Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) replacement decreases insulin resistance and lowers inflammatory cytokines in aging humans

Aging (Albany NY). 2011 May;3(5):533-42. doi: 10.18632/aging.100327.


Plasma dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) decreases ~80% between ages 25 and 75 yr. In a preliminary study, we found that 6 mo of DHEA replacement improved insulin action in elderly individuals. The purpose of the present larger, randomized double-blind study was to determine whether a longer period of DHEA replacement improves glucose tolerance. Fifty-seven men and 68 women aged 65 to 75 yr were randomly assigned to 50 mg DHEA or placebo once daily. Year one was a randomized, double blind trial. Year 2 was an open label continuation. DHEA replacement improved glucose tolerance in participants who had abnormal GT initially, reduced plasma triglycerides, and the inflammatory cytokines IL6 and TNFα.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / administration & dosage*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Male
  • Placebos
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Cytokines
  • Placebos
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone