DHEA supplementation in older men and women

Effects of replacement dose of dehydroepiandrosterone in men and women of advancing age.

Aging in humans is accompanied by a progressive decline in the secretion of the adrenal androgens dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DS), paralleling that of the GH-insulin-like growth factor-I (GH-IGF-I) axis. Although the functional relationship of the decline of the GH-IGF-I system and catabolism is recognized, the biological role of DHEA in human aging remains undefined. To test the hypothesis that the decline in DHEA may contribute to the shift from anabolism to catabolism associated with aging, we studied the effect of a replacement dose of DHEA in 13 men and 17 women, 40-70 yr of age. A randomized placebo-controlled cross-over trial of nightly oral DHEA administration (50 mg) of 6-month duration was conducted. During each treatment period, concentrations of androgens, lipids, apolipoproteins, IGF-I, IGF-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), IGFBP-3, insulin sensitivity, percent body fat, libido, and sense of well-being were measured. A subgroup of men (n = 8) and women (n = 5) underwent 24-h sampling at 20-min intervals for GH determinations. DHEA and DS serum levels were restored to those found in young adults within 2 weeks of DHEA replacement and were sustained throughout the 3 months of the study. A 2-fold increase in serum levels of androgens (androstenedione, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone) was observed in women, with only a small rise in androstenedione in men. There was no change in circulating levels of sex hormone-binding globulin, estrone, or estradiol in either gender. High density lipoprotein levels declined slightly in women, with no other lipid changes noted for either gender. Insulin sensitivity and percent body fat were unaltered. Although mean 24-h GH and IGFBP-3 levels were unchanged, serum IGF-I levels increased significantly, and IGFBP-1 decreased significantly for both genders, suggesting an increased bioavailability of IGF-I to target tissues. This was associated with a remarkable increase in perceived physical and psychological well-being for both men (67%) and women (84%) and no change in libido. In conclusion, restoring DHEA and DS to young adult levels in men and women of advancing age induced an increase in the bioavailability of IGF-I, as reflected by an increase in IGF-I and a decrease in IGFBP-1 levels. These observations together with improvement of physical and psychological well-being in both genders and the absence of side-effects constitute the first demonstration of novel effects of DHEA replacement in age-advanced men and women.

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3 comments
Tuba says April 6, 2016

I’m on the band wagon. I start the 50 mgs at bedtime today. What I liked is the study’s report that it did not raise estradiol levels nor impact libido.

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    Tuba says June 13, 2016

    I changed my mind and started with 25mg a day. That raised me about 270 points. 50mg might be too much so now I am trying 35mg daily.

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      Tuba says June 27, 2016

      As one can read above 25 mg a day raised me to 270. And instead of going to 50 mg a day (which some studies did) I went to 35mg a day. Within a week I was have occasional heart palpitations, on lift days after lifting which was also within an hour of taking the higher dose. So I went back to 25 mg a day. Another possibility is to 25 in the morning and 10 or 25 in the evening. However, I read our natural increase is usually in the morning thus supplementing should be done in the morning.

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