DHEA Yea or

In 1997, every GNC, health food store, muscle magazine, and gym in the country seemed to be touting DHEA—dehydroepiandrosterone—as the muscle-building supplement of the decade. Before you run off to buy a case or two, know this: DHEA, once only available with a prescription, is a hormone produced naturally by the adrenal gland and is a precursor to increased testosterone levels. Since testosterone has legitimate muscle-building and fat-burning properties, advocates of DHEA claim that DHEA can do the same. The only problem is that the majority of the people who made these claims are DHEA salesmen.

Here's the deal. DHEA levels peak at around 20 to 24 years of age. After age 30, the production of DHEA declines by about 20 percent each decade. Between the ages of 85 and 90, DHEA levels are about 95 percent lower than they were at their peak. So while there is reason to believe that DHEA supplementation may have a positive affect on individuals over the age of 40—and it certainly will aid athletes over the age of 90—there are few (if any) studies performed on humans to suggest that it really works.

Given the potential downside of manipulating your hormones, we suggest you leave DHEA on the shelf, especially when you consider that an increase in DHEA in men is likely to increase the risk of an enlarged prostate, abnormal hair growth, and acne.

DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone, and a precursor to testosterone. The jury's still out as to whether DHEA has any ergogenic effect in healthy people, or if it's safe.

Bar Talk

DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone, and a precursor to testosterone. The jury's still out as to whether DHEA has any ergogenic effect in healthy people, or if it's safe.

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