If you are looking to increase your sex hormones and general wellbeing then DHEA may be the one you are looking for, while many sexual enhancement supplements yield relatively inconsistent results in studies due to confounding factors. DHEA is one over the counter supplement that has some of the greatest opportunities for increased sexual function.
What is DHEA?
DHEA is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, and it is the precursor to the main sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone and estrogen levels are vital to developing masculine and feminine biological features, but they are also crucial to general health as well.
A man who encounters too many estrogen-like endocrine disruptors can have severe hormone disruption resulting in reproductive debilitation and other bodily communication issues. People with a Y chromosome in every somatic cell of their body will feel a number of debilitating symptoms in response to lowering or having low testosterone including:
- Irrational mood swings.
- Reduced or underdeveloped muscle tone or bulk.
- Sudden weight gain.
- Low libido or erectile dysfunction.
- Underdeveloped testicles.
- Fatigue or low stamina.
- Frequent memory failure.
- Bone/joint tissue loss.
Likewise people without an Y chromosome will feel a number of unwanted symptoms in response to lowering or having low estrogen levels including:
- Mental Health problems.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Lack of vaginal lubrication.
- Increased amount of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Irregular or absent periods.
- Exacerbated shifts in mood.
- Hot flashes.
- Breast tenderness.
Other effects of DHEA , besided the regulation of the main sex hormones, are important too, which include:
- Energy Levels.
- Bone Health.
- Mental Health.
- Skin Health.
- Stress Resistance.
- Metabolic Health.
- Immune Function.
- Memory and Cognitive Health.
Covering the Bases
Before looking at some of the factors you should keep in mind to pickout the best DHEA supplement, there are some foundational things you should know about sexual function and DHEA.
DHEA is definitely one of the most promising supplements for restoring sexual function especially amongst people that have adrenal insufficiency; however, this supplement has been found by the highest order research - meta-analyses - to have inconsistent results for normal, healthy women.
Men on the other hand do receive these sexual benefits. This is likely due to DHEA’s role in the production of the only the main sex hormones. A woman’s sexual function is more complicated than merely her estrogen level.
That being said, both men and women have seen other health benefits from the use of DHEA in several clinical studies which you can read more about here.
1. Your General Health
Unfortunately there has not been a lot of evidence in recent times to support most forms of sexual enhancement. Generally speaking your sexual function is one of the least important functions in your body, because it is one of the only ones you can live without.
When your body is stressed one of the main systems that gets shut down are the sexual related ones. This may be due to the fact that the adrenal glands, the same glands that make DHEA, are also responsible for making cortisol, your body’s stress hormone.
It’s like if an airplane cabin were to become depressurized and the oxygen was going away. The flight attendants remind you that you must first put on your mask first, before helping others. In the same way the body keeps itself alive before producing another one to take care of.
Hence, the logic seems to be that people who are stressed or have some underlying health conditions tend to also have a level of sexual dysfunction.
What does this mean for you? Well it means that getting your general health and wellness can have a much larger impact on your reproductive performance than you might otherwise expect. You might try ASYSTEM’s Superhuman Supplements or Complete Calm Supplements to help you alleviate some of the other confounding factors that may be contributing to your poor performance.
2. Other Ingredients
Many DHEA supplements come alone, but getting DHEA in a multivitamin allows you to get more active ingredients per pill swallow. Also, this has potential to give you multiple supplements that can help you achieve the same goal that you are taking DHEA to achieve.
For instance, our Superhuman Supplements come with the white lightning pill. This pill has ingredients that are proven to improve testosterone production and improve energy, sexual function, immune response, focus, and stress. These effects are synergistic and move you towards your health goal faster than taking DHEA alone.
3. DHEA Dosage
The optimal dose of DHEA really depends on a variety of factors, but age is the most important. As people get older the amount of DHEA they produce begins to decline. This means that in order to maintain the same level of hormone production that you had at a younger age you will need to take a higher dosage.
This being said most people can benefit from a 25-50mg dose of DHEA each day for bone, skin, and mental health. Other health areas do not quite have enough data to fully justify a specific dosage as of yet.
If you are taking the daily Superhuman Supplements then you are taking 50 mg of DHEA everyday, along with all the other great ingredients that can optimize your energy and immune health.
4. Competitive Athletes
Athletes should beware DHEA. DHEA is a prohibited substance by a variety of sport organizations, as well as the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA). Also, despite the fact that DHEA is a precursor to testosterone it has shown no association with the improvement of muscle mass or strength. This product should be avoided by competitive athletes.
DHEA is a important sex hormone precursor manufactured by the adreal glands, which are the same glands that are responsible for the body’s stress response. Stress in the body is one of the most fundamental contributors to generalized sexual dysfunction, and this may have some relationship with DHEA. Improving your general health and reducing stress are great ways to improve your natural DHEA production and help with reproductive function. If you do decide that a DHEA supplement is right for you then you might consider a 25-50 mg dose. However, if you are a competitive athlete you should stay away from DHEA since the WADA have placed restrictions that prevent you from using it. Plus there are no real substantial benefits for DHEA for muscle related growth or strength.
Remember, while DHEA is produced naturally by our bodies, it’s not a natural part of our diet. Taking DHEA should be done with a degree of caution. As with all supplements, consult with your health professional before starting a DHEA regimen, and be sure to stay alert for any side effects.
The effect of six months treatment with a 100 mg daily dose of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on circulating sex steroids, body composition and muscle strength in age-advanced men and women | Clinical Endocrinology
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert
Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.