How to Take DHEA & 5-HTP

Updated April 07, 2017

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.

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

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

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.

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.


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.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Don Davis has been a professional writer since 1977. He has had numerous writing jobs, including writing news and features for the "Metrowest Daily News" and "Los Angeles Herald-Examiner." Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Indiana State University.