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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Dec;87(6):2274-83.

Effect of oral DHEA on serum testosterone and adaptations to resistance training in young men.

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  • 1Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Health and Human Performance, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.


This study examined the effects of acute dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) ingestion on serum steroid hormones and the effect of chronic DHEA intake on the adaptations to resistance training. In 10 young men (23 +/- 4 yr old), ingestion of 50 mg of DHEA increased serum androstenedione concentrations 150% within 60 min (P < 0.05) but did not affect serum testosterone and estrogen concentrations. An additional 19 men (23 +/- 1 yr old) participated in an 8-wk whole body resistance-training program and ingested DHEA (150 mg/day, n = 9) or placebo (n = 10) during weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8. Serum androstenedione concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) increased in the DHEA-treated group after 2 and 5 wk. Serum concentrations of free and total testosterone, estrone, estradiol, estriol, lipids, and liver transaminases were unaffected by supplementation and training, while strength and lean body mass increased significantly and similarly (P < 0.05) in the men treated with placebo and DHEA. These results suggest that DHEA ingestion does not enhance serum testosterone concentrations or adaptations associated with resistance training in young men.

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