DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone that is made naturally in the body. We make it in our adrenal glands and our brain. According to the Mayo Clinic , DHEA leads to the production of estrogen in women. After age 30, DHEA levels in the body begin to decrease, which can lead to fertility issues, such as low libido and decreased egg quality. While this hormone has strong ties to fertility issues, a decrease in DHEA can also lead to other conditions later in life, such as Alzheimer's disease, depression, osteoporosis, and heart disease. DHEA supplements are synthesized in a lab and typically sell for less than $20 per 100-count bottle at vitamin stores. However, get your doctor's blessing before you begin taking the supplement because negative side effects are possible.
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DHEA increases a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications for depression also increase the brain chemical serotonin. Taking DHEA along with these medications for depression might increase serotonin too much and cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety. Do not take DHEA if you are taking medications for depression.
Some of these medications for depression include fluoxetine ( Prozac ), paroxetine ( Paxil ), sertraline ( Zoloft ), amitriptyline ( Elavil ), clomipramine ( Anafranil ), imipramine ( Tofranil ), and others.