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The World in Medicine
November 15, 2006

Aging and Supplements

JAMA. 2006;296(19):2307. doi:10.1001/jama.296.19.2307-c

Men who take dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) or low-dose testosterone are unlikely to experience beneficial anti-aging benefits from either substance, according to a study by scientists from the United States and Italy (Nair KS et al. N Engl J Med. 2006;355:1647-1659). DHEA has been widely touted as an anti-aging supplement.

In the study, 87 elderly men with low levels of the sulfated form of DHEA and bioavailable testosterone were randomly assigned to receive DHEA (enough to increase their DHEA to levels considered to be in the high end of the normal range for young people), low-dose testosterone, or placebo. After 2 years, neither DHEA nor testosterone replacement had “physiologically relevant” beneficial effects on measures of body composition, physical performance, insulin sensitivity, or quality of life, the researchers found. Similar results were found in elderly women given DHEA or placebo.

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