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Longevity strategy: keep up your DHEA, testosterone and IGF-1 levels

Over 65s seeking to optimise their survival chances should maintain the concentrations of DHEA, testosterone and IGF-1 in their body. This is suggested by an epidemiological study that Italian researchers at the University of Parma published in 2007 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The researchers followed 410 men aged 65-92 for six years. Just before the study began, the researchers measured the concentration of DHEA-S, bioavailable testosterone and IGF-1 in the men's blood.

The combined concentration of the anabolic hormones DHEA, testosterone and IGF, after the researchers had filtered out age, education, BMI and other factors, was a strong predictor of the men's survival chances.

The figure below shows that, of the men with a high or average concentration of all those hormones in their blood, about 90 percent were still alive after 6 years. Of the men with a low concentration of all three hormones, only a quarter were still alive after 6 years.

Longevity strategy: keep up your DHEA, testosterone and IGF-1 levels

"It is conceivable that DHEA-S, testosterone, and IGF-1 have synergistic effects," the Italians speculated. "For example, DHEA-S can be converted to testosterone in peripheral tissues, and some of the peripheral actions of both DHEA-S and testosterone may be mediated via tissue-generated IGF-1. In preliminary analyses performed in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging population, both DHEA-S and testosterone had a joint protective effect on 30-year mortality rates."

"The results of this study have important clinical and conceptual implications," the researchers wrote. "Since previous epidemiologic studies in elderly patients focused on only a single hormonal decline rather than multiple anabolic deficiency, we suggest that assessment of these 3 anabolic hormones should always be considered in older men."

"Future studies should also clarify the link between impairment of these 3 different hormonal axes and cause-specific mortality in older men. The findings of this study raise the possibility that a multiple dysregulation rather than a single dysregulation of the anabolic hormones is a powerful marker of poor health status and perhaps accelerates aging in older men."

"Once our findings have been confirmed in other populations, the door will open to clinical trials of multiple hormonal replacement in elderly men."

We, the ignorant compilers of this free webzine, wonder whether the idea of multiple hormonal replacement isn't too simple? It may be the case that endogenous anabolic hormones don't so much help keep the body healthy, but rather that a healthy body produces relatively large amounts of anabolic hormones.

If this is the case, it may open up more possibilities. It would mean that at least some training programmes, dietary interventions and lifestyle changes that can boost the production of anabolic hormones might have all sorts of other interesting health effects.

Arch Intern Med. 2007 Nov 12;167(20):2249-54.

The more anabolic hormones your body produces, the longer you live 29.11.2014


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