Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune diseases are a group of
conditions in which a person's antibodies attack a part of their own body
because the immune system believes the body part is foreign.
DHEA improves the testosterone
and estrogen levels in body, which plays an important role in strengthening
As lupus disorders are autoimmune diseases, DHEA is thought
to be helpful in the treatment of lupus by providing immune support. It has
also been observed that estrogen and testosterone levels are often
unbalanced in women suffering from lupus disease. DHEA supplements can
therefore redress this balance and contribute towards lupus treatment.
DHEA can also be used to treat the symptoms of lupus disease, providing
instant relief while the disease itself subsides. DHEA reduces the
production of inflammatory cytokines such as cytokine IL-4, 5, and 6 that
can cause the most common lupus symptoms. It also plays an important role in
enhancing the production of cytokine IL-2, an anti-inflammatory that can
The majority of clinical trials
investigating the effect of DHEA for systemic lupus erythematosus support
its use as an adjunct treatment.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study
conducted on 120 women suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
showed that 200 mg of DHEA daily can significantly decrease the symptoms
The Genelabs study, conducted on 191 women with
lupus at 27 medical centers, showed that women who were taking 200
milligram doses of DHEA could reduce their daily dosage of prednisone and
still have equivalent relief of pain, inflammation and fatigue. The women
also reported that they felt better.
Genelabs-sponsored one-year, multi-center trial
of 370 women with lupus is nearing completion; it's looking at whether
GL701 also improves or stabilizes disease activity, such as rashes and
frequency of flares. The trial ends in March, and some researchers are
optimistic that a prescription DHEA lupus drug may be approved for use in
mild-to-moderate cases within two to three years. The GL701 form of DHEA
is not available outside the study.