The amount of DHEAS, or dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, that a man has in his blood is a “strong predictor” of how long he’ll live, a new report from a 27-year study conducted in Japan suggests.
The adrenal glands secrete DHEAS, a pre-hormone that the body converts into androgens and estrogens, according to Dr. Mika Enomoto and colleagues from the Kurume University School of Medicine. DHEAS peaks in the body during a person’s 20s and 30s and then sharply declines.
Animal research has found that the hormone has a number of anti-aging effects, the researchers say. Some studies in humans have linked it to longevity, while others have not.
In 1978, to better understand the relationship between DHEAS and life span, researchers measured the hormone in 940 men and women who ranged in age from 21 to 88 and followed them until 2005.
The men had higher amounts of DHEAS at the study’s outset, and both sexes showed a decline in the hormone over time. In the women there was no relationship between their DHEAS counts and how long they lived. For men, however, low amounts of DHEAS, older age, higher blood pressure and higher blood sugar after fasting showed a significant association with shorter life span.
Among the variables, the researchers found that DHEAS was the most strongly linked to a longer life. The relationship between DHEAS and longevity remained even after the researchers adjusted for glucose levels, age and blood pressure.
There was no difference in longevity among men based on DHEAS until the 15-year follow-up point, the researchers note, which may help explain why some past research found no relationship between the hormone and longevity.
The study’s limitations include the fact that information on cause of death wasn’t available for every participant, so it wasn’t possible to determine if low DHEAS correlated with death from heart disease or other causes, the researchers say. Nevertheless, they conclude, “These data suggest that serum level of DHEAS is a strong predictor of 27-year longevity in men.”
Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, June 2008.
—Dr. Bob Goldman
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Dr. Robert M. Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP has spearheaded the development of numerous international medical organizations and corporations. Dr. Goldman has served as a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Filene Center, Tufts University; as an Affiliate at the Philosophy of Education Research Center, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, He is Clinical Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Korea Medical University; and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Central America Health Sciences, Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Goldman holds the positions of Visiting Professor, Udayana University School of Medicine, Indonesia; Visiting Professor, Huazhong University of Science & Technology Tong Ji Medical School, China; Visiting Professor, The Wuhan Institute of Science & Technology, China; Visiting Professor at Hainan Medical College, China; and Visiting Professor, School of Anti-Aging, Aesthetics and Regenerative Medicine, UCSI University, Malaysia. Dr. Goldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Goldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. He has overseen cooperative research agreement development programs in conjunction with such prominent institutions as the American National Red Cross, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense, and the FDA's Center for Devices & Radiological Health.
Dr Goldman was awarded the 2012 LifeTime Achievement Award in Medicine &Science. Dr. Goldman is the recipient of the 'Gold Medal for Science, the Grand Prize for Medicine, the Humanitarian Award, and the Business Development Award. He received honors from Minister of Sports and government Health officials of numerous nations. In 2001, Excellency Juan Antonio Samaranch awarded Dr. Goldman the International Olympic Committee Tribute Diploma for contributions to the development of sport & Olympism.
In addition, Dr. Goldman is a black belt in karate, Chinese weapons expert, and world champion athlete with over 20 world strength records, he has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some of his past performance records include 13,500 consecutive situps and 321 consecutive handstand pushups. Dr. Goldman was an All-College athlete in four sports, a three time winner of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Physical Fitness Award, was voted Athlete of the Year, was the recipient of the Champions Award, and was inducted into the World Hall of Fame of Physical Fitness. Dr. Goldman was awarded the Healthy American Fitness Leader Award from the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Goldman is Chairman of the International Medical Commission overseeing sports medicine committees in over 184 nations. He has served as a Special Advisor to the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. He is founder and international President Emeritis of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the cofounder and Chairman of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Dr. Goldman visits an average of 20 countries annually to promote brain research and sports medicine programs.