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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Hormone can help you live longer

21st October 2010

Scientists believe they have found a hormone naturally created in the body that may help people live longer.


The study, which identified the substance known as DHEAS, is apparently more plentiful in richer people, though further research is needed on this point.

Researcher leader Professor Sir Michael Marmot said that while tablets, patches or injections may in the future boost the level of DHEAS, leading a more fulfilling life could at present have a similar effect.

The study was carried out by University College London for the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and involved measuring the hormone levels by taking blood samples from more than 10,000 people aged over 50, who have been monitored since 2004.

Sir Michael said: “We found a clear social gradient in several health indicators with less wealthy people having higher levels of obesity, lower levels of physical exercise, higher levels of smoking, lower fruit and vegetable intake and being more likely to suffer from hypertension and diabetes.

“A striking new finding is that the hormone DHEAS which predicts life expectancy also follows a social gradient – less wealth, lower levels of DHEAS.

“I believe this is the first time this has been identified. My own interpretation is that it is a counter to stress. Having higher levels of DHEAS protects you.”

The hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands and production is greatest in childhood and teenage years, before gradually declining through adult life and by the age of 80 it could be just a tenth of the level of a teenager.


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