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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Testosterone Thresholds and Muscle Mass Gains Needed to Enhance Muscle Strength and Function

In a previous article "Combined Testosterone and GH therapy for best results on body composition and safety profiles" I covered a study showing that testosterone replacement therapy alone produced significant gains in total lean body mass, leg/arm muscle mass, strength and aerobic endurance, together with significant reductions in whole-body and trunk fat. [1] 
 
In the same study, addition of GH (growth hormone) further enhanced these beneficial results. 
 
In a follow-up to that that study, the researchers looked deeper into the data with the following analyses: [20] 
 
- Pathway analysis to test the hypothesis that testosterone and GH affected muscle mass directly and that a threshold change in lean tissue (muscle) mass was needed to generate significant improvements in muscle performance and physical function. 
 
- Bootstrap analysis to determine threshold hormone levels associated with threshold changes in whole-body and appendicular lean mass that would be necessary for improving muscle performance and functional outcomes.
 
Here I report on the results of this insighful analysis...
 
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Does Sex Boost Testosterone Levels?

Testosterone is popularly known as the “sex hormone”, with “sex” referring to both its masculinizing effects that gives rise to sex differences between men and women, as well as sex (the activity).
 
In terms of the latter, testosterone is well known for its libido boosting effect, in both men [1-4] and women [5-9] regardless of age.
 
Testosterone increases sex drive even in older women, and has thus been designated as the "infallible aphrodisiac" as early as 1940.[10]
 
But does it work the other way around also… Does sexual activity increase testosterone levels? Let’s see what research shows…
 
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Hematocrit (blood thickness) elevation following testosterone therapy – does it increase risk of blood clots?

 

In discussions about side effects of testosterone treatment, prostate cancer and heart disease get most attention. However, as we have described in several study reports published here in the “Research News” section, the widespread fear of prostate cancer and heart disease is unfounded and not supported by medical research.

The expected potential side effect of testosterone treatment - which in fact is a therapeutic effect in men with anemia [1-3] - is an increased level of red blood cells, known as erythrocytosis or polycythemia.[4-7]  In the context of testosterone treatment, erythrocytosis and polycythemia are used interchangeably to refer to an abnormal increase of red blood cells or hematocrit, which may increase blood viscosity (“blood thickness”).[8, 9]


However, it should be pointed out that technically, erythrocytosis is just red blood cell elevation, while polycythemia involves elevation of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Using these terms as synonyms can cause confusion. In polycythemia, it is likely the increase in platelets that is the major culprit of blood clots.


Elevated hematocrit is the most common side-effect of testosterone treatment.[4-7] The clinical significance of a high hematocrit level is unclear, but it may theoretically be associated with an increased risk of thrombosis (blood clots).[4]

Here I summarize the results of an analysis of the effect of different testosterone preparations on hematocrit elevations, published in the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews.[10]

 
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Dr. Pierce's Medical Organization Affiliations

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