You may hear from talk around the gym that some supplements have become associated with increasing muscle size or strength. Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is one of those. Howvere it is also one that the research done in it has not conclusively shown any efficacy on sports performance. Here is what you need to know about it:
1. DHEA is the primary steroid that is produced by the adrenal gland.
2. It acts on the body mainly by converting to sex steroid hormones.
3. DHEA might increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers, like prostate, breast and ovarian cancers.
4. It can reduce high-density lipoprotein levels, or HDL levels, which is the good cholesterol.
5. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned DHEA use among athletes.
In my search I was unable to find any studies that clearly showed DHEA supplementation could lead to increasing muscle size or strength in athletes. I did find a few human trials on elderly subjects and DHEAs ability to maintain muscle mass. The risks seem to far outweigh the possible benefits.
2. Ceci R, Duranti G, Rossi A, Savini I, Sabatini S. Skeletal muscle differentiation: role of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Sep;43(10):702-7.