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What other names is Dhea known by?

3b-Hydroxy-Androst-5-Ene-17-One, 3BetaHydroxy-Androst-5-Ene-17-One, Androstenolone, Dehydroepiandrosterone, Déhydroépiandrostérone, DHEA-S, GL701, Prasterone, Prastérone.

What is Dhea?

DHEA is a "parent hormone" produced by glands near the kidneys. It is changed in the body to a hormone called androstenedione. Androstenedione is then changed into the major male and female hormones.

DHEA can be made in the laboratory from chemicals found in wild yam and soy, but the human body cannot make DHEA from these chemicals. So simply eating wild yam or soy will not increase DHEA levels.

Is Dhea effective?

There is some scientific evidence that taking DHEA supplements might help some people with depression; improve the appearance of older peoples' skin; reduce vaginal dryness in older women, and improve some men's ability to achieve an erection.

There is also some evidence that DHEA can help decrease the symptoms of lupus.

Although older people sometimes try DHEA for improving thinking, it doesn't seem to work for this use.

There isn't enough information to know if DHEA is effective for the other conditions people use it for including: prevention of heart disease, breast cancer, preventing aging, and diabetes; and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Schizophrenia.
  • Improving the appearance of older people's skin.
  • Improving ability to achieve an erection in men with sexual dysfunction.
  • Improving symptoms of lupus.
  • Treating male hormone (androgen) deficiency in women with thyroid disease.
  • Osteoporosis.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Alzheimer's disease.
  • Improving sexual arousal in healthy women.
  • Improving muscle strength in elderly people.

Likely Ineffective for...

  • Improving thinking in healthy older people.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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