DHEA might not be the anti-aging cure that many people thought it was. The hormone, which is an acronym for the naturally occurring hormone dehydroepiandrosterone, has an increased production in adulthood which gradually decreases as you age. Because it reduces this way, people have linked its decreased production to aging symptoms like cognitive impairment and decreases in muscle mass and bone density.

However, there has been little research that has backed this claim. Some small and limited research studies have linked it to minor benefits, but overall research doesn’t support its use as the an anti-aging miracle some claim it is. So, what’s the harm in taking DHEA for anti-aging, besides that fact that it’s unlikely to have any effect? Since it is a hormone, researchers are worried that it might be linked to hormone related cancers (e.g., prostate, ovarian, and breast). Additionally, it has been linked to a reduction of HDL (high density lipoproteins) or “good” cholesterol, facial hair in women, heart problems, acne, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.

So, with the lack of supporting research and the complications due to use, it looks like DHEA isn’t really a good option for anti-aging? Check out our Aging section for healthy tips on aging. Additionally, nothing beats a healthy lifestyle when it comes to anti-aging techniques. Check out the Nutrition & Exercise section for tips on being a healthier you. As always, check with your health care provider before you consider making any diet and exercise changes. They can help you determine what routines are best for your body and your lifestyle.