▸ To analyze the effect of a replacement therapy with DHEA-S on plasma fatty acids since it has not been studied yet in humans. ▸ DHEA-S treatment produced significant changes in plasma fatty acids in post- and premenopausal obese women. ▸ DHEA-S treatment decreased total saturated fatty acids and increased n – 3 and n – 6 PUFA. ▸ D6-desaturase was significantly decreased in postmenopausal, whereas D5-desaturase was increased in premenopausal women. ▸ DHEA-S treatment modifies plasma FA composition towards a potentially better metabolic profile in obese women.
DHEA-S treatment is used as an anti-aging and anti-obesity hormone therapy in adults; however, it mechanisms of action are not clearly elucidated.
The objective of the present work was to analyze the effect of a replacement therapy, which included a daily single oral dose of DHEA-S for three months, on the composition of human plasma fatty acids (FAs) in obese women.
In the first study, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted involving 61 postmenopausal women, who were assigned to receive 100 mg/day of DHEA-S (n = 41) or placebo (n = 20) orally for 3 months. In a second study, the effect of DHEA-S treatment on postmenopausal obese women (n = 41) was compared to that in premenopausal obese women (n = 20). Blood samples were collected at the beginning and at the end of the treatment. Plasma FAs were analyzed by gas chromatography.
DHEA-S treatment produced significant changes in plasma FAs of both post- and premenopausal women with a reduction of total saturated FAs (SFA) as well as an increase in n − 6 polyunsaturated FA (PUFA). Particularly, in premenopausal women the DHEA-S treatment also increased the plasma n − 3 PUFA percentage. Regarding estimation of desaturase activity, our data showed that Δ6-desaturase was significantly decreased in postmenopausal women after DHEA-S treatment, whereas Δ5-desaturase was increased in the premenopausal group.
In conclusion, DHEA-S treatment in obese women modifies plasma FA composition towards a potentially better metabolic profile, mainly by decreasing SFA and increasing n − 6 PUFA in both postmenopausal and premenopausal women.