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Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone vs androstenedione supplementation in men


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 1999 - Volume 31 - Issue 12 - p 1788
Basic Sciences: Original Investigations

WALLACE, M. B., J. LIM, A. CUTLER, and L. BUCCI. Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone vs androstenedione supplementation in men. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 31, No. 12, pp. 1788–1792, 1999.

Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of short-term (12 wk) supplementation with androstenedione versus dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on body composition, strength, and related hormones in middle-aged men.

Methods A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind design was used to study 40 healthy, trained (>1 yr weight training) male subjects (mean ± SD: age 48.1 ± 3.9 yr; weight 79.8 ± 9.8 kg). Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: placebo (P), DHEA (D), or androstenedione (A). Supplements (50 mg capsules) were ingested two times daily for 12 wk. All testing, including venous blood samples, body composition, and performance, was conducted at three time points: presupplementation (1 d), at 6 wk, and postsupplementation (12 wk).

Results Despite a small increase in lean body mass (0.8 ± 0.4 and 0.5 ± 0.3 kg) and mean strength (6.8 ± 2.7 and 5.7 ± 2.4 kg) in both D and A groups respectively, these changes were not significantly different from P. In D, there was a significantly greater increase in DHEA-S levels than in P (P < 0.05). There were no adverse side effects demonstrated during D or A supplementation including significant changes in PSA, liver function, or lipid levels (P < 0.05).

Conclusions The results of this study suggest that supplementation with 100 mg·d−1 of either androstenedione or DHEA does not independently elicit a statistically significant increase in lean body mass, strength, or testosterone levels in healthy adult men over a 12-wk period.

Department of Sport Science, LGE Performance Systems, Orlando, FL 32728; and Academy Medical Center, U.S. States Sports Academy, Daphne, AL 36526

Submitted for publication November 1998.

Accepted for publication March 1999.

Address for correspondence: M. Brian Wallace, Ph.D., LGE Performance Systems, 9757 Lake Nona Rd., Orlando, FL 32827. E-mail:

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.