Break an addiction? Supplementation with 100 milligrams of DHEA per day increases your chance of success
If you would like to quit an addictive habit in the new year, consider supplementation with DHEA. According to a human study published in Addiction Biology in 2015, supplementation with 100 mg DHEA/day makes breaking addiction patterns less difficult.
Addiction & DHEA
In 2008, researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel published a small study in which heroin users tried to get rid of their addiction with the stimulant buprenorphine. [Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Jun;18(6):406-13.] Some of the subjects also received 100 milligrams of DHEA daily.
DHEA appeared to reduce withdrawal symptoms in most subjects. In theory that could very well. In laboratory animals, DHEA increases the amount of dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain. This reduces addiction behavior, and thus the addictive effect of drugs.
Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology wondered wether DHEA supplementation could increase the chances of drug users seeking to break their addiction. They recruited 64 addicts who were treated in a prestigious clinic for at least a month, and gave half of them a placebo every day during their stay. The other half of the subjects took 100 milligrams of DHEA every day.
The Israelis used a product of the American Biosynergy Health Alternatives. [biosynergy.com] By the way, Biosynergy did not sponsor the study. The study was funded by the Israeli Anti-Doping Authority.
Of the study participants who took DHEA, 12 percent had started using drugs again 16 months after their treatment. This was 38 percent in the placebo group. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant.
Click on the figure below for a larger version.
One month after leaving the clinic, the blood of the subjects who did not relapse into their drug use contained more DHEA sulfate [the main form of DHEA in the blood] than the blood of the subjects who did relapse.
An effect of DHEA on subsequent relapse can emerge even in treatment centers with an extensive [...] program", the Sraelis conclude. "In the placebo condition, the rate of reuse more than a year after leaving the rehabilitation center was about 38 percent, which is at the low end of the typically observed rates."
"The applicability of using DHEA in other types of interventions should be verified."
Addict Biol. 2016 Jul;21(4):885-94.
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