Category Archives: DHEA

DHEA or Diosgenin Prevents Bone Loss in Ovariectomized Rats


The use of estrogen, DHEA, and diosgenin in a sustained delivery setting as a novel treatment approach for osteoporosis in the ovariectomized adult rat model.

It is well established that the pattern of bone loss from the cortex in osteoporotic bone begins from the endosteal surface of the cortex, where there is enlargement of the medullary canal at the expense of the inner cortex. Bone loss does not occur at the periosteal surface. The objective of the following study was to induce osteoporosis in female rats by ovariectomy, followed by treatment with sustained delivery of Diosgenin (DG), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), or estrogen (E) after clinical signs of osteoporosis. Female Sprague Dawley rats were divided randomly into five groups containing four rats/group. Rats comprising group 1 were left intact and served as a control group. Animals in groups 2-5 were ovariectomized (OVX) and, after a 14 day delay to allow for induction of osteoporosis, were implanted with TCPL capsules containing DG, DHEA, and E, respectively. The experiment was ceased after 33 days of treatment, at which time the vital and reproductive organs for each group were collected, weighed, and analyzed histomorphometrically for differences. Further analysis of the progression of osteoporosis in the experimental animals was obtained by performing x-ray analysis of each group on a semi-weekly basis. By collecting and analyzing the femurs from each animal, we were also able to obtain important information about the histologic changes associated with osteoporosis (left femur), as well as data regarding the effects of osteoporosis on the mechanical strength of bone via three point bending analysis (right femur). The data generated by this study revealed important information as to the efficacy and safety of the alternative treatments DHEA, E, and DG for osteoporosis. First, histomorphometric analysis revealed that treatment with DHEA, E, and DG reduced the endosteal perimeter and cortical area to values very similar to controls (intact). Second, results of the bending stress and modulus in OVX and treated animals were not statistically different from the intact control animals, which suggests that the material properties of the bone were unaltered. Third, there is an increase in total body weight associated with OVX that is reduced to control levels after replacement therapy. Finally, OVX also resulted in reproductive tissue atrophy, which was reversed by all three of the treatment regimens in this study. These data suggest that bone loss after OVX can be significantly reduced by supplementation with sustained levels of DHEA, E, and DG without jeopardizing other body organs.

Higdon K, Scott A, Tucci M, Benghuzzi H…
Biomed Sci Instrum 2001
PMID: 11347403

DHEA May Help Depression with Hip Fracture


Depression following hip fracture is associated with increased physical frailty in older adults: the role of the cortisol: dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate ratio.

BACKGROUND: Hip fracture in older adults is associated with depression and frailty. This study examined the synergistic effects of depression and hip fracture on physical frailty, and the mediating role of the cortisol:dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) ratio. METHODS: This was an observational longitudinal study of patients with a hip fracture carried out in a hospital setting and with follow up in the community.Participants were 101 patients aged 60+ years (81 female) with a fractured neck of femur.Measurements of the ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADL), cognitive function, physical frailty and assays for serum cortisol and DHEAS were performed six weeks and six months post-hip fracture. Depressed and non-depressed groups were compared by ANOVA at each time point. RESULTS: Hip fracture patients who developed depression by week six (n = 38) had significantly poorer scores on ADL and walking indices of frailty at both week six and month six, and poorer balance at week six. The association with slower walking speed was mediated by a higher cortisol:DHEAS ratio in the depressed group. CONCLUSION: Depression following hip fracture is associated with greater physical frailty and poorer long term recovery post-injury. Our data indicate that the underlying mechanisms may include an increased cortisol:DHEAS ratio and suggest that correcting this ratio for example with DHEA supplementation could benefit this patient population.

Phillips AC, Upton J, Duggal NA, Carroll D…
BMC Geriatr Jun 2013
PMID: 23773910 | Free Full Text