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Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)


DHEA is currently available as a nutritional supplement. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved its use for specific disorders. Because it is classified as a supplement, it can be purchased without a prescription. Since DHEA is a precursor to the production of testosterone, it could be considered an exogenous androgenic or anabolic steroid. Use of these steroids to enhance performance is banned from sports organizations and the military. At low doses, DHEA has a minimal effect on urine testosterone levels (the test used to screen for use of these drugs); however, at high doses this hormone would result in a "positive" test.

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