DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone produced the body. Some of it is converted into testosterone and estrogen(1, 2). The main reason someone might want to take DHEA supplements is due to its natural decrease as an individual ages. Some estimates show that it can decrease by up to 80% throughout adulthood. Such a decrease makes DHEA supplementation not just for older adults, as levels do begin to drop around the age of 30 (3).
Increased levels in DHEA, testosterone and estrogen produce a variety of effects such as increases in bone density (4). Low levels of DHEA are associated with lower bone density, which decreases as one ages(5). Furthermore, low DHEA levels are associated with increased risk of bone fractures (6).
DHEA has been shown to improve fertility and sexual functioning. Studies have shown that DHEA increased the success of in vitro fertilization for women experiencing fertility issues (7). One study found that women who took DHEA supplements during in vitro fertilization had a 23% live birth rate, compared to control group that had a 4% live birth rate (8). Additionally, studies have shown that this supplement can increase sexual functioning in both men and women (9,10) though greatest benefits were seen with individuals with impaired sexual functioning (11).
DHEA supplementation can help individuals suffering from adrenal gland problems, such as adrenal insufficiency. Research has shown that DHEA used as a treatment for symptoms of adrenal insufficiency improved the quality of life for individuals (12). Women who have adrenal insufficiency and took DHEA supplements experienced decreasing in feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as improved sexual functioning and quality of life (13).
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.