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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: DHEA info avail
Date: 30 Oct 1996

In <556klp$> (Dr D 4U) writes:

>DHEA is not a steroid check your facts before posting nonsense.
>Dr. Demetrios Kydonieus

   DHEA is derived from cholesterol (sterol nucleus), and is therefore
chemically a steroid, just like prednisone.  It is even a
corticosteroid, though not a glucocorticoid.  In action, it seems to be
a weak sex hormone steroid, which is the kind of steroid most people
mean when they say some athelete is on "steroids."  Check YOUR facts
before posting nonsense.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: "A Dietary Supplement"?? dhea
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997

In <> writes:

>What is a dietary supplement?
>The brand of DHEA that I *was* taking bears the words "A Dietary
>Supplement" on the front of the label.  The label also does not contain
>any warnings of possible side effects.
>A dietary supplement would seem to me to be a relatively innocuous
>substance.  It is now my understanding, after experiencing a traumatic
>side effect, that dhea certainly seems to be much more than a "dietary
>Marty Anderson-Walsh

   It's a steroid hormone not found to any large extent in any food
(despite the hype about DHEA being in Mexican yams, it's really not in
there, and your body can't make it from what is in there).

   The "dietary supplement" label gets the stuff out from under the
FDA's thumb, despite the fact that it's meaningless and makes no sense
in terms of other regulation.  There's a lot more rationale, just as
example, for desicated thyroid gland being a "dietary supplement,"
since the stuff (thyroid gland with hormone) does actually get into the
normal human diet (and can poison people) when hogs are trimmed
incorrectly at the butcher's.  That does not prevent it from being
illegal to sell thyroid tissue with active hormone in it this way, as
pills over the counter, so the "food supplement" idea can be pushed
only so far for dangerous things.  Thyroid pills with active hormone is
prescription only.  DHEA pills with active hormone have gotten away
with it so far because there have been so few reports of people having
health problems as a result of taking it.  Same for melatonin, though
unlike DHEA, melatonin actually does occur naturally in small amounts
in foods like bananas.  And, of course, in  calf brain.

                                           Steve Harris, M.D.

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