The influence of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on fasting plasma glucose, insulin levels and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index: a systematic review and dose response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials


Wang X, Feng H, Fan D, Zou G, Han Y, Liu L




Complement Ther Med . 2020 Dec;55:102583.

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The effect of DHEA supplementation on fasting plasma glucose (FPG), insulin levels (IN) and the homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index in humans has not been assessed so far. Thus, we aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the randomized controlled trials (RCT) which assessed the effects of DHEA supplementation on FPG, IN and the HOMA-IR index in humans.


An extensive search was performed in Scopus, PubMed/MEDLINE, and Web of Science from inception to June 2020. Data was combined using the random effects model.


14 publications were included in this study. Overall results demonstrated that FPG was significantly altered after DHEA consumption (WMD: -2.185 mg/dl, P = 0.029). DHEA administration did not result in any significant changes in IN (WMD: 0.057 μU/mL, P = 0.067), and the HOMA – IR index (WMD: 0.174, P = 0.060). In the subgroup analyses, FPG significantly decreased in the subgroup who received DHEA supplementation in dosages of ≤50 mg/day (WMD: -2.29 mg/dl), when the treatment duration was <12 weeks (WMD: -5.25 mg/dl), and in subjects aged ≥60 years (WMD: -2.94 mg/dl).


This systematic review evaluated the association between FPG and DHEA, revealing that the administration of DHEA reduces FPG levels. However, we found no association between DHEA administration and IN levels or insulin resistance.

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