Ageless Forever Anti-Aging News Blog

DHEA supplementation in older adults helps reverse arterial aging

  • Published in DHEA

When it comes to health promotion and longevity, DHEA is a supplement which deserves more attention than it has been getting.

DHEA levels (the main circulating form of DHEA in the bloodstream is DHEAS) decrease approximately 80% between ages 25 and 75 year.[1, 2]This large decline in DHEA has led to interest in the possibility that aging related DHEA deficiency may play a role in the deterioration in physiological and metabolic functions with aging, and in the development of chronic diseases.

In support of this, it has been reported that DHEA level is negatively correlated with mortality and risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) (i.e. lower DHEA(S) levels are associated with higher mortality and CVD risk).[3-5]More recently it has been found that a steep decline or extreme variability over time in DHEA(S) levels is associated with higher mortality, more so than baseline DHEA(S) levels.[6]

Aging not only reduces DHEA(S) levels, but also results in an increase in arterial stiffness [7, 8], which is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and mortality.[9-11]

It has been reported that DHEA levels are inversely associated with arterial stiffness (i.e. lower DHEA levels are associated with increased arterial stiffness. [7, 12, 13] Therefore, it is possible that DHEA replacement in older adults could reduce arterial stiffness, and thereby contribute to reduction in CVD and mortality...

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Can Age-Related Declines in Testosterone Levels be Prevented or Reversed?

It is well-documented that testosterone levels decline with age in men.

After the age of 40 years, total testosterone decreases on average -4 ng/dL ( -0.124 nmol/L) per year [1] or 1.6% per year [2], and bioavailable testosterone by -2 to 3% per year. [2]

In older men (over 60 years of age), the average rate of decrement in total testosterone levels has been found to be 110 ng/dL every decade.[3]

However, the relative contributions of changes in health and lifestyle to that decline have not been adequately evaluated. A notable study was set out to investigate this...

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to establish the relative importance of aging, health, and lifestyle in contributing to the testosterone decline in aging men.[4]

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Does Testosterone Therapy Really Increase the Risk of Heart Attack?

A few days ago, Jan 29th 2014, a controversial study [1] was published showing that men aged 65 years and older, had a two-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the 90 days after filling an initial TT

prescription, regardless of cardiovascular disease history. Among younger men below 65 years of age with a history of heart disease, the study reported two to three-fold increased risk of MI in the 90 days following an initial TT prescription. 

This study has stirred up heated discussions and media headlines. Let's dissect it and look under the hood... 

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Blood Cholesterol Testing - don't let the routine standard lipid panel fool you!

 

The mere word “blood cholesterol” strikes horror in many people. We have been indoctrinated since the well-known Framingham Study in the 1980s that the higher the blood cholesterol level, the higher the risk of heart disease.[1-3] However, much has been discovered in medical research since then. 
 
Today there is compelling evidence showing that strict reliance on the traditional cholesterol test – aka the standard lipid panel - that is routinely run in primary care, can falsely indicate that you're fine, even when you aren't. 
 
Here you will find out what to look for when interpreting your cholesterol levels...
 
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Fish oil supplementation - benefits for young healthy adults

Fish oil is well known for protecting against development and progression of cardiovascular disease in high risk individuals, mostly middle-age and older.[1-4] A notable recent study shows that fish oil supplementation also confers health benefits in young healthy adults.[5]

Young healthy males, aged 21-24 years, were given a fish oil supplement providing 2 g EPA and 1 g DHA per day for 3 months. It was found that the fish oil supplementation significantly reduced fasting blood triglycerides (i.e. blood fats) by a whopping 38% (from 86 mg/dL to 54 mg/dL) and also improved the total cholesterol/HDL ratio, by reducing it from 3.25 to 3.05.

Relevance of blood triglycerides and the total cholesterol/HDL ratio for cardiovascular disease

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Testosterone Levels, Testosterone Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk in Men

Hypogonadism, also known as testosterone deficiency, is increasing in prevalence worldwide. While a rapidly expanding body of research is documenting the detrimental health consequences of hypogonadism, at the same time there is a prevailing concern and misunderstanding about the effects of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular risk.
 
In this article I present a summary of a recently published comprehensive review on the association of hypogonadism with cardiovascular risk factors, and the effect of testosterone therapy on those risk factors.[1]
 
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Efficacy and safety of injectable testosterone undecanoate (Aveed or Nebido) for the treatment of hypogonadism

Since its approval in 2004, many clinical studies have been conducted with testosterone undecanoate, the first long-acting injectable form of testosterone.
 
Testosterone undecanoate has been proven to have an excellent safety profile and need only be administered four times annually to produce stable testosterone levels.[1]
 
Long-term studies have validated the clinical efficacy of testosterone undecanoate in maintaining stable therapeutic levels of testosterone and safely conferring the desired benefits of androgen replacement.[1]
 
Here I summarize the results from a comprehensive meta-analysis of all uncontrolled and placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) demonstrating the effect of injectable testosterone undecanoate on multiple clinical outcomes.[2]
 
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Testosterone Boosting Medications and Cardiovascular Risk - a systematic review and meta-analysis

Accumulating evidence shows beneficial effect of testosterone therapy on a wide range of health outcomes, including inflammation, insulin sensitivity, muscle mass, body fat mass, lipid profiles,  endothelial, bone mineral density, energy and vitality, mood, sexual function and overall quality of life. [1-9]
 
Despite this, concerns have been raised that testosterone therapy could have detrimental effects on cardiovascular disease.
 
In this article I summarize results from a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis, the largest to date, of all placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on the effect of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular-related outcomes.[10] 
 
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Cardiovascular Risks and Elevations of Blood DHT Levels Vary by Testosterone Preparation

 

 

 

The cardiovascular effects of testosterone and testosterone therapy are subject to intense investigation in medical research and have recently generated heated discussions among healthcare professionals. 
 
While the main focus has been on testosterone per se, it is important to remember that testosterone is both a hormone in its own right, and a pro-hormone that gets converted to both estradiol and DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Estradiol and DHT exert effects themselves that are different from the effects of testosterone.
 
Therefore, when analyzing the effects of testosterone, especially supplemental testosterone administered as testosterone replacement therapy, it is critical to take into consideration how it affects downstream testosterone metabolites like estradiol and DHT.
 
Here I will present results from a recent systematic review and meta-analysis that specifically investigated how different routes of testosterone therapy administration (i.e different testosterone preparations) affect blood levels of testosterone and espcially DHT , and how this in turn relates to cardiovascular adverse events.[1]
 
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Testosterone, Mortality and Longevity

Population studies show that men with low or low-normal testosterone levels are at an increased risk of mortality compared to those with higher levels, and that cardiovascular disease accounts for the greater proportion of deaths in men with low testosterone.[1] 
 
Here I summarize a medical review paper which addressed the following two questions: [1]
 
1.  Is testosterone deficiency directly involved in the pathogenesis of these conditions or is it merely a biomarker of ill health and the severity of underlying disease processes?
 
2.  Does testosterone replacement therapy retard disease progression and ultimately enhance the clinical prognosis and survival?
 
Read more...
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Dr. Pierce's Medical Organization Affiliations

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