New Bill would Criminalize DHEA

A new bill, S. 1137, introduced May 26, 2005 by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) would add DHEA to the list of federally controlled anabolic steroids. Introducing the bill, he said: “Yet as I speak, on the shelves of health stores across the country, sits one anabolic steroid that can be bought by anyone, at any age, without the need of a doctor’s prescription. Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is an anabolic steroid that once ingested, the body turns into testosterone. DHEA like all other steroids, may cause a number of long term physical and psychological effects, including: heart disease, cancer, stroke, liver damage, severe acne, baldness, dramatic mood swings, aggression etc.” Experts disagree. “DHEA is a steroid that may play a role as an ‘anti-aging’ hormone. There is evidence to suggest that in older individuals, DHEA supplementation may enhance body composition and perhaps general well-being; however, no such effect is found in younger individuals. Clearly, it can serve as another tool to maintain or improve optimal health and/or fitness. But the notion that it causes a myriad of purported side effects (e.g., liver damage, stroke, heart disease, cancer, etc.) has absolutely no basis in fact,” says Jose Antonio, Ph.D., CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. DHEA has been an enormously popular anti-aging supplement for middle-aged and elderly Americans. Mature consumers will likely refute the adverse health effects claimed by Sen. Grassley and be offended by his initiative to criminalize their conduct.