DHEA Supplements: Side Effects, Precautions and Safety
In 1981, the Life Extension Foundation introduced dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to its members in an article describing this hormone precursor’s multiple potential benefits.
DHEA did not become credible to the medical establishment until 1996, when the New York Academy of Sciences published a textbook entitled DHEA and Aging that provided scientific validation for many of DHEA’s effects. The public learned about DHEA later that same year, when its benefits were touted in the news media and in several best-selling books.
DHEA is the body’s most abundant circulating hormone. But, research has shown that DHEA production peaks by age 25 and drops dramatically each year thereafter. By age 70 most people’s DHEA levels have declined by over 80%, leading to hormonal imbalances that can affect quality of life.1
Since 1981, thousands of studies have been published about DHEA. DHEA helps to retard the effects of aging and promotes enhanced longevity, exerting a multitude of effects through its conversion to some 150 metabolites, each with unique actions within the body. Considering DHEA’s potential benefits, many researchers advocate taking DHEA supplements to regain youthful circulating concentrations of this critical hormone.1 To achieve the DHEA levels of a 25-year-old, men normally take 50 mg a day, while women usually need only 15-25 mg a day.
Life Extension researchers continue to uncover favorable research pointing to the multiple health benefits of 7-Keto® DHEA supplements. This DHEA metabolite that can safely boost immune function2 and safely increase fat-burning enzymes in the liver.3,4 Studies show that those who consumed 200 mg of 7-Keto® DHEA in conjunction with a diet and exercise program lost more weight than those who took a placebo.
All of Life Extension’s DHEA supplements contain 99.9% European-derived DHEA, manufactured under GMP (good manufacturing practice) conditions and micronized for maximum absorption and utilization.
Note: DHEA is not for everyone. Those with hormonal related cancers such as prostate cancer or breast cancer should not use DHEA supplements. Studies suggest that 7-Keto® does not convert to testosterone or estradiol, as can DHEA. However, no research to date has evaluated 7-Keto®’s effect on hormonally dependent conditions such as prostate cancer.
1. Kagan BL, Sultzer DL, Rosenlicht N, et al. Oral S-adenosylmethionine in depression: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Psychiatry. 1990 May;147(5):591-5.
2. Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA. The use of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone for augmenting immune response in the elderly. Presented at meeting of FASEB, April 17, 2004.
3. Bobyleva V, Bellei M, Kneer N, et al. The effects of the ergosteroid 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on mitochondrial membrane potential: possible relationship to thermogenesis. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1997 May 1;341(1):122-8.
4. Lardy H, Partridge B, Kneer N, et al. Ergosteroids: induction of thermogenic enzymes in liver of rats treated with steroids derived from dehydroepiandrosterone. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1995 Jul 3;92(14):6617-9.