Dehydroepiandrosterone, known as DHEA, is a hormone that plays a large role in the production of androgen and estrogen. Today we are covering everything you need to know about Dehydroepiandrosterone and the best DHEA supplements on the market.
DHEA is a hormone that is produced naturally in the adrenal glands. It is used to make major male and female sex hormones such as androgen and estrogen.
DHEA levels reach their peak in your mid-20s then sharply decrease. In fact, studies suggest that we will lose up to 80% of our original DHEA levels throughout adulthood.
Hormones play a large role in regulating mood, weight, and appetite, and an imbalance can disrupt our overall health. Low DHEA levels are associated with several hormonal, mood, and sexual dysfunction disorders.
While there are methods to naturally regulate your hormones, taking a DHEA supplement can target and help treat a variety of issues.
Hormone Balance: DHEA supplements can return your sex hormones return to their normal levels. This, in turn, has a host of benefits. Our hormones are the kings and queens of our health and performance.
Bone Density: For example, studies show that taking a DHEA supplement can help older women increase bone density and reduce fractures.
Sexual Function and Sex Drive: In addition, DHEA can improve libido in men and women, especially those who struggle with sexual dysfunction. It does this by supporting testosterone levels.
Fertility: Some research suggests it might also improve fertility in women.
Healthy Mood: Healthy hormone levels are associated with improved mood. Therefore, by its downstream effects, in some people, DHEA may improve their mood.
In general, DHEA may counteract symptoms associated with aging like chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, and brain fog. It may even improve energy levels.
Now let’s get into the best DHEA supplements on the market.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
Every product on our list is GMP-certified and third-party tested.
Best Overall Quality. Double Wood’s DHEA supplement offers high-quality ingredients at the best value you’ll find. Each of their products is third-party tested for purity and manufactured in the USA. They even have a certificate of analysis for quality and purity.
Their DHEA supplement contains 100 mg of DHEA per capsule, and 180 capsules to last you months. It contains no other ingredients besides the components of the gelatin capsule, so it’s a simple, minimalist supplement choice.
They also have a money-back guarantee, which shows they are confident in their product.
Double Wood DHEA is gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO. It has no fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
Each bottle contains over 100 servings if you take the recommended one 100 mg capsules per day.
Price: Starting at $10.75
Best bulk option. If you like buying in bulk, this one’s for you. Pure Bulk’s DHEA comes in either powder or capsule form and offers different portion options. It is made of micronized powder which means the DHEA particles are reduced in size and easier to absorb. It is also free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and additives, so you know you’re just getting what you need.
It’s pure DHEA powder.
MRM’s DHEA supplement is best for older adults who want to enhance their quality of life. It can help sex hormones return to healthy levels, boost energy, and support the immune system. It’s also vegan and gluten-free for all your alternative dietary needs and contains 90 servings at an affordable price point.
Best for women. Country Life’s DHEA Complex is a great option for targeting specific women’s issues. It supports aging and promotes the production of estrogen. It also contains black cohosh (Actaea Racemosa), a woodland herb that has been traditionally used to balance estrogen levels in the body. The complex is also gluten-free and contains a two-month supply for less than 20 dollars.
Best for active men. Natural Balance’s DHEA supplement helps men live more active lives for longer. In addition to 500mg of DHEA, it contains herbs traditionally known to promote vitality in men including Korean ginseng, goat weed, and muira puama, yohimbe, catuaba, and guarana. Combined, these ingredients can increase endurance and enhance performance.
Best for tight budgets. Do not let the price point fool you. Natrol’s DHEA is a well-received supplement with quality ingredients. It contains 60 servings for less than 10 dollars if taking the recommended amount of one 50mg tablet per day. It is also vegetarian-friendly.
If you are new to taking DHEA supplements, this is a good product to start with. It is gluten-free and promotes healthy hormone levels for an affordable price. It contains 100 servings if taking the recommended one 25mg dose per day.
Mason Natural’s DHEA supplement is a natural supplement at a price you can’t beat. It is free of peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg, starch, sugar, fragrances, and preservatives. In other words, it has the DHEA you’re looking for and nothing else.
It also contains calcium, which may support bone health. However, it’s a small dose.
DHEA is not a supplement that should be taken casually as it can have mild to severe side effects. Please consult your healthcare provider before taking DHEA.
Possible side effects of DHEA supplementation include oily skin, acne, hair loss, high blood pressure, irregular menstrual cycles, male-pattern hair growth in women, headache, insomnia, and increased cholesterol levels.
DHEA can also interact with a variety of medications including antipsychotics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), testosterone, and estrogen. People with liver issues should avoid taking DHEA as it is metabolized in the liver.
Lastly, it is also important to note that DHEA supplementation is banned by WADA and NCAA. If you’re an NCAA athlete or someone who is drug tested, do not take this supplement.
I repeat: If you’re an NCAA athlete do NOT take this supplement.
Experiences vary from person to person. If you want a supplement that promotes healthy aging, DHEA might be a good option for you.
By improving your overall hormone balance, DHEA can indirectly support weight loss. However, NOT on its own. Sustainable weight loss comes from consistent training and a healthy diet that focuses on a gradual calorie deficit.
In studies on older men, DHEA does seem to increase testosterone levels. So if you’re an older guy who’s dealing with normal, age-associated testosterone decreases, then DHEA may be a great option to turn to.
To know whether it may help your T levels, you can talk to your healthcare provider about getting your T levels and levels of DHEA checked.
It’s especially useful for increasing T if you have an adrenal insufficiency.
As a downstream effect of higher testosterone, you may see an increase in lean muscle mass, a decrease in body fat, and even markers of improved immune function. Testosterone is a powerful hormone.
DHEA is classified as a steroid hormone. While not as risky as taking a steroid like testosterone directly, DHEA supplementation can impact your body’s natural hormone production. That’s why it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to find a regiment that’s appropriate for you.
If you’re just taking it because some dude at your bodybuilding gym says it’s going to help your gains, this is a bad idea. For healthy people with already high hormone levels, DHEA hasn’t shown to be effective.
Right there, we don’t have strong evidence to support this claim.
It may as a result of improved hormone function. However, only in conjunction with solid training and a healthy diet.