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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Relationship between Low Levels of Anabolic Hormones and Mortality in Older Men

The anabolic hormones testosterone, IGF-1 and DHEA (a pre-hormone) are receiving more and more attention by health professionals because the anabolic-catabolic imbalance that favors catabolism is a key factor in accelerated physical deterioration aging.[1, 2] Anabolic impairment can speed up the age-related decline in muscle mass and physical performance, increase in fat mass, development of insulin resistance, cardiovascular risk factors, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, conditions that in turn affect mortality.[3-18]

Interestingly, low levels of multiple anabolic hormones, rather than a single one, has a stronger association with age related muscle loss and the frailty syndrome. [19, 20] In men with chronic heart failure, deficiency of more than one anabolic hormone identifies patients with higher mortality rates.[21]

An interesting study sought to investigate the relationship between parallel deficiency of several anabolic hormones and mortality in a general population of older men, regardless of coexisting disease:[22]

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Watch Your Waist - it may shorten your life!

Your waistline not only makes or breaks your esthetic appearance; if you belly gets too large, it may greatly jeopardize your health and even longevity.

Waist circumference strongly correlates with abdominal obesity and is the most commonly used measure of body fat distribution.[1, 2] Many studies have found enlarged waist circumferences to be associated with all-cause mortality, in most cases independently of general obesity.[3-11]

Abdominal obesity (aka visceral obesity) appears to be more strongly associated with multiple chronic diseases than is gluteo-femoral obesity (fat deposition around the butt and thighs).[1] Increased waist circumference confers a health risk even in normal weight people.[12]

A notable large study investigated the association of waist circumference with mortality using intuitive 2 in (5 cm) increments for men and women, and also evaluated risk within narrow categories of body fatness (BMI). In addition, the study estimated years of life lost due to a large waist circumference.[13]


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The Androgen Study Group - Cutting Through Misleading Headlines and Exposing the Truth about Testosterone Therapy and Health

Recently several flawed studies, implicating that testosterone replacement therapy increases risk for heart attack and death, created large media headlines. This despite a large body of research evidence showing the contrary, ie. that testosterone replacement therapy decreases risk for heart disease and that higher testosterone levels are associated with reduced death rates. No wonder there is confusion and unnecessary concern and among healthcare providers and their patients.
 
In response to this, The Androgen Study Group was formed. The Androgen Study Group is a multidisciplinary group of androgen researchers and clinicians who are dedicated to education and accurate reporting on the science of testosterone deficiency in men and its treatment. With the media attention that testosterone therapy is attracting it is critical that clinical trials are properly conducted and analyzed, and that results are presented in a way that is not misleading. The mission of the Androgen Study Group is to ensure that the results of research on testosterone deficiency and its treatment is presented accurately and fairly in the medical literature as well as in public media.
 
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Association of IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1) with Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer

IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) is a peptide hormone, produced predominantly by the liver in response to pituitary GH (growth hormone).[1] IGF-1 is involved in a wide variety of physiological processes. In adults, IGF-1 has metabolic and anabolic effects, and it mediates many of the effects of GH.[2-4]
 
GH and IGF-1 levels are reduced with normal aging, a phenomenon called somatopause.[5-7] It has been suggested that somatopause is an age-related GH deficiency state.[5] Somatopause has been considered to contribute to physiological deterioration seen with aging, like reduced muscle mass, reduced exercise tolerance, decreased strength, osteoporosis, increased fat mass, elevated cardiovascular risk, impaired quality of life, cognitive/memory decline and reduced immunity.[7-12] These changes are similar to those seen in classic (non-aging related) GH deficiency (GHD).[13, 14]
 
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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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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?
 
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Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and mortality in men

The effect of testosterone replacement therapy on cardiovascular outcomes such as heart attack and stroke are controversial and have been generating heated discussions among clinicians as well as researchers. This, coupled with biased media sensationalism blowing up the supposed “dangers” of testosterone therapy has created great confusion among suffering men, who could gain tremendous health benefits from testosterone therapy.[1]
 
Here I report the results of a new study that examined the relationship between normalization of total testosterone levels with testosterone therapy and cardiovascular events as well as all-cause mortality, in patients without a previous history of heart attack and stroke.[2] This notable study was published in the European Heart Journal on August 6th, 2015.
 
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Testosterone levels, testosterone therapy and all-cause mortality in men with type 2 diabetes - impact of PDE5 inhibitors and statins

The prevalence of testosterone deficiency is higher in men with type 2 diabetes than among non-diabetic men [1-6], and testosterone deficiency is associated with increased mortality.[7, 8]
 
Type 2 diabetic men often have dyslipidemia [9] and erectile dysfunction [10, 11], and hence statins and phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5I) are widely used in these men.
 
Here I summarize the results of a study published in International Journal of Clinical Practice, which investigated the impact of testosterone levels and testosterone therapy on mortality, and assessed if this was affected by concomitant statin and PDE5I use.[12] 
 
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Dr. Pierce's Medical Organization Affiliations

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