DHEA is a naturally occurring steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands by both men and women. Production of it decreases with age. DHEA is not recommended for people under 40 years of age, unless DHEA levels are known to be low (<130 mg/dl in women and <180 mg/dl in men). Therapeutic doses of 10-50mg of DHEA are used by many mature individuals (age 40+) for increase in perceived physical and psychological well-being (improved quality of sleep, more relaxed, increased energy, better ability to handle stress, improved depressive state)1. For men or women who have either adrenal insufficiency or hypopituitarism, although gluco-and mineralocorticosteroid replacement is needed, 50 mg a day of DHEA is sufficient for replacement2. Studies have shown no dangerous side effects from DHEA supplementation when taken in normal recommended therapeutic doses3. With respect to potential increase of the urinary testosterone/epitestosterone ratio (T/E) through DHEA supplementation, studies support DHEA use of 50mg/day or less having only slightly affected levels for a short period of time (2–5 h) without exceeding the 6:1 current acceptable ratio for NANBF and the IPE. DHEA’s effectiveness as an anabolic or energy-producing agent remains unproven.
Gregg Valentino is one of the most controversial, yet popular bodybuilding icons, and is considered by some as the biggest bodybuilder ever. He holds the record for the biggest biceps in the world at 28". He started bodybuilding at the age of 13 and after over 23 years of training naturally, Gregg decided to experiment with steroids (and some say he's injecting Synthol). During this time, his arms grew from an impressive 100% natural 21" to an inhuman 28". After years of steroids injections, his body finally fought back—his bicep "exploded.” He eventually went to jail for steroid possession and is now rebuilding his life.
Also as I allowed myself to fall into the trap of the whole “eat big to get big” dogma, whilst doing a pathetically low volume of lifting such as that found in 3×5 programs, I do feel that others (especially very young guys who don’t know any lifters IRL) will continue to get suckered into GOMAD whilst doing routines that last no longer than 20-25 minutes and just make them hate what they see in the mirror. I know I did. I was fat, injured, still had skinny arms and didn’t lift again for years until more recent times. That was once the last of my tendonosis had cleared up, haha.