Does taking DHEA supplements to increase testosterone also raise Blood Pressure?

Q:  Does taking DHEA supplements increase Blood Pressure?  I’m 66 and tried taking DHEA to help my testosterone level.  I’ve read conflicting reports on the effect of DHEA on BP.  My BP seemed to elevate above typical while using the DHEA and I stopped using it.

A:  It’s not surprising that you have read conflicting reviews about DHEA, since there is minimal evidence proving that DHEA supplements can achieve its proclaimed benefits: improve sex drive, build muscle, fight aging and Alzheimer’s disease, low bone density, heart disease, cervical cancer and much more.

More importantly, these supplements do present some risks namely, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), increased blood pressure.  It’s good that you stopped your usage and you should consider speaking with your doctor about other options, especially if you have high blood pressure and are taking medication.  Other possible side effects of DHEA are:

  • Hair loss
  • Stomach upset High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Rapid or irregular heart beat
  • Insomnia
  • Unfavorable changes in cholesterol levels

It’s believed that the side effects may be a result from the DHEA raising the levels of testosterone and estrogen in a person’s bod

There are no studies on the long-term effects of DHEA.  Based on the few studies that have been conducted, DHEA can cause higher than normal levels of androgens and estrogens in the body, and theoretically may increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and other hormone-sensitive cancers. Therefore, it is also not recommended for regular use without supervision by a licensed health professional.

Other solutions:

If you want to increase your testosterone levels, the most effective, safe and natural way to achieve this goal is by exercising and losing weight.  Studies have shown that losing weight will increase testosterone levels, but it is not clear to experts why this happens. As for exercise, while physical activity in general improves testosterone, weight lifting or other resistance exercises tend to increase testosterone the most.

Please keep in mind that testosterone declines with age and testosterone test standards are based on young men.  Therefore, what may be low according to the test, may be normal for a man above 60.  Many men with so-called low testosterone have a lot of energy, libido and muscle mass.  Those who don’t, it is not necessarily connected to low testosterone levels.  So, it’s best to speak with a doctor.

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