What is DHEA?

DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a vital hormone, with the highest circulating levels of any steroid in the human body. It is produced from cholesterol by the outer layer of the adrenal glands in both men and women, and by the ovaries and testes in small amounts. DHEA functions as a precursor to male and female sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. Natural DHEA levels peak in early adulthood and generally decline slowly with age.

DHEA supplements are made from plant sources to help replenish the body’s loss over time.

Who May Benefit From DHEA Supplementation?

Menopausal women

DHEA may help relieve a variety of symptoms in menopausal women, including thinning of vaginal tissue and vaginal dryness, decreased libido, brittle bones, and hot flashes. It has also been shown to improve skin texture.

Men in andropause

DHEA may improve mood, fatigue, and joint pain in older men with low androgen hormone levels.

People with depression

Taken either alone or together with antidepressant drugs, DHEA in high daily doses may improve symptoms of depression, especially in mature adults.

People with certain autoimmune and adrenal conditions

DHEA may help in the treatment of adrenal insufficiency and Addison’s disease. It has also been prescribed to aid in treating other autoimmune disorders, including Lupus and Crohn’s disease.

People with COPD, chronic fatigue syndrome, or metabolic syndrome

Early studies have shown that DHEA can improve pulmonary hypertension in COPD; reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome; and lower some of the risks for heart disease and diabetes in overweight men and women.

How Belmar Can Help

If you’re a clinician interested in prescribing compound medications to your patients, contact us for information on how to get started and to access all of our clinical resources. If you are new to compounding, you may find our page on How to Write a Compounding Prescription helpful. You can also visit our Treatment Options page to find a formulary and learn more about all the medication solutions available from Belmar.