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From Dallas, Texas, USA:

I am 50, Type 2 diagnosed two years ago. I read postings in a newsgroup, and there has been discussion recently, about something called DHEA. Supposedly, it may help with blood glucose control, but I don't understand what it is, except that it is somehow related to hormones and diminishes with age. Can you give any insight?


DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a normal adrenal hormone which peaks in young adulthood and in women then decreases steadily until the menopause at which point levels remain diminished but steady. In recent years, claims have been made that it is of benefit in a number of conditions as disparate as autoimmune syndromes and depression. These modifications of the immune system may also afford some protection against viral infections. This list extends to menopausal symptoms and to other claims that DHEA prevents obesity and sustains lean body mass in the elderly. The latter role has not been supported by experimental evidence.

The influence on blood sugar seems to be minimal and to act through several channels, by increasing IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) and through a complex balance between glucocorticoids and leptin. The latter relationship perhaps explaining the claim that DHEA has a role in preventing obesity.

DHEA however has no part at the moment in the management of Type 2 Diabetes.


Original posting 10 Sep 1998
Posted to Alternative Therapies and Explanations


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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