Report: DHEA Doesn't Help Menopausal Women
The sex steroid DHEA has been promoted as a cure for problems associated with menopause, but a 12-month trial suggests that the benefits are small.
"The hype surrounding DHEA far exceeds any health benefits," says Professor
Susan Davis of Monash University's Department of Medicine. "DHEA occurs naturally in the body and can also be taken in supplement form. It is increasingly prescribed to postmenopausal women to help improve their well-being and boost libido. However, our study showed no significant improvement in any of these areas," Davis says.
"DHEA is converted to both estrogen and testosterone in the body, so theoretically it has the potential to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms and increase a woman's sexual function and general well-being," says Assistant Professor Robin Bell, but for whatever reason restoring DHEA rates in older women to levels experienced by women in their twenties seems to have no effect.
On the other hand, women in the study did experience acne and increased body hair.