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Longevity Medicine

DHEA for Androgen Deficiency May Offer Positive Skin Effects
By Skin & Allergy News: Timothy Kirn
Feb 23, 2003, 1:40pm

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Dehydroepiandrosterone, which many women take as an antiaging supplement, may indeed produce thicker, suppler skin, according to a double-blind, randomized trial of therapy for women with severe androgen deficiency due to hypopituitarism.

The study of 38 women indicated that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) treatment increased sebum production, skin hydration, and epidermal thickening in 53% of patients after 6 months, reported Dr. Gudmundur Johannsson of Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Goteborg, Sweden, and colleagues (J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 87[5]:2046-52, 2002).

The two-phase trial used two doses of DHEA: 30 mg/day for women less than 45 years old and 20 mg/day for those aged 45 years or older. A crossover phase allowed women who received placebo during the initial randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-month period to receive DHEA during a second 6-month open-treatment phase.

Skin changes at 6 months were reported by 8 of 9 women who received 30 mg/day (89%) and by 12 of 29 women who received 20 mg/day (41%), for a total of 21 of the 38 women (53%).

In addition, 63% of the women treated reported experiencing increased perspiration when they exercised, and 76% of the women experienced an increase in or the reappearance of axillary or pubic hair.

The study found that DHEA supplementation appeared to have little adverse effect. There was a slight decrease in HDL cholesterol early, which was transitory, the authors commented. No other measures of lipoproteins, coagulation proteins, glucose metabolism, or liver function were significantly impacted by use.

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