Losing weight is a personal choice.
It might be either because of serious health concerns or because one wants to look and feel good about themselves.
Social media pages are full of fad diets and supplements that claim to reduce your weight miraculously.
Some people claim that taking DHEA supplements has helped them reduce weight.
But is this true?
Are there any side effects of taking DHEA supplements?
Read on to find out.
What Is DHEA?
Your adrenal glands located in your kidney produce a hormone called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone).
Scientists are not entirely sure what role DHEA plays in the body, but this hormone is a precursor to male and female sex hormones.
DHEA supplements are made from wild yam or soy.
Proponents claim that this supplement:
- Strengthens the immune system
- Slows aging
- Provides more energy
- Improves mood and memory
- Builds up bone and muscle strength
This supplement can be availed without a prescription.
How Are DHEA and Weight Loss Linked?
DHEA is known to block an enzyme named glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, which is essential for fat synthesis.
DHEA can also inactivate some enzymes related to fat synthesis.
Over time, this means that more fat is burned than produced.
DHEA and Abdominal Fat
A study was conducted on older men and women to find if DHEA reduced abdominal fat.
The subjects were divided into two groups.
One group was given DHEA supplements for six months, while the other did not.
After six months, the group that received DHEA showed a significant reduction in abdominal fat.
But the results of this study do not automatically mean that you should buy DHEA supplements over the counter.
DHEA and Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is a metabolic hormone that plays a crucial role in the body.
Insulin regulates blood glucose levels in the body.
The same study also showed that DHEA supplements could make people more sensitive to insulin and reduce resistance.
Other Effects of DHEA
Some proponents of DHEA supplements claim that they can reduce cervical cancer and heart disease risk.
It can also reportedly treat sexual dysfunction.
However, these claims are yet to be proven.
DHEA For Anti-Aging
DHEA is a hormone whose secretion reduces with age.
Therefore, many scientists speculate that supplementing your body’s reduced DHEA levels can slow aging.
Some studies have shown that it has some effect on aging, while others have reported no effect.
There are also other health concerns to long-term DHEA usage.
DHEA For Other Health Conditions
DHEA has shown some promise in reducing mild depression in middle-aged and older adults.
The National Institute of Mental Health conducted a study that showed a reduction in mild to moderate depression in the elderly.
However, more research is required to back this claim.
Some scientists even claim that DHEA supplements can treat Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, and infertility.
However, there is little evidence to support this claim.
DHEA For Weight Loss: What Are The Risks?
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Too much DHEA in the body can cause PCOS in women.
Animals in the lab are often given DHEA to mimic symptoms of PCOS.
Natural or as a supplement, too much DHEA can also cause a deepening of voice and overgrowth of body hair in females.
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle: Since DHEA is a precursor for male and female sex hormones, taking it can raise their levels in the body. Raised estrogen levels in a woman’s body can disrupt the menstrual cycle.
- High Blood Pressure: DHEA supplements can also cause elevated blood pressure, insomnia, and nasal congestion.
Do You Need DHEA?
DHEA and weight loss might be linked.
Some preliminary research has shown that DHEA does help in weight loss.
However, taking it might result in side effects.
Moreover, a proper diet and regular exercise are much more holistic approaches toward weight loss than consuming supplements.
If you still want to check it out, consult your doctor before buying it over the counter.
DHEA is a hormone that is produced by your adrenal glands.
It is a precursor to male and female sex hormones.
This hormone decreases in the body with age.
Some people claim that DHEA supplements can contribute to weight loss and strengthen the immune system.
However, scientists still need to learn about the benefits of DHEA supplements, although some research shows that it is beneficial.
DHEA supplements might only be for some, as they may have side effects.
It is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting any supplements.