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      Novel dehydroepiandrosterone troche supplementation improves the serum androgen profile of women undergoing in vitro fertilization

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          Abstract

          Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the most abundant steroid hormone in the circulation and has potent multifunctional activity. Epidemiological evidence suggests that levels of serum DHEA decrease with advancing age, and this has been associated with onset or progression of various age-related ailments, including cognitive decline and dementia, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Consequently, these findings have sparked intense research interest in DHEA supplementation as an “antiaging” therapy. Currently, DHEA is being used by 25% of in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinicians as an adjuvant in assisted reproductive programs, yet the therapeutic benefit of DHEA is unclear. Here, we examined the use of novel DHEA-containing oral troches in patients undertaking IVF and investigated the impact of these troches on their serum androgen profile. This retrospective study determined the androgen profile of 31 IVF patients before (baseline) and after DHEA supplementation (with DHEA). Baseline serum measurements of testosterone (total and free), DHEA sulfate (DHEAS), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and androstenedione were made before and after supplementation. Each patient received DHEA troches containing 25 mg of micronized DHEA, and troches were administered sublingually twice daily for a period of no greater than 4 months. Adjuvant treatment with DHEA boosted the serum concentration of a number of androgen-related analytes, including total and free testosterone, androstenedione, and DHEAS, while serum SHBG remained unchanged. Supplementation also significantly increased the free-androgen index in IVF patients. Interestingly, the increase in serum analyte concentration following DHEA supplementation was found to be dependent on body mass index (BMI), but not individual age. Patients with the lowest BMI (<20.0 kg/m 2) tended to have lower testosterone and DHEAS, but higher SHBG and androstenedione levels in comparison with other BMI groups postsupplementation. However, patients in the highest BMI group (>30.0 kg/m 2) tended to have lower androgen responses following DHEA supplementation, but these were not statistically different from the corresponding baseline level. This method of DHEA administration results in a similar enhancement of testosterone, DHEAS, and androstenedione levels in comparison with other methods of administration. Furthermore, we showed that BMI significantly influences DHEA uptake and metabolism, and that BMI should be carefully considered during dosage calculation to ensure a significant and robust androgen-profile boost.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Age changes and sex differences in serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations throughout adulthood.

          In a cross-sectional study, serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DS) concentrations were measured in 981 men and 481 women, aged 11-89, yr. The resulting data were asymetrically distributed and were normalized by logarithmic transformation and analyzed by 5-yr age grouping (e.g. 15-19 yr, 20-24 yr, etc.). The DS concentration peaked at age 20-24 yr in men (logarithmic mean, 3470 ng/ml) and at age 15-19 yr in women (log mean, 2470 ng/ml). Mean values then declined steadily in both sexes (log mean at greater than 70 yr of age, 670 ng/ml in men and 450 ng/ml in women) and were significantly higher in men than women at ages from 20-69 yr. Analysis of 517 randomly selected sera (from women) which had been stored frozen for 10-15 yr gave results indistinguishable from values obtained from fresh specimens. In a supplementary study, a longitudinal analysis of weekly specimens from 4 normal men, aged 36-59 yr, revealed individual variability (mean coefficient of variation, 19%) and failed to demonstrate any monthly, seasonal, or annual rhythmicity. Based on the above analyses, a table of normal serum DS ranges for adult men and women is presented for use as a clinical reference.
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            Update on the use of dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation among women with diminished ovarian function.

            We assessed the role of DHEA supplementation on pregnancy rates in women with diminished ovarian function. This is a case control study of 190 women with diminished ovarian function. The study group includes 89 patients who used supplementation with 75 mg daily of oral, micronized DHEA for up to 4 months prior to entry into in vitro fertilization (IVF). The control group is composed of 101 couples who received infertility treatment, but did not use DHEA. The primary outcome was clinical pregnancy after the patient's initial visit. We developed a Cox proportional hazards model to compare the proportional hazards of pregnancy among women using DHEA with the controls group. Cumulative clinical pregnancy rates were significantly higher in the study group (25 pregnancies; 28.4% vs. 11 pregnancies; 11.9%; relative hazard of pregnancy in study group (HR 3.8; 95% CI 1.2-11.8; p < 0.05). DHEA treatment resulted in significantly higher cumulative pregnancy rates. These data support a beneficial effect of DHEA supplementation among women with diminished ovarian function.
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              Dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation augments ovarian stimulation in poor responders: a case series.

              In patients with poor response to ovarian stimulation with gonadotrophins, growth hormone (GH) is sometimes used to increase paracrine insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) effect. We postulated that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) administration to poor responders would augment gonado-trophin effect via a similar mechanism. Baseline ovarian stimulation response to a cycle with DHEA in five healthy non-smoking women <41 years old was compared with day 3 FSH <20 mIU/ml. All had documented poor response to vigorous gonadotrophin administration. After day 2 ultrasounds, DHEA-sulphate (DHEA-S), FSH, human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), and testosterone were measured, and the women were given 80 mg/day of oral micronized DHEA for 2 months. While still on DHEA, they underwent ovarian stimulation with FSH given i.m. twice a day, and HCG (10 000 IU) at follicular maturity, followed by intrauterine insemination. Cycle parameters assessed were peak oestradiol, and peak oestradiol/ampoule. The DHEA/ovarian stimulation cycles occurred between 4 and 24 months after the control cycles. After 2 months DHEA treatment, DHEA-S increased to 544 +/- 55 microg/dl, and testosterone increased to 67.3 +/- 6.1 ng/dl. All five subjects (six cycles; one subject had two DHEA cycles) had increased responsiveness; peak oestradiol concentrations increased from 266.3 +/- 69.4 pg/ml to 939.8 +/- 418.9 pg/ml. The oestradiol/ampoule ratio increased in all six cycles, by a mean of 2.94 +/- 0.50 fold (P = 0.012). One of the cycles resulted in a delivered twin pregnancy. In this small series, DHEA improved response to ovarian stimulation even after controlling for gonadotrophin dose. Supplemental DHEA treatment during ovarian stimulation may represent a novel way to maximize ovarian response.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2015
                09 October 2015
                : 9
                : 5569-5578
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute – Biosciences, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
                [2 ]PIVET Medical Centre, Perth, Australia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: John L Yovich, PIVET Medical Centre, 166–168 Cambridge Street, Leederville, Perth, WA 6007, Australia, Email jlyovich@ 123456pivet.com.au
                Article
                dddt-9-5569
                10.2147/DDDT.S92467
                4607057
                26487801
                © 2015 Keane et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Original Research

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