Are DHEA supplements really safe for men?

Beautiful Man Taking Pill, Medicine. Vitamins And Supplements.

This is what they DON’T want you to know about DHEA…

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Are DHEA supplements really safe for men?

DHEA can protect against all sorts of degenerative diseases, physical trauma, and even intestinal endotoxins produced in the gut.

An important youth-associated substance on its own, it’s a source material for testosterone and DHT – but also for estrogen.

For guys, we want to keep those hormone levels high to stay youthful and vital…

Except for estrogen, that is.

Balancing these hormones is tricky…

But it can be done to great effect.

Circulating DHEA declines with age by a couple of percentage points every year after age 39 – and probably earlier.

In some countries, DHEA is an over-the-counter supplement…

In some places, it is not.

Regardless of whether you want to raise your DHEA naturally or with supplementation, you need to know what you’re doing with DHEA.

Improper dosing of DHEA moves things in the wrong direction.

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In this study, scientists from Finnish and French universities looked at human muscle fibers exposed to DHEA.

The experiment showed that exposure to DHEA significantly increased testosterone synthesis.

Pass the DHEA?

Hold on… Not so fast.

The experiment showed that DHEA significantly increased testosterone synthesis at some concentrations.

However, at higher concentrations it increased estrogenic activity as measured by aromatase gene expression.

Aromatase is also called estrogen synthase.

It is the enzyme that converts androstenedione and testosterone to estrogens…

BAD news.

“Testosterone was significantly increased. However aromatase was significantly upregulated after exposure to the higher dose of DHEA”

The right amount of DHEA delivered to these muscle fibers increases testosterone…

But too much and you’ll likely increase the synthesis of estrogen.

Almost everyone in dosing DHEA incorrectly

It’s not just dose that matters either.

The environment is key.

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This human study looked at 30 healthy volunteers participating in stress-lowering techniques.

It then compared their saliva DHEA/DHEAS and cortisol levels.

DHEAS is the storage form of DHEA. (That’s an over-simplification, but it will do for the purpose of this article.)

The study used a method called heart rate variability feedback to lower stress, but the theory will hold for other stress-lowering interventions.

What they found is astonishing.

Decreasing stress led to a 100% increase in DHEA/DHEAS and a 23% decrease in cortisol in the participants.

These are huge numbers!

Double your circulating DHEA without supplementation while lowering cortisol, that’s amazing.

Amazing things are possible with lifestyle changes, once you have the right approach.

“Managing perceptions and emotions can substantially alter the cortisol/DHEA balance… These results may have considerable implications for a number of chronic diseases.”

Hormones must be balanced, because a hormone that otherwise might be useful can lead to negative downstream effects if other factors are not taken into account.

And that includes negative downstream effects such as estrogen.

It goes both ways – estrogen also affects DHEA.

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In this human study, scientists at Tokushima University in Japan looked at the effect of estrogen on DHEAS.

The researchers gave two groups of women (42 in total) estrogen either orally or topically.

As the levels of estrogen rose, the levels of DHEAs decreased.

They tested hormone levels after three months, so I think we can assume this wasn’t a short-term aberration.

“Clinically, DHEAS insufficiency was shown to be associated with physical disability, depressive symptoms, and low libido.”

“The changes in circulating DHEAS were related to even a slight change in estrogen.”

I’m not surprised… It’s all interrelated.

All these hormones are inputs and outputs in the metabolic routing of the organism.

They all affect each other and must be considered as a larger picture.

If your cell is getting strong signals from estrogen or cortisol, then throwing more DHEA into the mix can cause havoc.

That stress we talked about… It isn’t all in your head.

At the root level, stress is any demand from the environment that the cell cannot fulfill.

When you understand that, these parts all fit together.

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Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the Daily Medical Discoveries 7 Step Process to ensure accuracy.

Intramuscular sex steroid hormones are associated with skeletal muscle strength and power in women with different hormonal status

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364836/

The impact of a new emotional self-management program on stress, emotions, heart rate variability, DHEA and cortisol

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02688660?no-access=true

Circulating dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate decreases even with a slight change in oestradiol.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28903616