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Can I Take Testosterone and DHEA Together?

In this article we will answer the question can I take testosterone and DHEA together.  We will mostly discuss the use of DHEA but most of the information does apply to pregnenolone as well. These two hormones have separate effects on the body.  We don't look at pregnanalone in much depth but most of the effects of DHEA-s overlap with pregnanalone. 

We will mostly look at some of the benefits of DHEA and why one would consider taking it in conjunction with testosterone.  We also consider why you might not want to take DHEA.   

If you are interested in understanding wether or no you can take testosterone and DHEA together, keep reading.

Can I Take Testosterone and DHEA Together?

So can you take testosterone and DHEA together? The short answer to this question is yes you can.  However, what we want to do first is answer some general questions about DHEA like:

  • Why someone would take DHEA and testosterone together in the first place?
  • Why would you would take DHEA in general?
  • What are you going to get out of taking DHEA?
  • What are the potential side effects of taking DHEA and testosterone together?

There are two two general reasons why people would take DHEA and maybe a third as well for females. The two main reasons across the board are for increased testosterone production and adrenal support. 

For adrenals the idea is that by supplying more DHEA the adrenal glands do not have to produce as much on their own.  DHEA then gets converted into testosterone through two enzymes as long as those enzymes are working properly.  DHEA turns into androstenedione which then can then turn into testosterone.   

From a pure symptom standpoint DHEA does seem to have some independent effects on libido (especially for females).  However it is hard to separate this away from the increase in testosterone that comes from taking DHEA.  If you are having libido issues, you may want to take DHEA for that reason independent of adrenal and testosterone support.  These are the two two main reasons for taking DHEA.

 

Taking Testosterone and DHEA Together

When you are on testosterone replacement therapy DHEA will help supply extra precursor for internal testosterone production.  Your body does make DHEA on it's own and taking testosterone does not affect DHEA production.  So if you are on testosterone replacement therapy and taking DHEA to support your overall androgen and testosterone production, it may not be doing much.  The theory is by taking more DHEA as a precursor it will keep internal testosterone production going.  The main enzyme that regulates testosterone production from DHEA sulfate is three beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.  If that enzyme is not working or slowed down for some reason, then you are not going to get much conversion of DHEA sulfate into androstenedione (which then goes on to make testosterone). 

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One of the things that regulates the that enzyme is the binding of hormones like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone to the androgen receptor.  When these hormones are more bound to the receptor, the signal is to down regulate the three beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzyme.  Keep in mind the exact regulation of this enzyme is not fully understood. and there is some tissue specific differences for this enzyme as well.

So if you have high to moderate levels of testosterone already your DHEA may not get converted into testosterone.  The other thing is that DHEA has alternative pathways that it can go down.  It can get turned into progesterone and estrogen as well.  These conversions are regulated by that same enzyme and it is important to note that DHEA has other fates. 

Outside of supporting testosterone levels DHEA does seem to have an independent effect outside of testosterone.  It can help with energy levels and have effects in the brain in terms of libido.  So it helps with overall energy, drive, ambition and libido.  These may be independent of testosterone but it is hard to know for sure. 

Coming back to the question, "Can I Take Testosterone and DHEA Together?" Of course you can but the question is why.  If your energy libido and everything are already really good, it may not be worthwhile to add this. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are providing the bulk of the anabolic and androgenic effects. 

You could make the argument that providing extra DHEA will support androstenedione and other pre and post-testosterone hormones.  There is a good argument for that.  However from a symptom and clinical standpoint, you should ask what benefit is this providing?  That's the way I look at it and I don't think it provides much benefit if you are taking it with testosterone replacement. 

The other thing to consider is look at your actual DHEA sulfate levels.  There is a pretty broad range of DHEA sulfate levels.  The levels also vary with age and gender.  Generally we can say the range is about 90-500 mg/dl in a male from age 30 to 50.  As you get older the ranges are going to come down a little bit maybe around 400 mg/dl (on high end).  If your DHEA-s levels are below 250, you may want to add this to your regimen and see how much benefit it gives.  If it's not below 250, I would not expect it to add much benefit.  One person may notice more than the next depending on where their levels are staring from. 

So that should give you a better understanding of taking testosterone and DHEA together.  If you have questions about tis topic, leave it in the comment section below.  If you need help with your testosterone replacement therapy, click on the link below to get started.  

 

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