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Lack of dehydroepiandrosterone effect on a combined endurance and resistance exercise program in postmenopausal women

Igwebuike, A.; Irving, B.A.; Bigelow, M.L.; Short, K.R.; McConnell, J.P.; Nair, K.Sreekumaran.

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 93(2): 534-538

2008


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-972X
PMID: 18029465
DOI: 10.1210/jc.2007-1027
Accession: 021255869

Recent studies disputed the widely promoted anti-aging effect of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation; however, conflicting data exist on whether physiological DHEA supplementation enhances exercise training effects on body composition, physical performance, and cardiometabolic risk in healthy postmenopausal women. The aim of this study was to determine whether 12 wk of DHEA supplementation (50 mg/d) in postmenopausal women enhances exercise-related changes in body composition, physical performance, and cardiometabolic risk. This study was a 12-wk randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and took place at the Mayo Clinic General Clinical Research Center (Rochester, MN). Thirty-one sedentary, postmenopausal, Caucasian women (mean +/- sem age 64.6 +/- 1.0 yr) completed the study. Participants were randomized to one of two 12-wk interventions: 1) exercise training plus 50 mg/d of DHEA (n = 17), or 2) exercise training plus placebo (n = 14). The exercise intervention consisted of both endurance (4 d/wk) and resistance (3 d/wk) exercise components. The main outcomes were measures of body composition, physical performance, and measures of cardiometabolic risk. DHEA treatment with exercise resulted in increases in circulating sulfated DHEA (650%), total testosterone (100%), estradiol (165%), estrone (85%), and IGF-I (30%) (all P < or = 0.05, for all within and between treatment comparisons). Although exercise training alone significantly improved physical performance, body composition, and insulin sensitivity, administration of DHEA provided no additional benefits. Twelve weeks of combined endurance and resistance training significantly improved body composition, physical performance, insulin sensitivity, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol particle number and size, whereas DHEA had no additional benefits.

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