March 08, 2022

DHEA: Your Secret to Hormone Health, Sexual Health, and Better Metabolism?

Written By

Perry Santanachote

Medically Reviewed By

Kerri Masutto, MD

VP Clinical Operations

Medically Reviewed By

Vinita Tandon, MD

Lifeforce Medical Director

For most of her life, Jane was able to lose an extra few pounds with diet and exercise whenever she went over her ideal weight. But through her 30s, those extra few pounds gradually turned into 10 pounds, then 15, and stubbornly stayed on, even with strenuous dieting. Jane also became forgetful, unfocused, uninterested in sex, and ultimately depressed. At this point, Jane sought help and was told this was just a normal part of the aging process.

Jane is a fictional character, but her story rings all too true for many of us. You may have heard that growing older is synonymous with a slower metabolism, lower sex drive, and “senior moments.” But that part of the story is a myth. Life after 40 doesn’t have to be a slow, sad decline. 

Yes, your metabolism begins to slow down in your 30s, making it harder to get the same results using the same strategies that worked in your 20s. But weight gain, brain fog, and the inability to perform in the bedroom are not inevitable. You can safely and effectively hack this aging process so that you can maintain your metabolism, boost energy and mood, and improve your libido and cognition. But first, let’s look at what is actually happening in your body.

All Signs Point to DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a steroid hormone made in your adrenal glands, a vital precursor for the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. It’s also known for its thermogenic properties, meaning it supercharges your body to produce heat. DHEA is often referred to as the “fountain of youth hormone” because levels peak in early adulthood and slowly decline as you age.

“It’s no coincidence that in your 40s, you get more tired, you gain more weight in your midsection, your libido drops, and your overall mojo drags,” says Dr. Vinita Tandon, Lifeforce’s Medical Director and board certified endocrinologist. “You’re essentially being sabotaged by low hormone levels.”

Replenishing your DHEA levels can help, but it isn’t about recapturing your youth. Think back to your teenage years and how out of control your hormones were. Getting you back to those days is not the goal. The right hormone balance should make you feel better than 16-year-old you, and certainly wiser, calmer, and way less angsty. 

“We’re not here to turn back the hands of time and take you from your 50-year-old listless self to the 20-year-old you,” says Dr. Hector Lopez, Lifeforce’s Scientific and Innovation Advisor and dietary supplement formulation expert. “But we know that maintaining optimal DHEA levels can help someone who is looking to perform at their peak for their age and stay as vital as possible for as long as possible.”

Get Your Mojo Back with Lifeforce DHEA

Suppose your usual wellness routine isn’t cutting it anymore, and your blood work (like from the Lifeforce Diagnostic) reveals suboptimal DHEA levels. In that case, DHEA supplements can be an effective way to optimize sexual function, maintain a healthy metabolism, and balance out your hormones, says Dr. Tandon. It’s also been shown to promote bone health

“If your hormones are low, you will be spinning your wheels with diet and exercise and get frustrated,” says Dr. Tandon. “Replenishing your DHEA levels helps set you up for success so you can break through that wall that’s associated with getting older and see results.”

The key is using a high-quality supplement. Many supplements available over the counter contain more fillers than the active ingredient. And even when they do include the star ingredient, most DHEA supplements include only DHEA at high doses. Lifeforce DHEA is a premium, broad-spectrum formula that includes a low dose of DHEA, along with 7-keto DHEA and pregnenolone (more on those below) for a more holistic approach. “The low dosage allows us to be more precise with each individual and their specific needs so that it can work with a broad range of scenarios,” says Dr. Lopez.

As for the supporting cast members in Lifeforce DHEA, pregnenolone is the mother hormone to DHEA and other steroid hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol. In addition to prompting your body to produce more of its own DHEA, a pregnenolone supplement can enhance mood, brain function, memory, and sleep.

The other cast member is 7-keto DHEA, a molecule that’s created when DHEA breaks down. This is the piece of the puzzle that can boost metabolism and help you lose those stubborn extra pounds or prevent the scale-creep in the first place. Animal studies suggest that 7-keto oral supplements can promote thermogenesis, an important stage of the metabolic processes that makes your body burn calories more efficiently. In other clinical studies, overweight people lost more weight when taking 7-keto DHEA daily along with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. 

Lifeforce DHEA

The Right Dose for You

Why grab a generic fix, when you can get a dosage customized to you? First, we’ll just need to measure your baseline via the Lifeforce Diagnostic. After reviewing your DHEA levels and other factors, like​​ your gender, age, and condition, your Lifeforce clinician will determine the most effective dose of Lifeforce DHEA for you. Depending on your needs, your dosage can be:

  • DHEA, 10-60 mg

  • 7-keto DHEA, 5-30 mg

  • Pregnenolone, 15-90 mg

Since your body makes DHEA primarily in the morning, taking DHEA before noon will best mimic your circadian rhythm, Dr. Lopez recommends. Everything else in your routine can remain normal. The clinical team at Lifeforce will monitor your DHEA levels over time to ensure you’re getting the proper dosage. 

“DHEA continues to decline as you get older, so we want to check your levels every six to 12 months to keep you optimized,” says Dr. Tandon. “Lifeforce DHEA is safe and has no medical risks so it can be a mainstay product to help support long-term healthy hormone function.”
Learn more about Lifeforce DHEA here.

This article was medically reviewed by: 

  • Vinita Tandon, MD, ABIM Board Certified in Endocrinology and Metabolism  

  • Kerri Masutto, MD, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner