Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, gonads, and brain, and converted in the body into sex hormones. For most people, DHEA production declines with age after peaking in their mid-twenties.
Since there seems to be a link between low DHEA and decreasing production of sex hormones, many men are taking DHEA supplements in order to boost their testosterone levels. These supplements are usually produced from natural ingredients like wild yam and soy.
While there has been no research directly linking DHEA supplementation and increased testosterone levels, there is a study showing that acute administration of DHEA after high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide significant benefits.
The study found that middle-aged test subjects taking oral DHEA supplements had higher levels of free testosterone and did not experience a drop in testosterone during their HIIT workouts.
Although the exact relationship between testosterone levels and male libido hasn't been established yet, scientists have confirmed that low testosterone can cause sexual problems such as impotence and low sex drive.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, revealed that there’s a connection between low testosterone levels in the body and reduced libido in aging men.
A study evaluating the effectiveness of DHEA supplementation in treating erectile dysfunction found that taking oral supplements may have some benefit in the treatment of this condition. However, since the sample used in the study was too small, further research is required to confirm the findings.
Taking DHEA supplements has also been revealed to have the following health benefits: