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DHEA and Immune Function

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by heapsreal, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    In one study that focused on men, scientists proposed that the oral administration of DHEA to elderly men would result in activation of their immune system: nine healthy men averaging 63 years of age were treated with a placebo for two weeks followed by 20 weeks of DHEA (50 mg a day). After two weeks on oral DHEA, serum DHEA levels increased by 3-4 times. These levels were sustained throughout the study. Compared to the placebo, DHEA administration resulted in: An increase of 20% in IGF-1. Many people are taking expensive growth hormone injections for the purpose of boosting IGF (insulin-like growth factor) levels. IGF is thought to be responsible for some of the antiaging, anabolic effects that DHEA has produced in previous human studies.
    An increase of 35% in the number of monocyte immune cells.
    An increase of 29% in the number of B immune cells and a 62% increase in B-cell activity.
    A 40% increase in T-cell activity even though the total number of T-cells was not affected.
    An increase of 50% in interleukin-2.
    An increase of 22-37% in natural killer cell (NK) numbers and an increase of 45% in NK cell activity.
    No adverse effects were noted with DHEA administration.

    A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrine Metabolism showed that when old female mice were treated with DHEA, melatonin, or DHEA and melatonin, splenocytes (macrophages) were significantly higher as compared to young mice. B-cell proliferation in young and in old mice significantly increased. DHEA, melatonin, and DHEA and melatonin helped to regulate immune function in aged female mice by significantly increasing the cytokines interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma and significantly decreasing the cytokines interleukin-6 and interleukin-10, thus regulating cytokine production (Inserra et al. 1998).

    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is one of the pathogenic elements in inflammatory and age-related diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and late-onset B-cell neoplasia. According to a report in the June 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , "higher circulating levels of IL-6 predict disability onset in older persons." The authors suggest that IL-6 may cause a reduction in muscle strength or contribute to specific diseases such as congestive heart failure, osteoporosis, arthritis, and dementia, which cause disability (Ferrucci et al. 1999).

    DHEA has consistently been shown to boost beneficial interleukin-2 and suppress damaging interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. Interleukin-6 is overproduced in the aged, which contributes to autoimmune disease, immune dysfunction, osteoporosis, depressions in healing, breast cancer, B-cell lymphoma, and anemia. Continuous DHEA administration maintained immunocompetence in aged animals (by boosting interleukin-2 and other beneficial immune components and suppressing interleukin-6 and other detrimental immune components). Suppression of interleukin-6 with 200 mg a day of DHEA was shown to be effective against systemic lupus erythematosus (Van Vollenhoven et al. 1998).

    http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/dhrethpa2.html
  2. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    wow - thats fascinating. I wonder what an effective dose would be?
  3. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    I was recently looking into it because I realised I experience a sense of enhanced well being when taking it, at just 10mg. I assume that my levels may be relatively low, though I haven't tested this for a while.
    However, I feel uncomfortable with it, as with anything else where there's no reliable information about the possible long-term side-effects, e.g. effects on prostate?.
    It is an anabolic hormone, so it must carry similar risks to other anabolic hormones.
    I'd be interested in hearing from anybody who knows how to boost it naturally.
  4. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    Also down stream DHEA can be converted into either test or estrogen. How do you minimise estrogen forming pathway in men ? DIM ? I would be open to trying it if I know that DHEA does not lead to excessive estrogen production in men.

    I forget but I think Pregnegolone(sp ?) is even further upstream than DHEA and I think that you have been taking that. No benefits from that ?
  5. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    I recently read a book Rich mentioned (Female brain etc.) where the author recommends taking 7-keto-dhea, rather than dhea, in order to avoid spikes in testosterone, estrogen and other downstream hormones. Apparently, 7-keto isn't metabolised to such hormones. I personally remain cautious, I'd like to see proper studies on such effects...
  6. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Watch out for excessive hair growth! Many of us test low on DHEA but I think you have to be cautious in the type and dose for supplementing.

    Sushi
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    i think dhea is something people need to be tested for and use if levels are low and start with low doses. dhea and pregnenolone are also neuro steriods which can help brain function and fatigue. So im not really after its down stream hormone effects as much, i do use arimidex to help control possible estrogen conversion. Pregnenolone in small doses helps quite abit but didnt improve dhea levels for some reson in me, but did increase my cortisol and testosterone levels. using both preg and dhea was too much for me and really over stimulates me. I stopped these supps for awhile as my bp was going up, at the same time i had a sinus infection which increased my bp and the supps exacerbated this. Now my bp is back to normal im working on a low dose dhea again. its only early days but it seems to have helped with that really heavy fatigue i have had. I wasnt completely washed out after work like normal. So i use either preg or dhea for the neuro effects mainly but find preg after awhile is over stimulating and need to take breaks from it. dhea i find isnt as strong, more milder, plus im also hoping for it effects on nk function.
  8. aprilk1869

    aprilk1869 Senior Member

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    You may also find this information interesting:-

    Stress hormones, innate immunity and ageing

    As humans age their ability to combat bacterial infection declines and reduced immunity is further compromised at times of emotional and physical stress. Adrenocortical hormones are elevated in response to chronic stress in both young and old, but the quality of the response is dramatically altered with aging. The adrenal steroid dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) is immune enhancing, while cortisol is immune suppressing. Serum DHEAS levels decline with age but cortisol does not, a process termed the adrenopause, resulting in a relative excess of the immunosuppressive hormone cortisol. Physical trauma, further increases cortisol and may increase susceptibility to infection.

    In recent years we have investigated the effects of hip-fracture on cortisol:DHEAS ratios, infection susceptibility and neutrophil function in elderly humans. Our early data showed that neutrophil phagocytic ability towards both yeast and E.coli was compromised in healthy elderly subjects1. In a study of 35 elderly hip-fracture patients and 9 young subjects with limb fractures, we found that a significant number of the elderly patients (13) developed infections in the 2 months following trauma, which were mainly chest and urinary tract infections. No infections were seen in the young cohort. Serum cortisol:DHEAS ratio were measured and were significantly higher in elderly compared to young patients (P<0.0001). The cortisol:DHEAS ratio was also higher in elderly patients that succumbed to infection (P<0.02) compared to those that did not. Neutrophil superoxide generation was reduced in the elderly and in vitro cortisol inhibited neutrophil superoxide generation, an effect that was blocked by DHEAS2. Thus the response to trauma is increased in the elderly leading to suppression of neutrophil function and increased susceptibility to bacterial infections.

    We have also investigated the molecular basis of the effects of DHEAS on neutrophil superoxide generation and revealed that this effect may be mediated via the activation of the Protein kinase C signalling pathway.

    http://www.endocrine-abstracts.org/ea/0013/ea0013s20.htm
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Interesting, i have noticed over the years my gradual decline of dhea levels corresponds with getting other infections which seem to take alot longer to recover from. Initially i was the type that never got sick other then cfs, now though its the other way round. Thanks for the link.

    SInce being on dhea which is only a few days i actually think my sinuses have improved(been on abx's for 5 weeks), but my last day i felt quite wiped out and had PEM from mowing the jungle which i have put off for along time. While i was mowing i new i was going to pay for it.

    cheers!!!
  10. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I take 7 Keto DHEA in the Dzugan program.
  11. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, undcvr.

    White button mushrooms contain substances that inhibit aromatase, the enzyme that produces estrogen. You might consider eating them with the DHEA. See below.

    Best regards,

    Rich

    Cancer Res. 2006 Dec 15;66(24):12026-34.
    Anti-aromatase activity of phytochemicals in white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus).
    Chen S, Oh SR, Phung S, Hur G, Ye JJ, Kwok SL, Shrode GE, Belury M, Adams LS, Williams D.
    Source

    Department of Surgical Research, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California 91010, USA. schen@coh.org
    Abstract

    White button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporous) are a potential breast cancer chemopreventive agent, as they suppress aromatase activity and estrogen biosynthesis. Therefore, we evaluated the activity of mushroom extracts in the estrogen receptor-positive/aromatase-positive MCF-7aro cell line in vitro and in vivo. Mushroom extract decreased testosterone-induced cell proliferation in MCF-7aro cells but had no effect on MCF-10A, a nontumorigenic cell line. Most potent mushroom chemicals are soluble in ethyl acetate. The major active compounds found in the ethyl acetate fraction are unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid. The interaction of linoleic acid and conjugated linoleic acid with aromatase mutants expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells showed that these fatty acids inhibit aromatase with similar potency and that mutations at the active site regions affect its interaction with these two fatty acids. Whereas these results suggest that these two compounds bind to the active site of aromatase, the inhibition kinetic analysis indicates that they are noncompetitive inhibitors with respect to androstenedione. Because only conjugated linoleic acid was found to inhibit the testosterone-dependent proliferation of MCF-7aro cells, the physiologically relevant aromatase inhibitors in mushrooms are most likely conjugated linoleic acid and its derivatives. The in vivo action of mushroom chemicals was shown using nude mice injected with MCF-7aro cells. The studies showed that mushroom extract decreased both tumor cell proliferation and tumor weight with no effect on rate of apoptosis. Therefore, our studies illustrate the anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo of mushroom extract and its major fatty acid constituents.

    PMID:
    17178902
  12. john66

    john66 Senior Member

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    I had a similar reaction to heaps regarding pregnenelone, better energy, but drove an already high bp higher. SB, I recently looked into the Dzugan program, which seemed to focus on hormones which I liked. The start up fee is out of range for me at this point. The person who did the interviewing with me (over the phone), seemed to want to classify me as a chronic pain pt, I told her that pein was a part of my problem, but fatigue is the inducer of the pain.
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I have been back on oral dhea now for a few weeks at 20mg, no pregnenolone yet. I think it was the sinus infection that effected my bp and the dhea etc bumped it abit more. Now that the sinus infection is sorted(for now) my bp has been normal since being back on dhea. At this stage i cant say its helping but this may be because im also going through a rough patch with a new antiviral. Im hoping dhea can increase my immune function and will get hormones tested again in a month or so, then i may add small amounts of pregnenolone cream to it in 5mg increments as it can overstimulate me??

    I think many of us with me/cfs need to start very low in doses like 5-10mg increments and watch for symptoms of being overstimulated like anxiety, anger, insomnia worsening as well as hypertension. I think its important to get our hormones within the normal range but i think it has to be a balance of how we react to them as well. Its very much a trial and error thing in conjunction with hormone testing.

    cheers!!!
  14. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    John, I have never had such wonderful help from anyone as I have with the Dzugan program. So amazing, expensive but we were sure spending that just looking for a doctor that knew enough about hormones. So, the money was going to be wasted with the others, we had already wasted money, but more importanly, time and effort.

    It is worth it for us and my migraines etc. You do have to have a doctor that works with him and understands supplements. The monthy fee is not bad and you can get help at any time, email, phone etc. I just wish we had done it earlier. I think it has been about two years now.

    I use 7keto DHEA so that doesn't have those problems. But it is all monitored with testing twice a year. No guessing.
  15. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    7-keto DHEA does seem to have effects on hormone levels:

    I don't think this looks good, as a whole range of hormone levels were lowered.
  16. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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