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Does DHEA Work?

What Does the Research Say?

Preliminary research suggests that DHEA may provide some benefit for treating erectile dysfunction (ED), osteoporosis, schizophrenia, and systemic lupus erythematosus. It may also improve symptoms related to adrenal insufficiency and might promote younger-looking skin. It does not seem to help with mental functioning, Alzheimer's disease, sexual arousal in women, or muscle strength.
 
Very early evidence suggests that DHEA might be helpful for women with poor ovarian reserve undergoing in vitro fertilization. However, much more research is necessary before DHEA can be recommended as a standard infertility treatment (especially since it could theoretically negatively affect the delicate hormone balance required for a successful pregnancy).
 
For other uses, there is simply not enough scientific evidence to even suggest that DHEA works (or does not work).
 

DHEA and Aging

For most people, DHEA levels peak in their mid-20s and slowly start to decline with age. This is often interpreted as meaning that DHEA can reverse aging. However, this is faulty thinking. In fact, about one-third of people actually experience an increase in DHEA as they age, and there is no evidence that these people are any more youthful than the rest of the population.
 
There is simply no conclusive evidence to suggest that DHEA has any effect on aging.
 

Final Thoughts on DHEA's Effectiveness

There is generally little evidence to suggest that DHEA really works for most uses. It is important to understand that anecdotal evidence (testimonies from individuals) is of little value when evaluating the effectiveness of any drug or supplement. It is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking DHEA.
 
5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About ED

DHEA Supplement Information

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