Wellness Database: DHEA
DHEA is a hormone that can benefit strength.
DHEA May Improve Sexual Function and Frequency in Postmenopausal Women
Summary: DHEA therapy can improve sexual function in early postmenopausal women. Researchers recruited 48 healthy postmenopausal women aged 50-60 years in this study to evaluate the effects of different types of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) on sexual function, frequency of sexual intercourse, and quality of relationship in early postmenopausal women. Women with climacteric symptoms were uniformly randomized into three groups receiving either dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA 10 mg) daily, or daily oral estradiol (1 mg) plus dihydrogesterone (5 mg), or daily oral tibolone (2.5 mg) for 12 months. Women who refused hormonal therapy were treated with oral vitamin D (400 IU). The hormonal profile was evaluated before treatment and after 3, 6 and 12 months, and data collected via the McCoy Female Sexuality Questionnaire before treatment and after 12 months. Groups receiving DHEA or HRT reported a significant improvement in sexual function compared to baseline (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively) using the McCoy total score. The quality of relationship was similar at baseline and after 3, 6 and 12 months of treatment. There were significant increases in the numbers of episodes of sexual intercourse in the previous 4 weeks in women treated with DHEA, HRT and tibolone in comparison with the baseline value (p < 0.01, p < 0.05, p < 0.01, respectively). No changes in the McCoy score occurred in women receiving vitamin D. These results suggest that daily oral DHEA therapy at a dose of 10 mg, HRT and tibolone all provided a significant improvement in sexual function and frequency of sexual intercourse, in comparison with vitamin D in early postmenopausal women.
DHEA Improves Memory
RATIONALE: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been reported to enhance cognition in rodents, although there are inconsistent findings in humans.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of DHEA administration in healthy young men on episodic memory and its neural correlates utilising an event-related potential (ERP) technique.
METHODS: Twenty-four healthy young men were treated with a 7-day course of oral DHEA (150 mg b.d.) or placebo in a double blind, random, crossover and balanced order design. Subjective mood and memory were measured using visual analogue scales (VASs). Cortisol concentrations were measured in saliva samples. ERPs were recorded during retrieval in an episodic memory test. Low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) was used to identify brain regions involved in the cognitive task.
RESULTS: DHEA administration led to a reduction in evening cortisol concentrations and improved VAS mood and memory. Recollection accuracy in the episodic memory test was significantly improved following DHEA administration. LORETA revealed significant hippocampal activation associated with successful episodic memory retrieval following placebo. DHEA modified ERPs associated with retrieval and led to a trend towards an early differential activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
CONCLUSIONS: DHEA treatment improved memory recollection and mood and decreased trough cortisol levels. The effect of DHEA appears to be via neuronal recruitment of the steroid sensitive ACC that may be involved in pre-hippocampal memory processing. These findings are distinctive, being the first to show such beneficial effects of DHEA on memory in healthy young men.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Nov;188(4):541-51. Epub 2005 Oct 18. Psychobiology Research Group, School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
DHEA Supplementation Combined With Exercise May Improve Muscle Strength
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 87 elderly women (mean age: 76.6 years), results indicate that DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) supplementation in combination with exercise may improve lower extremity strength and function. The women received calcium and cholecalciferol and participated in 90-minute twice-weekly exercise regimens, in addition to supplementation with DHEA (50 mg/d) or placebo for a period of 6 months. At intervention end, significant gains in lower extremity strength were observed in the DHEA group, along with improvement in Short Physical Performance Battery score, a composite
score that focuses on lower extremity function. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "DHEA supplementation improved lower extremity strength and function in older, frail women involved in a gentle exercise program of chair aerobics or yoga."
"Dehydroepiandrosterone combined with exercise improves muscle strength and physical function in frail older women," Kenny AM, Burleson JA, et al, J Am Geriatr Soc, 2010; 58(9): 1707-14.
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