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DHEA and "Sepsis" ~ [Issue 0100-4]  Wellness Weekly
 Jan 25, 2000 13:48 PST 

"Sepsis" is the term used to describe a condition of either a
localized or generalized (all over the body) invasion of pathogenic
bacteria. This, of course, is what we more commonly call an
infection. From "sepsis," we get the term antiseptic, referring to an
agent which fights bacteria. In our bodies, the immune system is our
primary defense for fighting infection. When this system is not
functioning properly, infections are not only more likely to develop,
but also more liable to become harmful.

Physical injury is one occasion, for men, where this line of defense
does seem to leave the body vulnerable. Following injury-induced
blood loss, male sex hormones seem to depress immune function. This
puts men at increased risk of sepsis or development of harmful
infections. Studies in men resuscitated after traumatic injury and
hemorrhagic shock have shown this immune suppression to last as long
as ten days. These men also showed an increased susceptibility to
subsequent sepsis and death.

Recently, however, Dr. Martin K. Angele and colleagues at the Brown
University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island, published
the results of a interesting study in Archives of Surgery. According
to these researchers, the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone, more
commonly known as DHEA, may restore male immune function after
injury. This, of course, would naturally lower men's risk of
infection and increase their odds for survival. According to the
researchers, short-term administration of DHEA has no adverse
effects. They suggest the administration of DHEA in males should be
considered useful in the treatment of immune dysfunction associated
with traumatic injury.

For additional information regarding DHEA and its other health
benefits, please see http://www.aomega.com/ahs/e0210b.htm
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