DHEA Helps Midlife-Onset Major and Minor Depression and Sexual Function

February 08, 2005

DHEA has been reported to have antidepressant effects. In this double-blind, placebo controlled study researchers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda tested the effects of DHEA on both men and women aged 45 to 65 with midlife-onset major or minor depression. None of the participants received concurrent antidepressant medication. The patients received either inactive placebo or DHEA 90mg a day for 3 weeks that was then increased to 450mg a day for 3 weeks. Half of the patients receiving six weeks of DHEA had a significant improvement in their depression (with a 50% or greater reduction in symptoms) and a significant improvement in sexual function. The study is published in the February 2005 issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Higher Levels of Testosterone are Associated with decreased Risk of Diabetes in Aging Men

Sex hormone levels drop in men with aging and this may be tied into decreased sensitivity to insulin and the development of metabolic syndrome. Individuals with metabolic syndrome (also known as Syndrome X) typically have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, low HDL, elevated blood pressure, and truncal obesity and this can develop into heart disease and diabetes. 400 independently living men aged 40 to 80 were included in the study. They were checked for the following: serum concentrations of lipids, glucose, insulin, total testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, estradiol, and DHEA-sulfate. Body height and weight, waist-hip circumference, blood pressure and physical activity were assessed. Smoking and alcohol intake was reported. Higher total testosterone, bioavailable testosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin were related to better insulin sensitivity and a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome independent of insulin levels and body composition showing that these hormones may independently decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The study is published in the February 1st, 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.