Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation has been anecdotally considered as a tool to improve body composition and health status. We aimed to verify the impact of DHEA supplementation on traditional measurements of body composition and blood pressure (BP) due to their clinical applicability.
A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials was conducted based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
Regarding anthropometric characteristics, DHEA supplementation did not change body weight (weighted mean difference (WMD): -0.16 kg, 95% CI: -1.02 to 0.70, p = 0.72) or body mass index (WMD: -0.18 kg/m2, 95% CI: -0.48 to 0.12, p = 0.24), but increased lean body mass (WMD: 0.45 kg, 95% CI: 0.15 to 0.75, p = 0.004) and decreased fat mass (WMD: -0.85%, 95% CI: -1.18 to -0.51, p = 0.000), when compared to control groups. Neither systolic (WMD: 0.98 mm Hg, 95% CI: -2.31 to 4.29, p = 0.56) nor diastolic BP were significantly changed (WMD: -1.62 mm Hg, 95% CI: -5.49 to 2.24, p = 0.49).
Our findings demonstrate that DHEA supplementation increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass, but debate persists when translating the results into clinical benefit. Lastly, DHEA supplementation had a neutral effect on BP.