DHEA- How it May Increase Testosterone
There have been several studies on DHEA and its effect on both increasing muscle mass and boosting testosterone, it is found in many dietary supplements and a lot of bodybuilders swear by it.
What we do know is that is that it is illegal in most countries, however, it is still legal in the U.S however, athletes can be suspended or banned 1 for using this substance. This in itself says that it can be effective for boosting athletic performance.
The question is can it help increase testosterone?
This question is brought up frequently because many sports supplements and testosterone boosters do contain DHEA,
What is DHEA?
DHEA also was known as dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands in your body. The glands are located a few inches above your kidneys.
Besides your bodies own natural hormone production DHEA is also made from soy or wild yam.
Incredibly enough there have been several studies done on DHEA yet there are still many unanswered questions as to how it works.
What science does know is that it is a precursor to both the male and female sex hormones so it has a positive effect on both testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
A precursor is a substance that your body is able to convert into a hormone.
DHEA like most hormones peaks during your early 20's, production of the hormone begins to slow down with age.
DHEA supplements can help increase testosterone levels which is why so many supplements claim that DHEA can have a positive effect on raising testosterone levels.
The first study on DHEA was performed on a group of 86 men.
The purpose of the study was to see if DHEA could, in fact, help men suffering from sexual dysfunction and androgen deficiency.
The study 2was a double-blind placebo and applied to men who suffered from extremely low levels of testosterone, one group was given 80mg of oral testosterone (Undecanoate) the other group was given 50mg of DHEA or placebo.
The evaluation measured sexual performance and androgenic deficiency in aging males.
Of the 86 men only 79 completed the study. What the study showed is that there were no significant differences in erectile dysfunction or sex drive, however, the group who received the DHEA showed a significant increase in testosterone levels versus the placebo group where no changes were observed.
The second study
The next study 3performed on DHEA was to see if DHEA supplements could actually help prevent the decline of testosterone in men.
The whole purpose was to evaluate the benefit of DHEA and what kind of effect it could have for both increasing free testosterone levels and boosting athletic performance.
This study was also a randomized blind placebo study that was conducted on 8 middle-aged men between the ages of 49-51, each participant received 50mg of DHEA before exercising.
The study showed that there was a positive increase in DHEA levels and free testosterone, the study showed that oral DHEA supplements can have a positive impact on increasing testosterone levels in middle-aged men and prevent it from declining.
Other benefits DHEA can have:
- Cause the adrenal gland to produce more hormones
- Boost free testosterone levels
- Increase energy and strength
- Help increase muscle
While there was little proof that DHEA had an impact on increasing sex drive in older men, both studies clearly show that DHEA can elevate testosterone.
What kind of DHEA supplements should you take?
There are many supplements including testosterone boosters that contain DHEA, the problem is that most of them are only sold in the U.S.
Men who suffer from low testosterone are usually deficient in other vitamins as well, which is why supplements that do contain DHEA (Affiliate Link) along with other nutrients are better than just taking a DHEA only supplement.
The conclusion from both studies mentioned above show that DHEA can, in fact, increase testosterone, however, they will probably be less noticeable in younger men, this is because young men tend to already have high levels of testosterone, men in their late 20s and older will likely notice better results since they are at an age where testosterone levels are generally lower.
If you believe you suffer from low testosterone and believe that DHEA supplementation can help you should consult with your doctor first, only he or she can provide you with proper medical advice and tell you if DHEA might be able to help you.