Altered DHEA and DHEAS response to exercise in healthy older adults

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Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEAS) are hormones produced by the adrenal cortex that decline in concentration with age. Decreased DHEA levels are associated with age-related disease and oxidative stress but might be increased in younger adults by exercise. Studies are presented assessing the response of DHEA and DHEAS to varied-intensity exercise in older age. DHEA increased significantly in young adults (14.5 +/- 6.1 ng/ml rising to 21.1 +/- 7.5 ng/ml; p <.01), whereas DHEAS decreased significantly (2.56 +/- 1.11 microg/ml falling to 1.90 +/- 0.8 microg/ml; p <.05), after submaximal exercise. DHEA and DHEAS levels were significantly lower in older adults than in younger adults (p <.01), and there was no observed response of either hormone to exercise in older adults. Lipoprotein protein carbonylation is presented as a measure of oxidative status and significantly decreased in younger adults postexercise. Participants with higher DHEA postexercise had lower LDL protein carbonyl concentrations (Pearson's coefficient -.409, p <.05).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of aging and physical activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009