How to Take DHEA & 5-HTP

Written by don davis
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How to Take DHEA & 5-HTP
Both DHEA and 5-HTP are unregulated food supplements. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an adrenal hormone that can be converted in the human body into both testosterone and oestrogen. 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a metabolite of an amino acid (a kind of protein) called tryptophan. DHEA deficiency has been associated with some late-life conditions and diseases, including loss of lean muscle mass and diminished libido. 5-HTP is associated with the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Neither DHEA nor 5-HTP is regulated. DHEA, which is banned as a performance-enhancing drug by the World Anti-Doping Agency, may encourage muscle development. 5-HTP may be useful in treating depression, insomnia and Parkinson's disease.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Buy both DHEA and 5-HTP in capsule form made by manufacturers you trust.

  2. 2

    Buy 25-mg capsules of DHEA and 50-mg capsules of 5-HTP. Store both substances in a cool, dry place.

  3. 3

    Take 25 mg of DHEA two to four times a day with food and water as a food supplement. Stop taking DHEA if you experience heart palpitations.

  4. 4

    Take 50 mg of 5-HTP twice a day with food and water as a food supplement. 5-HTP is often recommended as an untested alternative to serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac. Stop taking 5-HTP if you begin to experience unexplained muscle soreness.

Tips and warnings

  • An apparent contaminant in some batches of 5-HTP has been associated with a rare muscle disease called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome.
  • Some sources classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid that may contribute to prostrate enlargement, gynaecomastia, hair loss and may exacerbate certain cancers such as prostrate cancer.

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