DHEA Not Impressing

The dietary supplement DHEA, touted as a "fountain of youth," lacks the benefits claimed, according to Reuters, reporting on a study in The New England Journal of Medicine.

DHEA "does nothing to slow the damaging effects of aging despite widespread claims to the contrary, researchers said....Extensive federally funded tests only uncovered 'minimal and inconsistent' evidence that a daily dose of 75 mg may help strengthen thinning bones....But even that benefit was far less dramatic than what doctors can accomplish with established medicines, said the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine....Earlier studies reached similar conclusions."

Reuters also noted the effect on controversy surrounding DSHEA and dietary supplement regulation:

"In a Journal editorial, Paul Stewart of the University of Birmingham in Britain said it was time for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin regulating the substance so consumers will stop being ripped off by DHEA suppliers who make unsubstantiated claims about it."

Appprarently claims regarding DHEA may be excessive, particularly as the dietary supplement "is widely touted on the Internet and elsewhere as a "fountain of youth" drug that can slow the aging process and treat everything from heart disease to HIV, depression and Alzheimer's."

The Institute of Medicine Report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine zeroed in on dietary supplement regulation, and claims for supplements, as particularly needing increased attention.