Being a scrawny, scrimpy, thin-necked geek isn’t the best way to get eyes on you in the presence of the opposite sex. And it sure as heck won’t impress any drill sergeants or instructors. So it is in your best interest to tone up, tighten up and get as swole as you can.
This often leads down the road to supplementation. One supplement in particular that’s often used for bulking up is DHEA. Is it effective? Arguably, yes. Is it dangerous? Well, that’s what you’re about to find out, grunt! As with anything, there are two sides to every story and when used in excess, DHEA can do more harm than good.
What is DHEA, first of all?
We might as well start right at the very beginning, in case you are somewhat new to the world of supplements. DHEA is actually a substance produced naturally in the body through the adrenal glands.
If you happen to be a science or physiology geek, “DHEA” stands for dehydroepiandrosterone. It sounds pretty nasty doesn’t it? But don’t be afraid.
Your body requires this all-important substance for proper function. It is the precursor to testosterone, which as you are well aware, it the master hormone that allows you to build and maintain muscle, and get your soldier below the belt ready for duty.
Supplemental DHEA is produced from soy and yam extract and then formulated into capsules of another form that is easy to ingest.
People who notice a decline in sex drive, a loss in muscle mass, energy or strength, often look to DHEA to turn things around. Results vary, depending on the person. But on the average this stuff is effective.
Then you have the everyday person who frequents the gym and wants to get a bit of a competitive advantage and add more muscle to their frame.
When used strategically, they can do just that and live happily ever after. But, there are conditions.
Mush like any other supplement, DHEA should be taken with a very open eye and ear. Just because something gives you results when you start taking it, doesn’t mean more will get you even better results. It means you’re a stupid jarhead, just waiting for danger to come knocking on your door.
Let alone taking excessive amounts, you should be cautious of side effects cropping up anyway.
If you do decide to take too much, here are some of the dangers you set yourself up for:
- Increased risk of hormone-derived cancer like prostate and breast
- Lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
- Hair loss
- Exacerbation of mood disorders and depression
- Male characteristics in women like hair growth in unwanted places
- It should also be noted that DHEA can have interactions with medications you might be taking. Drugs used for bipolar disorder, mental disorders, convulsions and any form of hormone therapy are at the top of the list.
The Best Approach
Although DHEA supplements have a certain dosage, you are best served going to your doctor and getting a blood test. This way you can find out exactly where your levels are and he can prescribe you a dose that is safe for your body.
The hope and poke method just isn’t as safe a strategy as you would think. And in any case, you should pay close attention to how your body reacts when you take it. Obviously, if you go heavy, you can suffer the consequences.
Just like you would if you went too heavy with your weights. In one case you risk physical injury and in the other, you risk internal injury. Keep it regulated and you should be just fine.