DHEA Deemed ‘Effective Hormonal Replacement Treatment’ for Women – (09-10-01)

DHEA Deemed ‘Effective Hormonal Replacement Treatment’ for Women

Getting the idea? As mentioned numerous times, I am against using hormones in the body as a first resort to replace hormones that are low. In peri and postmenopausal women, balancing adrenal steroidogenisis should be the first plan of attack. This along can increase DHEA levels without exogenous administration. This lets the body find its own level instead of modulating it from outside. If this is unsuccessful, than a trial of DHEA is warranted (can also be used if adrenocortical testing indicates adrenal exhaustion with no DHEA or cortisol being produced). The author comes to a dangerous conclusion at the end of the article, suggesting that DHEA should be moved from the supplement category to hormone replacement; this would take DHEA off the health food shelves.

Fertil Steril 2001;76:241-248 Treatment with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is similar to that with estrogen-progestin replacement therapy in its effects on several endocrine parameters in postmenopausal women, Italian physicians report. Dr. Alessandro D. Genazzani, now with the University of Modena, and associates from the University of Pisa treated 31 women with oral DHEA 50 mg daily for 6 months. The subjects were grouped according to age and body mass index. Hormone evaluations and a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) test were performed before and after the trial. “Oral DHEA treatment annulled the differences observed between early and late postmenopause, including those strictly related to excess body weight,” the physicians write in the August issue of Fertility and Sterility. Plasma levels of steroids that derived from DHEA metabolism increased, as did osteocalcin, growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone decreased. DHEA treatment was similar in its effect on the GHRH-GH-IGF-1 axis as treatment with estrogen-progestin, Dr. Genazzani’s group concludes. They recommend that DHEA be considered not just a diet supplement but an effective hormone replacement treatment.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.