Metabolic and hormonal effects of oral DHEA in premenopausal women with HIV infection: a randomized, prospective, placebo-controlled pilot study.Horm Metab Res. 2009 Mar; 41(3):244-9.HM
Women with HIV infection use dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) because of its potential effects on mood and energy. We examined the effects of DHEA on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and gonadal axes and on insulin sensitivity. Fifteen HIV-positive women were randomized to receive placebo (6 subjects) or oral DHEA (9 subjects). ACTH-, CRF-, and GnRH-stimulation tests were performed before and after 8 weeks of treatment. DHEA, DHEA-S, dihydrotestosterone, total testosterone, free testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, estrone, estradiol, cortisol, insulin, IGF-1, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-3, and adiponectin in plasma or serum were measured. There was a significant increase in DHEA (p<0.004), DHEA-S (p<0.008), total testosterone (p<0.008), dihydrotestosterone (p<0.004), androstenedione (p<0.04), and estrone (p<0.03) from baseline within the DHEA group but not within the placebo group. There was a significant increase in DHEA (p<0.0006), DHEA-S (p<0.032), total testosterone (p<0.01), and dihydrotestosterone (p<0.005) in the DHEA group compared with the placebo group. Oral DHEA produces significant increases in circulating DHEA, DHEA-S, testosterone, DHT, and, possibly, androstenedione and estrone levels in premenopausal women with HIV infection. In the current pilot study these hormone changes did not affect the pituitary or adrenal axis or insulin/IGF indices. Long-term studies with larger groups of patients are needed to confirm these data and to determine their clinical significance.