DHEA Side Effects

Brian Manning Delaney bmdelaney at notarealaddr.ess
Tue Oct 6 12:40:03 EST 1998


Tom Matthews wrote:

> Brian Manning Delaney wrote:

>> Tom Matthews wrote:

>> > But there is a much stronger reason why DHEA
>> > replacement might be benefical than simply the
>> > above logic. We already know that the 20-30 year
>> > old levels were beneficial for a 20-30 year old
>> [....]

>> ?!? How on Earth do "we" (some kind of royal We?)
>> know that youthful DHEA levels were beneficial
>> for a young person? Because it's natural? It's
>> hard to imagine you believe that. What's natural
>> for a young adult is to have sex (and other
>> biological, as well as social, activities
>> furthering the teloi of sex, such as eating).
>> Sure, the hormone levels of a young person are
>> beneficial for the species, but life-extension
>> is not about extending the species, I think
>> you'll agree.

> Since this is the only valid point which you
> make in your reply, I will address it in spite
> of my desire to stop this generally useless
> debate with you.

Excellent!

>> So, then, why do you believe -- indeed, claim
>> to _know_ -- that youthful DHEA levels were
>> beneficial for young people?

> I agree that this is an assumption which needs
> some justification.

> My justification is based upon the fact that 20-30
> years old are generally (certainly relative to
> older humans) healthy and vigorous. They have
> high stamina, recover quickly from stress, heal
> more quickly. Their aging rate as measured by
> any reasonable biomarker changes per year is
> very low. If they are not the state that we are
> all aiming to return to and remain at by means
> of stop aging and gaining rejuvenation, then I
> don't know what is.

If you're saying that a state that has the benefits of youth
is what life-extension (generally) aims for, I agree. But
see below on one important thing about youth we wouldn't
want.

> On this general basis, and
> the partial evidence of DHEA's mechanisms of
> action and benefits, I do not think that the
> assumption that the normal DHEA levels of a 20-30
> year old are ideal for such a 20-30 year old (with
> all the other differences that implies), is
> unreasonable.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your argument seems to be this:

1) (Relatively) high natural levels of DHEA correlate with a
healthy state (vigorous, having a low rate of aging, etc.)
in young people, and
2) the partial evidence of DHEA's mechanism of action and
benefits

suggest that (it isn't unreasonable to say that) the
youthful levels of DHEA are ideal for youth (where I assume
you mean ideal for the individual, not the species).

This is a very weak argument.

First let me address a factual error. Young adults do NOT
have a low rate of aging. Why do you believe they have a low
rate of aging?

Ever noticed that young adults are only young adults for a
short time? Guess why.

This is why it's not accurate to say that life-extension
aims at restoring youth. Life-extension aims at restoring
NON-DAMAGING youth. Youth, as it is, is extraordinarily
wasteful, and short-lived.

Back to the two points:

Point #1 by itself is, of course, especially weak, since
it's only a correlation. But you know that, which is why you
add #2:

#2: I assume you're thinking of the studies that show
measures of things like strength go up when older people are
supplemented with DHEA, yes? And you're assuming that DHEA
in young people is partly responsible for their vitality,
sexual energy, etc.? I'll agree that it is likely that DHEA
plays a significant role in, generally speaking, "vitality,"
in young people.

But this isn't what's in question. The question is whether
or not the WAY in which DHEA might contribute to vitality is
good for youth. (And, then there's the question we started
with, which would need additional support: whether it's good
for older people to supplement with DHEA.)

You've given no grounds for the belief that DHEA is good for
young people. (And, certainly, you've given no grounds for
belief that DHEA supplementation for older people is
generally good for them.) I'm glad you at least agreed that
such grounds need to be spelled out.

Best,
Brian.
--
Brian Manning Delaney
email = first initial + hyphen + last name @uchicago.edu
Note: All statements in this article are in jest; they
are not statements of fact.
"Mein Genie ist in meinen Nuestern." -Nietzsche.
** Please do not CC your Usenet articles to me. I'll find
them.




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