What are DHEA Supplements?

DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone that is naturally produced by our body’s adrenal glands. DHEA functions as a precursor to major male and female sex hormones and can convert to testosterone and estrogen. Natural DHEA levels will peak in early adulthood; but as we grow older, these levels may decrease, causing various symptoms or diseases. For this reason, DHEA is a popular supplement among patients and has shown potential in anti-aging, increasing bone density, decreasing body fat, improving sexual function, and correcting some hormonal problems.

Because DHEA declines with age, it is believed that properly balancing DHEA levels can slow the aging process, possibly improving well-being, cognitive function, and body composition. A few studies have shown that taking DHEA supplements may improve skin hydration and firmness and decrease aging spots in elderly adults. Low DHEA levels may also be associated with lower bone density, increasing the patient’s risk of bone fractures; studies have shown that balancing DHEA levels may increase bone density, particularly in older women. Some evidence further suggests that DHEA supplements, specifically 7-Keto DHEA, may produce small decreases in body fat in the elderly, particularly in patients with adrenal gland problems. Lastly, as a precursor to major sex hormones, DHEA supplements may improve sexual function, fertility, and libido, in which the largest benefits were seen in individuals with impaired sexual function.

A common daily dose of DHEA is 5-50mg but may be higher or lower depending on the patient. DHEA may be taken through different types of dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, creams, powders, and vaginal inserts. At Precision Compounding, our DHEA supplements are derived from yams. The hormone is considered “bio-identical” and will have the exact same chemical structure as the one we naturally produce from our bodies. Working with both our patients and their physicians, we are able customize and produce the optimal dose and dosage form for each patient. For further information about DHEA, we welcome you to speak to our pharmacists at Precision Compounding!

This content was originally provided by Darien Lee PharmD candidate 2021.