHEA?
Your system naturally makes the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the adrenal gland. In switch, DHEA helps create other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen.
A synthetic version of DHEA is accessible in capsule type. It really is offered as a nutritional complement in the United States. Scientific tests have shown high-quality control of this complement to often be very low.
What does DHEA have to do with aging?
Purely natural DHEA levels peak in early adulthood and then slowly fall as you age. In concept, taking DHEA dietary supplements to retain DHEA levels could slow the aging process, probably improving upon very well-currently being, cognitive functionality and system composition. But investigation hasn’t proved this to be accurate.
Restricted investigation indicates that DHEA may well increase vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women of all ages and that the complement may well increase bone mineral density in aged folks with very low DHEA. But improvements in bone density had been little compared with all those observed just after treatment method with accepted osteoporosis drugs. Exploration on the results of DHEA on very well-currently being and system composition has had mixed results, and most studies reveal no outcome of DHEA on cognitive functionality or on muscle mass dimension or toughness.
DHEA may possibly inevitably establish to have benefits in managing folks identified with sure disorders, these kinds of as adrenal insufficiency and lupus. Nonetheless, additional studies are wanted.
What are the side results of DHEA?
DHEA is a hormone. It may well raise levels of androgen and have a steroid outcome. The extensive-phrase protection of DHEA use hasn’t been set up. There are problems that applying DHEA as a complement may well raise the danger of hormone-delicate cancers, including prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. The Nationwide Collegiate Athletic Association has banned DHEA use among the athletes.
DHEA has been linked to:
- Lessened higher-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “excellent,” cholesterol levels
- Undesired, male-pattern hair expansion in women of all ages (hirsutism)
- Acne breakouts
- Mania and heart palpitations
- Oily skin
Health supplements these kinds of as DHEA can also bring about critical adverse results when mixed with prescription or nonprescription medications.
What do you convey to folks who want to consider DHEA?
DHEA supplementation will not have proven benefits in older adults and may well bring about adverse side results.
If you’re searching for strategies to boost healthier aging, bear in mind that you can find no substitute for a healthier way of living.
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Nov. 05, 2021
- AskMayoExpert. What is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Basis for Professional medical Education and Exploration 2017.
- Chrousos GP. Dehyrdoepiandrosterone and its sulfate. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/research. Accessed Aug. 2, 2017.
- Pizzorno JE, et al., eds. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). In: Textbook of Purely natural Medication. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 2, 2017.
- Rutkowski K, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): Hypes and hopes. Drugs. 201474:1195.
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