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  • DHEA reduces belly fat in 7% in older men, 10% in older women


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, March 22, 2005 6:09 am Email this article
    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) reduces belly fat in older men and women according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. DHEA slightly reduced body weight

    The DHEA group showed a slight reduction in body weight compared to a slight increase in the placebo group: -2 pounds in the DHEA group versus +1.4 pounds in the placebo group.

    DHEA reduced belly fat: -5 inches vs +1 inch

    After six months, those taking DHEA reduced belly fat by an average of 5.1 inches or 13 centimeters compared to an increase of 1.2 inches or 3 centimeters in those who were taking the placebo.

    DHEA reduced belly fat: 7% in men, 10% in women

    This was a 7.4 percent reduction in belly fat in men and 10.2 percent reduction in women.

    DHEA reduced subcutaneous fat: -5 inches vs +1 inch

    The DHEA group also reduced subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) by an average of 5.1 inches or 13 centimeters compared to an increase of 0.8 inches or 2 centimeters in those who were taking the placebo.

    DHEA reduced insulin

    The DHEA group also had a reduction in insulin of -1119 muU/mL over a two hour period versus an increase of +818 muU/mL for those in the placebo group.

    However, blood sugar levels were not reduced, indicating that DHEA improved insulin senstivity, that is, that the less insulin was required to do the same amount of work.

    DHEA increased DHEA, Testosterone, Estrogen and IGF-1

    The DHEA group had increases in DHEA, testosterone, estradiol (estrogen) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

    DHEA levels rose from roughly 700 to youthful levels of roughly 3600 ng/mL.

    Testosterone levels rose slightly in men (6 percent) and significantly in women (250 percent).

    Estradiol levels (estrogen levels) rose 35 percent in men and 110 percent in women.

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) rose 12 percent in men and 20% in women. (Increases in IGF-1 are associated with most of the beneficial effects of human growth hormone therapy.)

    Studies suggest that estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women help to reduce belly fat by increasing IGF-1 levels.

    MEN
    Changes in Hormone Blood Levels Before and After DHEA for 6 Months
     

    DHEAS
    ng/mL

    Testosterone
    ng/mL
    Estradiol
    (estrogen)
    pg/mL
    IGF-1
    (insulin-like growth factor-1) ng/mL
    Beginning of the study
    746
    4.8
    22.9
    166
    End of the study

    3578
    (youthful levels are 2477-4247)

    5.2
    30.9
    186
    Percent Change
    +479%
    +6%
    +35%
    +12%
    WOMEN
    Changes in Hormone Blood Levels Before and After DHEA for 6 Months
     

    DHEAS
    ng/mL

    Testosterone
    ng/mL
    Estradiol
    (estrogen)
    pg/mL
    IGF-1
    (insulin-like growth factor-1) ng/mL
    Beginning of the study
    679
    0.4
    13.3
    157
    End of the study

    3589
    (youthful levels are 2477-4247)

    1.4
    28
    188
    Percent Change
    +529%
    +250%
    +110%
    +20%


    No increase in PSA in men

    DHEA did not increase levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in men. (Increases in PSA are associated with prostate cancer.)

    PSA levels dropped slightly in men taking DHEA, from 1.7 to 1.6 ng/mL after six months compared to an increase in the placebo group from 1.4 to 1.8.

    Dose: 50 mg per day for 6 months

    Subjects received 50 mg of DHEA per day or a placebo for six months.

    Subjects: 56 elderly men and women

    The study involved 56 elderly men and women—28 men and 28 women—from 65- to 78-years-old.

    No change in diet or exercise

    Subjects were not asked to change their diet or exercise during the study.

    Measurements taken at the beginning and end of the study found that there were so significant differences in calorie intake or amount of exercise between the groups or between the beginning and end of the study.

    DHEA peaks at age 20 and declines after age 25

    DHEA peaks at the age of 20 and declines after the age of 25 according to the paper.

    Previous study using DHEA cream did not have an effect in women

    These findings are in contrast to a previous study with women who applied DHEA cream to their skin. That study found no effect on fat levels. The reason for this might have been that blood levels of DHEA only reached 700 compared to roughly 3600 ng/mL in this study.

    Conclusion

    “These findings provide evidence that DHEA replacement may partially reverse the aging-related accumulation of abdominal fat in elderly people with low serum levels of DHEAS,” the authors concluded.

    My personal experience: It made me feel tired until I was 40

    DHEA may not be appropriate for younger people base on my experience.

    I first tried DHEA when I was 30-years-old. (I am now 46.)

    I started with 50 mg per day but it made me feel tired, so I reduced the dose to 25 mg, then to 12.5 mg, then to 6.25 mg, then to 3 mg per day, but it still made me feel tired even with this small dose. I did not want to go play basketball in the afternoon, I wanted to take a nap.

    So I put it in the freezer for five years.

    A PhD from Baylor University told me the DHEA-induced fatigue was due to DHEA being converted to estrogen.

    I tried it again when I was 35, but the same thing happened; it made me feel tired even with very small doses. So I put it in the freezer for another five years.

    Finally at the age of 40, I started taking a very small dose, 1-2 mg, on a daily basis.

    I have not seen any papers which discuss DHEA-induced fatigue. Most, if not all, of the studies I have seen that have given 50 mg or more per day to older people, say that people report more energy, not less.

    Therefore, based on my personal experience with DHEA, it may not be appropriate for younger people and is probably best if monitored by a physician.

    REFERENCE

    Villareal D, Holloszy J. Effect of dhea on abdominal fat and insulin action in elderly women and men: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004 Nov 10, 292(18):2243-48.

    AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION

    John O. Holloszy, MD
    Department of Medicine
    Washington University School of Medicine
    Campus Box 8113
    4566 Scott Ave
    St Louis, MO 63110 USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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