Elderly subjects

The age-related decline in circulating DHEA(S) has led to a number of randomized trials to assess the effect of oral DHEA in otherwise healthy elderly subjects. In a first double blind placebo-controlled trial using a cross-over design 13 men and 17 women aged 40-70 years received either 50 mg DHEA or placebo for three months (and vice versa) (Morales et al. 1994). The subjects reported an improvement in wellbeing using a non-validated questionnaire for self-assessment of wellbeing. No change in insulin sensitivity and body composition was found. Bioavailable IGF-1 increased slightly during DHEA, whereas HDL-cholesterol decreased in women. Short-term (2 weeks) randomized double-blind studies by Wolf etal. (1997; 1998) failed to demonstrate any benefit of DHEA on wellbeing, mood and cognition. Similarly, in a double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over trial Arlt et al. (2001) found no effect of DHEA (50 mg/day) on mood, wellbeing and sexuality in 20 men aged 50-69 years after four months of therapy. In another placebo-controlled randomized crossover trial by van Niekerk etal. (2001) no effect of 50 mg/day DHEA for 13 weeks on wellbeing and cognition was found using a wide range of validated self-assessment questionnaires and standardized test batteries, respectively. No effect of DHEA on activities of daily living was found after three months of 100 mg DHEA/d in 39 men aged 60-84 years in another placebo-controlled crossover trial (Flynn etal. 1999).

In the largest study to date, Baulieu et al. (2000) studied the effects of 50 mg DHEA/day vs. placebo in a double-blind randomized parallel study including 140 men and 140 women aged 60-79 years. In general the results were disappointing. Neither wellbeing nor cognition was improved by DHEA using a wide range of validated tools. In women >70 years libido was increased and slight but significant gains in bone mineral density were observed in women but not in men.

Taking all studies on DHEA supplementation in elderly subjects together, the results show only very limited effects of DHEA compared to placebo. An important explanation for this lack of efficacy may be related to a selection bias. In almost all studies, only healthy subjects with excellent performance status at baseline were included, thereby leaving limited space for further improvement. However, from these studies it can be concluded that age-related low DHEA concentrations do not necessarily lead to impaired wellbeing, cognition and sexuality per se (Allolio and Arlt 2002). Thus an aging-associated decline in serum DHEA(S) differs by orders of magnitude from the very low DHEAS concentrations observed in adrenal insufficiency.

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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