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Nugenix Natural DHEA Support Review
Natural DHEA Support is a new product by Nugenix formulated to support healthy DHEA levels which purportedly results in several ergogenic-benefits.
The label reads, “Research suggests that supplementing DHEA may help support memory, lean muscle mass, sex drive, bones, and high energy levels.” This product endorsement doesn’t seem too convincing.
I was willing to give Nugenix Natural DHEA Support a shadow of a doubt, and I decided to investigate the ingredients to determine its efficacy.
What’s Under the Lid?
Nugenix Natural DHEA Support contains several ingredients, and some are listed in a proprietary DHEA Absorption Complex proprietary blend.
Vitamin E (30 IU)
Vitamin E’s ability to promote weight loss and ameliorate cognitive function is debated.
One animal study administered 1 g/kg of vitamin E and 1 mL/kg body weight containing .35 mol/kg body weight DHEA to rats over a 5 week period, which would equal 5x the vitamin E required amounts for growing rats.
Researchers conclude, “Rats supplemented with vitamin E alone had smaller retroperitoneal fat pads and less carcass lipid than did control rats.”
When rats were given both DHEA and vitamin E, researchers noted rats did not experience significant effects on body weight, food intake, or carcass composition to rats treated with DHEA alone. 
Another study analyzed vitamin E’s effects on cognitive decline. Over a 2 year period, 341 patients with Alzheimer’s disease of moderate severity were given either 2,000 IU/day vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol) or a placebo. Researchers reveal vitamin E significantly delayed functional deterioration and the need for institutionalization. 
However, a clinical trial involving primarily healthy older women were given 600 IU vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) every other day or a placebo found supplements provided no apparent cognitive benefits. 
Vitamin E was studied for its effects on serum DHEA and neopterin levels in elderly subjects. The study failed to show any effects, and research shows “vitamin E does not substantially alter the immunocompetence markers DHEA and neopterin.” 
DHEA (50 mg)
DHEA is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and functions as a precursor to male and female sex hormones.  Its ergogenic-enhancing abilities, while promising, are debated. K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., states in a Mayo Clinic article, “In theory, taking DHEA supplements to maintain DHEA levels could slow the aging process. Research hasn’t proved this to be true, however.” 
DHEA treatment was shown to significantly reduce final body weights in rats. 
Another study shows DHEA supplementation in elderly patients 50 years and older. One examination showed improvements in handgrip strength, another showed improvements in chest press. Two individuals showed improvements in leg press, and one other subject improved in knee extension and flexion tests.
However, the study states, “similar numbers of studies had negative results for each of these endpoints. Five studies examined measures of physical function and performance. Only one showed improvement in composite score measuring physical performance.” Researchers say DHEA on muscle strength and physical function in older adults remains inconclusive. 
DHEA was analyzed for its effects on bone mineral density. Both older men and women with low DHEA levels were supplemented with 50 mg/d or a placebo for 1 year. The average changes in hip and spine bone mineral density ranged from 1.1 to 1.6%. Compared with placebo, DHEA replacement increased serum DHEA, testosterone, free testosterone index, estradiol, estrone, free estrogen indicies, and IGF-1. Researchers say the increases in hip bone mineral density were mediated primarily by increases in serum estradiol rather than direct effects of DHEA. 
DHEA Absorption Complex (145 mg)
This proprietary blend includes ingredients like antioxidants Alpha lipoic acid and BerryVin. Alpha lipoic acid potentially improves brain function. However, evidence is lacking. 
While ingredients may increase natural DHEA levels, research supporting DHEA claims are yet to be consistently substantiated.
Recommended Use and Side Effects
The manufacturer recommends taking 1 capsule daily with water.
Natural DHEA Support is not recommended for individuals under 18 years old. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing.
Additionally, Nugenix suggests consulting a physician before use if you have, or have a family history of prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, heart disease, low cholesterol (HDL), or if you are using any additionally dietary supplements, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter drugs.
The label informs users there are several side effects associated with exceeding recommended servings. These side effects include acne, hair loss, hair growth on the face (in women), aggressiveness, irritability, and increased levels of estrogen.
The company warns users to discontinue use and call physician if rapid heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, or other similar symptoms occur.
Pricing and Availability
Nugenix Natural DHEA Support will be sold on the Nugenix official website in the near future. Until then, Natural DHEA Support bottles (30 capsules) may be purchased through various other supplement websites. Prices range from $15.99 to $19.99.
More About the Manufacturer
Nugenix is a brand of Direct Digital LLC. Direct Digital is a direct response company based in Boston, MA and Charlotte, NC, and was formed in 2009.
While the company, Direct Digital LLC., is not BBB accredited, the brand is, receiving an A rating. There were 24 complaints filed against Nugenix, all of which have been closed in the last 12 months.
Most complaints stemmed from the company’s auto-ship program on Nugenix products purchased through the 14-day trial supply offered through the official website.
Other brands associated with Direct Digital LLC. are Instaflex, Lumiday, and Luminite.
Is Nugenix Natural DHEA Support a Good Choice?
The ingredients in Natural DHEA Support show promise, but I would wait for additional clinical studies to provide more information to solidify DHEA’s effects. Also, there are no Nugenix Natural DHEA Support user reviews, so its effectiveness is unknown.
However, the price is affordable. If you are interested in Nugenix Natural DHEA Support, consult your physician before purchasing.
 Michael K. McIntosh, Allan H. Goldfarb, Linda N. Curtis, and Pam S. Cote. “Vitamin E Alters Hepatic Antioxidant Enzymes in Rats Treated with Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).” J. Nutr. February 1, 1993vol. 123 no. 2 216-224
 Sano M, Ernesto C, Thomas RG, Klauber MR, Schafer K, Grundman M, et al. “A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzehimer’s disease.” N Engl J Med 1997;336:1216-22.
 Kang JH, Cook N, Manson J, Buring J, Grodstein F. “A randomized trial of vitamin E supplementation and cognitive function in women.” Arch Intern Med 2006;166:2462-8.
 Jan van Amsterdam et al. “The Effect of Vitamin E Supplementation on Serum DHEA and Neopterin Levels in Elderly Subjects.” Int. J. Vitamin. Nutr. Res., 25(5), 2005. Available from: http://medcontent.metapress.com/content/a188676170800058/fulltext.pdf?page=1
 “DHEA Supplements.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/dhea-supplements
 “DHEA: Evidence for anti-aging claims is weak.” Mayo Clinic. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dhea/HA00084
 Baker WL, Karan S. Kenny AM. “Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on muscle strength and physical function in older adults: a systematic review.” J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Jun;59(6):997-1002. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03410.x. Epub 2011 Jun 7. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21649617
 Jankowski CM et al. “Increases in bone mineral density in response to oral dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in older adults appear to be mediated by serum estrogens.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Dec;93(12):4767-73. doi: 10.1210/jc.2007-2614. Epub 2008 Sep 23. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18812486
 “Alpha-lipoic acid.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Available from: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/alphalipoic-acid