Testosterone Does Not Appear to Increase The Risk For Cardiovascular Disease

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Testosterone replacement therapy does not appear to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease or thromboembolic events in middle-aged men.

In fact, the risk for a cardiovascular event was lower in men taking supplemental testosterone than in those who were not, said lead investigator Julian Hanske, MD, from Ruhr University Bochum in Herne, Germany, who collaborated on the study during a fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

But physicians should know whether a patient suffers from obstructive sleep apnea before prescribing testosterone, Dr Hanske said here at the European Association of Urology 2017 Congress.

Cohort studies of the cardiovascular and thromboembolic consequences of supplemental testosterone have generally relied on sources such as the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Medicare database, which is limited to an older population, he told Medscape Medical News.

To get a better handle on the relative risks associated with testosterone replacement therapy in a younger population, Dr Hanske and his team searched the TRICARE American military insurance database, which covers all retired and active-duty military personnel and their dependents.

They looked for men 40 to 65 years of age treated for low levels of testosterone. Patients were excluded if they had a history of heart disease, thromboembolism, prostate cancer, or obstructive sleep apnea.

For the final cohort, 3422 men who took testosterone were matched with 3422 control subjects who did not by year of birth, then by date of first testosterone prescription, and then by race and baseline comorbidities.

The study outcomes were event-free survival and absolute risk for cardiovascular disease, thromboembolism or obstructive sleep apnea.

We have so many fears of testosterone replacement therapy.

Cardiovascular event-free survival was significantly better in the testosterone group than in the control group (P = .0085), and risk for coronary artery disease was lower in the testosterone group (P = .0082).

There was no difference in thromboembolic event-free survival between the testosterone and control groups (P = .0998).

These findings are reassuring, said session comoderator Raanan Tal, MD, head of the male infertility program at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

“We have so many fears of testosterone replacement therapy, and actually what they showed is that so many beliefs that we have cannot be supported,” he told Medscape Medical News.

“The fact that you don’t have an increase in cardiovascular events or thrombotic events is an important message — more important than the risk of increased obstructive sleep apnea,” he explained.

But the other comoderator said he thinks the findings would be more compelling if the investigators had used propensity-score matching or a similar statistical method to ensure a close case–control match.

“Age is a risk factor,” Andrea Salonia, MD, from the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, pointed out. “The younger the patient, the lower the probability of having difficulties sleeping at night, and they did not adjust for that specific issue, or at least they did not find any kind of difference according to this specific variable.”

“At the same time, the number of patients they considered was amazing, and it is probably one of the most important studies in terms of the huge cohort they selected,” Dr Salonia told Medscape Medical News.

Dr Hanske, Dr Tal, and Dr Salonia have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

European Association of Urology (EAU) 2017 Congress: Abstract 256. Presented March 25, 2017.

Article Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/877786

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Jane Fonda reveals testosterone is the secret behind her sex success at 73

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She has attributed her youthful looks to a healthy love life and given hope to millions by saying she had the best sex of her life at 71.

So it is something of a let down to find out that even sex symbol Jane Fonda needs artificial help.

The Barbarella star has revealed she took the male sex hormone testosterone from the age of 70 to boost her libido.

Miss Fonda said it made ‘a huge difference’.

Advising other women of a certain age how to pep up their love lives, three-times married actress, political activist and fitness guru said: ‘Here’s something I haven’t said publicly yet: I discovered testosterone about three years ago, which makes a huge difference if you want to remain sexual and your libido has dropped.

‘Use testosterone, it comes in a gel, pill or patch.’

Earlier this year, Robbie Williams shocked his legions of female fans by admitting he was injecting himself with testosterone to boost his sex drive.

Although testosterone is usually thought of as a male hormone, it is also made by women, but in much smaller amounts.

Levels drop off after the menopause, leading to some doctors prescribing testosterone alongside more traditional hormone replacement therapy.

It is relatively cheap, costing around £50 for six months’ supply and comes in patches, implants and gels.

But a reinvigorated love life can come at a cost.

Miss Fonda, now 73, and in a relationship with music producer Richard Perry, who is four years her junior, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘I had to stop because it was giving me acne.

‘It’s one thing to have plastic surgery, but it is quite another to have adolescence acne. That is going too far.’

Two years ago, she created envy in millions of bedrooms by telling how she was having the best sex of her life, despite having had spinal surgery and boasting an artificial knee and a titanium hip.

She said: ‘How do I still look good?  I owe 30 per cent to genes, 30 per cent to good sex, 30 per cent because of sports and healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and for the remaining ten per cent, I have to thank my plastic surgeon.

But I’m happier, the sex is better and I understand life better. I don’t want to be young again.’

More recently, she has devoted 50 pages of her new autobiography to explaining how couples can keep the passion alive long after the vigour of their youth has failed.

However, her use of testosterone has remained secret until now.

British experts welcomed the revelation.

Professor John Studd, of the London PMS and Menopause Clinic has been prescribing testosterone for women for 30 years.

He said: ‘It is not just about libido.  The benefits include more energy, more self-confidence, better mood and all of those things.’

He added that carefully balancing the dose should remove the risk of side-effects such as acne and excessive bodily or facial hair.

Dr John Stevenson chairman of the charity Women’s Health Concern, said: ‘Jane Fonda clearly thinks there should be no time limit to being sexually active, which is fine. Good for her.’

However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warns that the long-term consequences of the treatment are unknown.

THE TRUTH BEHIND TESTOSTERONE

Testosterone can be part of the hormone replacement therapy given to menopausal women.

Gels that are rubbed into the skin are the most popular.  But patches, creams and implants are also available.

Topping up levels of the hormone can give a woman in her 50s or 60s the libido of someone half her age, as well as boost energy and mood.

But too high a dose carries the risk of acne and greasy skin and hair.

‘Masculine’ side-effects such as excessive bodily and facial hair and a deepened voice are also possible.

Testosterone pills aren’t given to women but can raise cholesterol, increasing the odds of heart attacks and strokes.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists urges caution when prescribing the libido-boosting treatment to women other than those who have had their ovaries removed.

It advises: ‘Testosterone replacement may be associated with adverse clinical and metabolic side effects and long-term consequences are unknown.

Written By: Fiona Macrae

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2028544/Jane-Fonda-reveals-testosterone-secret-sex-success-73.html#ixzz4cj0r8L4x

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Exploring the role of testosterone in the cerebellum link to neuroticism: From adolescence to early adulthood

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Highlights

  • Cerebellar volumes correlate inversely with neurotic personality traits in adolescents and young adults.
  • In males, higher endogenous testosterone levels is associated with lower scores on neurotic personality traits and larger cerebellar gray matter volumes.
  • Testosterone significantly mediates the relation between cerebellar gray matter and measures of neuroticism.

Abstract

Previous research has found an association between a smaller cerebellar volume and higher levels of neuroticism. The steroid hormone testosterone reduces stress responses and the susceptibility to negative mood. Together with in vitro studies showing a positive effect of testosterone on cerebellar gray matter volumes, we set out to explore the role of testosterone in the relation between cerebellar gray matter and neuroticism. Structural magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired, and indices of neurotic personality traits were assessed by administering the depression and anxiety scale of the revised NEO personality inventory and Gray’s behavioural avoidance in one hundred and forty-nine healthy volunteers between 12 and 27 years of age. Results demonstrated an inverse relation between total brain corrected cerebellar volumes and neurotic personality traits in adolescents and young adults. In males, higher endogenous testosterone levels were associated with lower scores on neurotic personality traits and larger cerebellar gray matter volumes. No such relations were observed in the female participants. Analyses showed that testosterone significantly mediated the relation between male cerebellar gray matter and measures of neuroticism. Our findings on the interrelations between endogenous testosterone, neuroticism and cerebellar morphology provide a cerebellum-oriented framework for the susceptibility to experience negative emotions and mood in adolescence and early adulthood.

Article Source: http://www.psyneuen-journal.com/article/S0306-4530(16)30688-6/abstract?cc=y=

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Estrogen Dominance In Men

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How it is ruining your health and virility, and what you need to do to prevent It

Estrogen dominance is often thought of as a female-only disorder, however men suffer with it as well, and overexposure to estrogen-like compounds (xenoestrogens), has made it increasingly common.

Understanding Male Estrogen Dominance

The healthy range of estradiol is between 15 and 60 pg/ml. When estradiol climbs higher than that, or when testosterone levels fall too low to balance out estrogen, estrogen dominance occurs.

Estrogen Dominance Symptoms

Estrogen dominance can cause: mental fatigue, memory problems, an inability to concentrate, moodiness, irritability, emotional hypersensitivity, insomnia, unrelenting physical fatigue, depression, obesity, bone loss, back pain, headaches, and high cholesterol.

Estrogen Dominance and Your Sex Life

Estrogen dominance can cause: a loss of libido, an inability to get and/or maintain an erection, low sperm count, infertility, an inability to orgasm, and male breast enlargement.

Estrogen Dominance and Prostate Health

As estradiol levels climb, both prostate size and fibrous tissues increase. This makes it hard to urinate and increases the risk for prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Four Main Causes of Estrogen Dominance in Men

Cause #1: Diet

Animal products are major estrogen dominance contributors. Non-organic produce and processed foods made from them, can also contribute to estrogen dominance because they are grown with herbicides and pesticides which mimic estrogen.

Cause #2: Excess Body Weight

Fat tissues are rich in an enzyme that converts protein into testosterone, and testosterone into estradiol; the more fat you have, the higher your estradiol levels will be. Estrogen is also stored in fat cells, so if you’re overweight you’ll need to lose excess fat cells to reverse estrogen dominance.

Cause #3: Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeinated beverages are major estrogen dominance triggers. Alcohol is also problematic because plants used to produce alcoholic beverages contain estrogen-like compounds that mimic estrogen in the body.

Cause #4: Tight Underwear

Tight underwear forces the testicles to be squeezed up against the body, which reduces the flow of blood to the testicles and causes them to overheat. These two factors lead to an increase in estradiol and a decrease in testosterone.

Article Source: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/estrogen-dominance-men-ruining-your-health-/

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Low T & Low D: A Deadly Duo

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A new study sheds some light, albeit a disturbing illumination, on men who carry both low free testosterone and low Vitamin D levels.

The study was published in February of 2012 and consisted of 2,069 men*.  It’s findings concluded that when men were deficient in free testosterone and deficient in Vitamin D they had a 77% increase in cardiovascular-related mortality.

More disturbing, however, was the increase in non-cardiovascular deaths.  When deficient in both free testosterone and Vitamin D, the researchers concluded there was an astounding 133% increase in non-cardiovascular mortality.

The researchers conducting this study carefully adjusted for confounding factors like age, body-mass index, active smoking, physical activity, diabetes, C-reactive protein, prevalent coronary artery disease, serum calcium, and parathyroid hormone.

This new study closely resembles findings from a study of 858 US military veterans over the age of 40. The study took place over 8 years, with doctors monitoring the testosterone levels of the men in the group, and examining their accompanying health issues.  The results there showed an 88% increased risk of death among the men in the low testosterone range.  The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In light of this new evidence, all men aged 30 years and older should begin testing immediately.  We recommend you seek out a qualified hormone physician who has been trained in testosterone restoration and hormone balancing.  Unfortunately, far too many primary care doctors do not test men’s testosterone levels, let alone their Vitamin D (25-Hydroxy) levels.  If they do, the resulting tests almost always omit estrogen levels.  And the therapy prescribed will, often times, be testosterone creams or gels, without any regard to estrogen increases or testicular atrophy.

Men concerned with low testosterone or who want to be tested should contact Boston Testosterone Partners.  Specialists in testosterone restoration, they now treat patients nationally through their numerous affiliate offices.

Boston Testosterone Partners has begun the widespread testing of men’s Vitamin D (25-Hydroxy) levels, in addition to their comprehensive hormone testing.  Where deficient, physician prescriptions for pharmaceutical grade Vitamin D are dispensed to patients.  Men are then retested 10 weeks post therapy to adjust and optimize their levels into the recommended 50-60 ng/mL range.

Boston Testosterone is uniquely positioned to quickly conduct testing for men nationwide.  If you are interested in having a National Hormone Physician order testing for you, please contact Boston Testosterone online.

Boston Testosterone is a Testosterone Replacement, Wellness and Preventative Medicine Medical Center that treats and prevents the signs and symptoms associated with Andropause and hormone imbalances.  With affiliates nationally, Boston Testosterone offers hormone replacement therapy, weight loss protocols, erectile dysfunction (ED), Sermorelin-GHRP2 therapy and neutraceutical injectable therapies for men and women.  Their medical facilities offer physician examinations and treatment programs that incorporate the latest in medical science.

*Lerchbaum E, Pilz S, Boehm BO, Grammer TB, Obermayer-Pietsch B, März W. Combination of low free testosterone and low vitamin D predicts mortality in older men referred for coronary angiography. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012 Feb 22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04371.x.

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Your Fingers Show Your Athletic Potential and Anxiety

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Source:
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Summary:
By comparing your index and ring fingers, a neuroscientist can tell if you are likely to be anxious, or if you are likely to be a good athlete.

By comparing your index and ring fingers, a neuroscientist can tell if you are likely to be anxious, or if you are likely to be a good athlete.

It is well-known that adults whose index finger is shorter than their ring finger were exposed to greater amounts of testosterone when they were in the womb.

Both women and men with this characteristic are — on average — better equipped to solve mentally demanding 3D rotation tasks as adults. As a group, they also have better physical and athletic abilities, but are more prone to having ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome.

Why on earth is this the case? Both boys and girls are exposed to testosterone in the womb. Everyone has different levels of male and female sex hormones. Some men have a lot of testosterone, some have less, and the same applies to women. Women who have received a lot of prenatal testosterone don’t need much testosterone as adults.

The level of testosterone in utero affects one’s finger length as an adult.

24 women and a drop of testosterone

“The relationship between the index finger and ring finger in particular indicates how much testosterone you have been exposed to in utero,” says Carl Pintzka, a medical doctor and researcher at the National Competence Service for Functional MRI.

In his doctoral dissertation at NTNU, Pintzka investigated how the brain functions differently in women and men. As part of this study, he tested an established theory about the significance of finger length and how the brain works.

He measured the finger length of 42 women and gave half of them a drop of testosterone. The other half were given a placebo. Afterwards, the women had to solve various mental tasks.

Short index finger, more testosterone

“We could then look at how testosterone levels affect different abilities in healthy women both in the womb and in adulthood,” says Pintzka.

An index finger that is relatively short compared to the ring finger indicates that one has been exposed to a lot of testosterone in utero, whereas a relatively long index finger suggests a lower exposure to testosterone in the womb.

“One mechanism behind this relationship is the difference in the receptor density for oestrogen and testosterone in the various fingers in utero. This relationship has also been shown to remain relatively stable after birth, which implies that it’s strictly the fetal hormone balance that determines this ratio,” says Pintzka.

More testosterone, better sense of place

The relationship between the index finger and ring finger in humans is associated with a variety of abilities in adulthood.

“The greatest effect has been found for various physical and athletic measures, where high levels of prenatal testosterone are consistently linked with better capabilities,” Pintzka says. “Beyond this we find a number of uncertain results, but a general feature is that high levels of testosterone generally correlate with superior abilities on tasks that men usually perform better, such as various spatial tasks like directional sense,” he adds.

Conversely, low levels of testosterone are associated with better abilities in verbal memory tasks, such as remembering lists of words. Fetal hormonal balance also likely affects the risk of developing various brain-related diseases.

… but also more ADHD and autism

Pintzka says studies show that high levels of testosterone in utero correlate with an increased risk of developing diseases that are more common in men, such as ADHD, Tourette’s and autism. Low levels of testosterone are associated with an increased risk of developing diseases that are more common in women, like anxiety and depression.

His study primarily involved researching how testosterone affects different spatial abilities in women. The women were asked to navigate a virtual maze, and to mentally rotate different three-dimensional objects.

More study needed According to Pintzka, the study results indicate a trend towards a positive effect of high testosterone levels on spatial abilities in utero. He believes that a larger study would be able to show a significant correlation. Furthermore, the results suggest that these hormone levels are important both in utero and in adulthood.

In other words, no definite conclusions can be drawn quite yet. Pintzka found no prenatal hormonal effects on study participants’ ability to navigate a virtual maze.

“The women who scored best on the mental rotation tasks had high levels of testosterone both prenatally and in their adult lives, while those who scored worst had low levels in both,” says Pintzka.

Journal Reference:

Carl W.S. Pintzka, Hallvard R. Evensmoen, Hanne Lehn, Asta K. Håberg. Changes in spatial cognition and brain activity after a single dose of testosterone in healthy women. Behavioural Brain Research, 2016; 298: 78 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.10.056

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161012095619.htm

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DHEA and Pregnenolone

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Our review of the scientific literature decades ago indicated that when used appropriately, these bioidentical hormones may slow the onset of multiple degenerative diseases and sustain optimal cognitive function in maturing individuals.

Since then, an armada of published studies has validated our position. Just last year, there were 380 newly published papers about DHEA.1

This wealth of incontrovertible medical evidence has not stopped the government from erecting regulatory barriers that would deny you the ability to replenish DHEA and pregnenolone to youthful levels.

The latest governmental assault comes out of California. The sale of DHEA and pregnenolone is now illegal unless accompanied by a fear-mongering, scientifically baseless warning label.

We think the State of California should have consulted enlightened, reputable scientists before imposing such onerous statutory burdens. In this instance, this legislative mandate only serves to misinform and frighten the public about the health-promoting properties of hormones made by our own bodies.

Once again, it is time to set the record straight regarding the medically established benefits of DHEA and pregnenolone.

The infinite wisdom of elected lawmakers in California has spawned a questionable dictate. While few if any of these legislators have any direct experience with DHEA or pregnenolone, they nonetheless have issued a decree that all labels must carry a warning. The warning is so strong that novices who read these labels will fear DHEA and pregnenolone and not use them. That’s too bad since hard science substantiates both the safety and efficacy of these natural hormones.

Life Extension’s medical experts reviewed California’s label information, and our assessment of the peer-reviewed literature differs in certain important respects from the conclusions reached by State legislators.

The law, Section 110423(b) of the California Health and Safety Code, states, “The sale or distribution of dietary supplements containing steroid hormone precursors is prohibited unless the product label for the dietary supplements clearly, and conspicuously contains the following warning:

WARNING: NOT FOR USE BY INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS.  DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT OR NURSING. Consult a physician or licensed qualified healthcare professional before using this product if you have, or have a family history of, breast cancer, prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, heart disease, low “good” cholesterol (HDL), or if you are using any other dietary supplement, prescription drug, or over-the-counter drug. Do not exceed recommended serving. Exceeding recommended serving may cause serious adverse health effects. Possible side effects include acne, hair loss, hair growth on the face (in women), aggressiveness, irritability, and increased levels of estrogen. Discontinue use and call a physician or licensed qualified healthcare professional immediately if you experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, or other similar symptoms. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

Separate cautions for pregnenolone must now include the statements that: “Pregnenolone may affect levels of other hormones, such as progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and/or DHEA. Do not take this product if you have a history of seizures. Do not take this product if you have breast cancer, prostate cancer, or other hormone-sensitive diseases.” And the caution for DHEA now must read, “Do not use DHEA if you are at risk for or have been diagnosed as having any type of hormonal cancer, such as prostate or breast cancer.”

The published literature on DHEA and pregnenolone as supplements paints a rather different picture.

Supplementation with DHEA and/or Pregnenolone—The Scientific Truth

Cancer Risk


The truth, as always, is more nuanced. Important work by Harvard urologist Abraham Morgentaler and others has revealed that low testosterone levels increase prostate cancer risk.
2,3 Morgentaler himself has become a strong proponent of supplementation with testosterone in older men.3 He was also the lead researcher on a study demonstrating that DHEA supplementation in rats enhanced total testosterone levels without producing any deleterious changes in prostate tissue.4Both pregnenolone and DHEA are “parent” hormones of the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Taking pregnenolone or DHEA supplements, therefore, may indeed raise levels of those sex hormones; in fact, that is considered one of the desired effects. Mainstream physicians, however, continue to express concern about boosting sex hormone levels late in life, citing the theoretical risk of hormone-dependent malignancies such as breast and prostate cancers.

Similar theoretical risks apply for breast cancer. But no increased risk of breast cancer has been demonstrated in large studies of combinations of natural estradiol and progesterone (the natural products of DHEA and/or pregnenolone).5 Furthermore, natural progesterone alone may reduce cancer risk, again suggesting that boosting sex hormone levels with precursors such as DHEA and pregnenolone is safe.6 One recent animal study demonstrates a direct anti-cancer effect of DHEA in obese rats.7

To date, no study has convincingly shown an increase in human hormone-dependent cancer risk as a result of DHEA or pregnenolone supplementation.8 Naturally, any individual who is known to have cancer of any kind should consult with his/her physician when using any new supplement or medication.

Heart Disease or Low HDL

One of the most perplexing features of the California label requirement is the caution about a family history of heart disease or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

DHEA is in fact known to decrease cardiovascular risk factors by improving vascular remodeling in the face of high blood pressure, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing obesity, and increasing HDL levels.9-12 No studies have been published demonstrating that pregnenolone raises any cardiovascular risk factors.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: ERRONEOUS REGULATION OF DHEA AND PREGNENOLONE
  • A California law requires strict labeling for two commonly used supplements, DHEA and pregnenolone.
  • Both have a longstanding track record of delaying or reversing multiple diseases of aging and cognitive impairment.
  • Both also have impeccable safety profiles, as attested by the experience of millions of users over more than a decade.
  • The label requirements reflect a concern about the theoretical risk of hormone-dependent cancers, despite a complete lack of peer-reviewed scientific evidence supporting this claim.
  • Other risks mentioned in the label do not even have a sensible theoretical basis, such as those for cardiovascular disease, visual disturbances, or vertigo.
  • As with all supplements and medications, prudence suggests careful monitoring of one’s state of health, discussion of any new symptoms with a healthcare provider, and discontinuation of any treatment that produces unwelcome effects.

Rapid Heartbeat, Dizziness, or Blurred Vision


There are no published, peer-reviewed articles suggesting that either DHEA or pregnenolone supplements are associated with rapid heartbeat, tachycardia, or atrial or ventricular fibrillation. In fact, men with atrial fibrillation were shown in one study to have abnormally low DHEA levels.
13The California label requirement explicitly warns against continuing supplementation in the face of rapid heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, or other “similar symptoms.” This, like the general cardiovascular precaution, is mystifying in the face of the published literature.

Similarly, there is no published report of either DHEA or pregnenolone in association with any visual disturbance or glaucoma. Just two reports exist on age-related macular degeneration and DHEA levels. The older one suggests that higher DHEA levels might be associated with increased risk, but the more recent article demonstrates a protective effect of higher DHEA levels.14,15 And a single French study demonstrated that higher DHEA levels are associated with reduced risk of cataracts.16

Just one study, from 1998, shows in an animal study that pregnenolone produces an excitatory effect on nerve cells in the inner ear, where balance is maintained.17 This could produce a theoretical risk of dizziness or vertigo, but no report of such an effect in humans has been published.

WHAT IS DHEA?
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the most common adrenal steroid hormone in the body.25 It is naturally produced from cholesterol (as are all steroid hormones) in a variety of tissues, most notably the adrenal glands. DHEA is the “parent” hormone of both the androgens and the estrogens (male and female hormones, respectively).26 Like the sex hormones themselves, natural levels of DHEA decline with advancing age. That decline creates an increased vulnerability to chronic illnesses such as the metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.25 Low DHEA levels are also strongly associated with susceptibility to falls and fractures, and even with earlier death in men.27,28

DHEA has long been used as a natural supplement to restore blood levels to those found in younger adults. Levels of sex hormones rise beneficially during supplementation, while levels of stress-related cortisol drop.29,30 As a result, we typically see improvements in muscle strength and bone mineral density, with a reduction in body fat mass.31,32 Indeed, there is now substantial support for DHEA supplementation in adrenal insufficiency, hypopituitarism, osteoporosis, systemic lupus, depression and schizophrenia.33Importantly, DHEA supplementation in women aged 70-79 also improved sexual desire, arousal, activity, and satisfaction, while also improving menopausal symptoms in younger women.34,35

Perhaps the most impressive benefits of DHEA supplementation are in the realm of cognitive function. Both DHEA and pregnenolone are so-called “neurosteroids,” which protect brain cells from damage by both acute injury and chronic stimuli.36-38 Daily supplements of 25 mg DHEA can increase cognitive scores and prevent deterioration of scores for activities of daily living.39 And many studies have verified the importance of DHEA supplements for improving clarity of thinking and a general sense of well-being.25,26,37

Virilization

Because both DHEA and pregnenolone boost natural levels of testosterone as well as estrogen, there is some concern that women who take the supplements might express more masculine traits such as male pattern baldness, hair growth on the face, and aggressive behaviors. In practice, however, these effects appear infrequently and are mild and reversible when they do occur.18,19

A sensible recommendation for anyone taking DHEA or pregnenolone is to monitor oneself for any of these mild side effects, and to discontinue use or reduce dose if those effects outweigh the benefits of continued supplementation.


Seizure History

WHAT IS PREGNENOLONE?
Like DHEA, pregnenolone is a naturally produced steroid hormone that acts as a “parent” to a variety of other hormones, including the sex steroids and hormones vital for controlling blood mineral content and metabolism. Pregnenolone is also a potent neurosteroid, protecting brain cells from age-related damage and preserving their function.36 In fact, pregnenolone is being explored for use in acute management of brain injury and stroke.40,41

Normal brain tissue contains large amounts of pregnenolone, and animal studies reveal that the steroid enhances development of new brain cells.42,43 In humans, pregnenolone supplementation produces significant improvements in both depression and schizophrenia.44-47 And pregnenolone shows promise in mitigating memory loss and even some of the abnormal structural findings in Alzheimer’s disease.48-50

Pregnenolone also has calming, anti-stress effects in humans, attributed to its ability to modulate brain receptors for certain neurotransmitters. Remarkably, when used in conjunction with the common anti-anxiety drug diazepam (Valium®), pregnenolone reduced the sedative side effects without affecting the anti-anxiety effects.51

Summary

California’s warning label requirement significantly overstates any risks associated with DHEA and pregnenolone as supplements. Despite the dire wording on the required label, there remains no convincing evidence that either supplement, taken at recommended doses, increases cancer risks in humans.

The other risks mentioned in the required warning label either occur rarely or are reversible (hair growth), occur in well-defined populations who should avoid using the supplements (seizure patients), or have no credible basis in the peer-reviewed literature (cardiovascular risk, lipid disturbances, vision disturbances, dizziness).

On the other hand, millions of people worldwide have been using both supplements for more than two decades, during which time no serious adverse events have ever been reported in the world literature or in the FDA’s intense adverse event monitoring system.11

Readers should understand that the cautions on labels of DHEA and pregnenolone supplements reflect an “abundance of caution” on the part of the California rule-makers…or perhaps the wishes of pharmaceutical lobbyists who fear too many people are protecting themselves against age-related disease by maintaining youthful hormone balances.

The overwhelming evidence in the global, peer-reviewed literature suggests exactly the opposite, namely that these supplements are safe and effective when used as directed by health-conscious adults.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

WHAT GERMANY KNOWS THAT CALIFORNIA DOESN’T

Here is an example of a published abstract of a study on DHEA from a German scientific journal. Apparently, the authors at the Department Trauma Surgery, University Hospital of Essen in Germany know something that the California authorities don’t know. First of all, the study states that “DHEA…is free of major side effects….” Secondly, they point out that DHEA may be a significant therapy for trauma and that “several data demonstrate the beneficial effect of DHEA in situations of critical illness including trauma hemorrhage and sepsis. Accordingly DHEA improved the survival rate and clinical situation in several animal models of trauma hemorrhage and systemic inflammation.”

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): a steroid with multiple effects. Is there any possible option in the treatment of critical illness?52

Curr Med Chem. 2010;17(11):1039-47.

Oberbeck R, Kobbe P.

Department Trauma Surgery, University Hospital of Essen, Hufeland Str. 55, 45141 Essen, Germany. reineroberbeck@hotmail.com

Abstract

DHEA is the major circulating steroid in human blood and it is a central intermediate in the metabolic pathway of sex steroid hormone formation. Although the specific effect of DHEA is still unclear it was demonstrated that DHEA modulates several physiologic processes including metabolism and cardiovascular function. Furthermore, a profound immunomodulatory effect of DHEA was reported. Several data demonstrate the beneficial effect of DHEA in situations of critical illness including trauma hemorrhage and sepsis. Accordingly DHEA improved the survival rate and clinical situation in several animal models of trauma hemorrhage and systemic inflammation. This effect was paralleled by profound changes of immunologic parameters, organ function, and heat shock protein production. Therefore, it was claimed that DHEA may be a new alternative/additive in the treatment of trauma and sepsis. In line, DHEA is a frequently used drug in the field of anti-aging medicine, it is an over-the-counter drug in several countries, and it was reported that DHEA medication is free of major side effects. Therefore, DHEA could easily be used in a clinical trial investigating its effects in critical ill patients. This article reviews the reported effects of DHEA on the base of the literature with the specific focus on trauma and sepsis/critical illness including its clinical perspectives.

The above abstract is copyrighted and reprinted with permission from Bentham Science Publishers, Ltd.

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Written: By Julie Trevano

Article Source: http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2011/7/State-of-California-Decrees-Strong-Warning-Labels-on-DHEA-and-Pregnenolone/Page-01

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