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Obes Res. 1998 Jan;6(1):20-8.

The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone combined with a low-fat diet in spontaneously obese dogs: a clinical trial.

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Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison 53706, USA.


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been shown to have antiobesity activity in rodents and spontaneously obese dogs. This study evaluated the effect of DHEA or placebo combined with a low-fat/high-fiber diet in spontaneously obese dogs in a clinical trial. Spontaneously obese, euthyroid dogs, referred to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine for treatment of their obesity, were evaluated for percent overweight, rate of weight loss, serum cholesterol, plasma lipoprotein and serum biochemistry profiles, complete blood count, and endocrine profiles (T4, T3, cortisol, insulin, and DHEA-sulfate). DHEA-treated dogs had a significantly increased rate of actual and percent excess weight loss compared with placebo-treated dogs. Serum cholesterol decreased in both treatment groups; however, DHEA-treated dogs had a significantly greater reduction than placebo-treated dogs. DHEA-treated dogs had a significant 32% reduction in total plasma cholesterol, which was due to a 27% reduction in the lipoprotein fraction containing the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and a 50% reduction in the lipoprotein fraction containing the low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Placebo-treated dogs did not have a significant reduction in total plasma cholesterol or in the fraction containing LDL; however, they did have a significant 11% reduction in the fraction containing HDL. Significant decreases in serum T4 and T3 observed in dogs receiving DHEA were not noted in dogs receiving placebo. DHEA in combination with caloric restriction results in a faster rate of weight loss than does caloric restriction alone. In addition, DHEA has hypocholesterolemic activity, particularly affecting the lipoprotein fraction containing the LDL cholesterol.

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