K. Collompa,C. Buissonb,F. Lasneb,R. Collompc
The dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) concentrations during acute and chronic exercise (training) have been investigated only fairly recently. DHEA is generally preferred to DHEA-S for exploring the acute exercise repercussions in laboratory or field tests because of its shorter elimination half-life. Conversely, DHEA-S is preferred to estimate chronic adaptations. Both can be measured noninvasively in saliva, and it is therefore possible to follow these hormone responses in elite athletes during competitive events and in healthy and pathological populations, without imposing additional stress. Indeed, the correlation between saliva and serum concentrations is high for steroid hormones, both at rest and during exercise.
In this review, we will first summarize the current knowledge on the DHEA/DHEA-S responses to exercise and examine the potential modulating factors: exercise intensity, gender, age, and training. We will then discuss the ergogenic effects that athletes expect from the exogenous administration of DHEA and the antidoping methods of analysis currently used to detect this abuse.
keywords: Acute physical exercise;Chronic physical exercise;Ergogenic effects;Antidoping analysis