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DHEA Supplement Review

DHEA - Natural Testosterone Support

What is DHEA? or What is Dehydroepiandrosterone?

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a naturally occurring androgenic pro-hormone, similar to Androstenedione, that is produced naturally by the adrenal glands in both men and women. DHEA is two steps up the metabolic pathway from testosterone. When we are young, around 7 years of age, we begin producing this hormone naturally. The production of this hormone peaks when we are around the ages of 20-24 and then declines steadily with age, at the rate of about 20% per decade until we eventually bottom out at approximately 10% of peak levels by the time we reach 80 years of age. DHEA can help support a variety of natural functions like: cellular energy formation, fat metabolism and muscle growth.

Why should I use DHEA?

Similar to Androstenedione and Tribulus terrestris, DHEA may help enhance the body's natural testosterone production. DHEA has soared in popularity over the last few years for various reasons. These include increased libido, increased sense of well being and an increase in metabolism. For people over 40 years of age, DHEA supplementation can help elevate levels of DHEA to previous levels as well as boost testosterone levels naturally. Athletes are using DHEA to help ensure that their levels of this natural hormone are at normal levels at all times. This can thus ensure that testosterone levels are maintained through a natural platform without the use of dangerous drugs like steroids. Although it is unlikely that anyone will experience steroid-like effects using DHEA, it is possible to benefit from its use, especially for those over 40 or athletes looking for a natural and legal way to boost testosterone levels.

What research has been done on DHEA?

There have been various studies conducted on DHEA and it's potential benefits. One study in particular, examined the effects of a 50mg daily oral dose in men and women over 50 years of age. After just two weeks of supplementation, blood tests revealed that the test subject's DHEA levels rose to those of young adults. In addition to this, it was also reported that certain aspects of immune system function were upgraded.

In a follow-up study, also using mature adults, test subjects were given 100mg of DHEA at night before going to sleep. As was expected, this caused a rise in DHEA levels and an increase in immune function. What was surprising about this study however, was that the test subjects gained lean body mass (muscle), and found that their strength levels were substantially improved! In addition, the men in the study experienced a significant decrease in body fat over the control group.

In a similar manner, DHEA may aid athletes in maintaining testosterone levels as intense exercise can suppress testosterone production.

What doses of DHEA should be taken?

While there is no definitive guide on how much DHEA should be taken, there are different guidelines suggested by experts in the medical field. Most suggest 50-200mg per day for men, taken evenly throughout the day. Women, on-the-other-hand, tend to respond much more dramatically to DHEA than men, therefore, 50mg per day or every other day might be sufficient.

What side effects are caused by DHEA?

Just as with any supplement, caution should be exercised when considering taking DHEA. DHEA, similar to androstenedione, is a powerful supplement that should be avoided by some individuals such as those with hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure or prostate hypertrophy. Always consult a physician when in doubt. Women should also be cautious as acne and other androgenic side effects could be experienced by high dosage or prolonged usage of DHEA.

Should I cycle DHEA?

There is no evidence that shows conclusively what the optimal usage and duration of DHEA should be. Remember that DHEA is a relatively potent androgenic hormone, and taking it for an extended periods of time may cause your body to stop producing its own DHEA or "down regulate" its effects. Cycling might be advantageous.

There are different "schemes" of cycling that have been purported to work. These include a 3 week "on cycle" followed by a 1-3 week "off cycle", or a descending dosage pattern such as 4-6 weeks "on" followed by 3-6 weeks "off". As is the case with all supplementation, better judgment is the key to success.

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