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Many different aspects of menopause have been studied using DHEA as a treatment, such as vaginal pain, osteoporosis, hot flashes, emotional disturbances such as fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia, difficulties with concentration and memory, or decreased sex drive (which may occur near the time of menopause).

Around the age of 50, women undergo menopause, or the failure of the ovaries and the cessation of menstruation. This period is distinguished by a rapid drop in the level of sex hormones, including estrogen, DHEA, testosterone, pregnenolone, and progesterone.

Various diseases have been connected to menopause, the rapid loss of hormonal protection, including heart disease and osteoporosis. Many of the symptoms of menopause are caused by the loss of estrogen, there are also side effects associated with the drop in DHEA and testosterone among menopausal women.


Clinical Studies

  • G.W. Bates et al gave 15 postmenopausal women (mean age: 62) 50 mg DHEA for 3 weeks.  They concluded that DHEA supplementation in postmenopausal women may decrease age-related increases in insulin resistance.

  • P. Casson and colleagues gave 50 mg DHEA to 11 postmenopausal women in a 3-week placebo/crossover double-blind study.  They noted that the T-lymphocyte insulin binding and degradation increased with DHEA.  Enhancement in T-lymphocyte insulin binding and degradation is +a previously defined marker of insulin sensitivity.

  • A 30 mg to 50 mg daily dose improved mood, sense of well-being, and sexual appetite and activity among women with adrenal insufficiency.

  • A long-term trial of women over 60 reported significant increases in bone mineral density.

  • A study among women aged 70 to 79 showed improvements in sexual desire, arousal, and enjoyment.

  • The Italian team conducted a 12 month study on 20 healthy, postmenopausal patients, age 50 to 65 years, who were not using hormone replacements. The patients were divided by age into two groups: early (aged 50-55 years, n = 10, group A) who were two to three years postmenopausal; and late (aged 60-65 years, n = 10, group B) who were five or more years postmenopausal. All patients took 25 mg/day DHEA supplementation for 12 months. Younger postmenopausal subjects (group A) demonstrated higher levels of DHEA, DHEAS, testosterone, and beta-endorphin levels than older subjects. Significant changes in endocrine levels were observed with therapy. DHEA treatment eliminated endocrine differences observed between the two groups at baseline. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone plasma levels, and plasma E 1 and E 2 levels increased significantly and progressively in both groups. All pregnanolone and beta-endorphin concentrations significantly increased in both groups. Cortisol F plasma levels progressively decreased throughout the study. Both groups also experienced significantly reduced LH and FSH plasma levels. GH and IGF-1 levels significantly increased in both groups. Supplementation did not induce changes in endometrial thickness. The study demonstrates the efficacy of low-dose DHEA administration of endocrine and psychoneuroendocrine parameters in early and late menopause and confirms that a low-dose DHEA supplementation increases adrenal androgens plasma levels, which are significantly impaired during menopause. These data support and confirm that DHEA must be considered a valid compound and drug for hormone therapy in postmenopausal women and not just a dietary supplement.




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