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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 May;84(5):1527-33.

Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in aging humans.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia 65212, USA.


Because so much medical and media attention has been drawn to the alleged benefits of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester (DHEAS), it is important to evaluate the effects of replacement therapy objectively using double blind, cross-over, randomized research methodology. In this 9-month study, healthy older men (n = 39) received replacement dose DHEA. Lean body mass, blood hematology, chemistry and endocrine values, as well as urological and psychological data were measured. Data showed some mild and temporary, but significant, changes during oral use of 100 mg DHEA for 3 months compared with placebo taken for 3 months. Body composition did not change during the 6 months of treatment, nor did any urological parameters. Concomitant with the endocrine changes, some small but, significant, variations in blood values (blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid, alanine transaminase, cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, and potassium) were found. After cessation of DHEA and placebo, followed by 3 months of no treatment, all values previously found to be altered returned to entry baseline. Well publicized effects of the drug reported by others, such as a sense of well-being or improved sexual function, were not found in this study.

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