Int J Sports Med 2000; 21(1): 17-20
DOI: 10.1055/s-2000-8851
Physiology and Biochemistry
Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart ·New York

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) Rather Than Testosterone Shows Saliva Androgen Responses to Exercise in Elite Female Handball Players

 E. Filaire,  G. Lac
  • Laboratoire de la Performance Motrice, U.F.R. S.T.A.P.S., Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand II, Aubière, France
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31. Dezember 2000 (online)

The aim of the investigation was to evaluate in fourteen elite female handball players the resting values of saliva levels of testosterone - T - and dehydroepiandrosterone - DHEA - in comparison with ten sedentary women and the response to exercise of the same hormones in handball players. Saliva samples were taken from the handball players upon wakening (resting values) (8 a. m.), 5 minutes before and after a simulated handball match (6 p. m.; 8 p. m.) and upon wakening the following morning (8 a. m. + 24 h). The samples of saliva from the sedentary controls were taken at the same time of day but the controls did not perform any exercise. Resting hormonal levels were lower in handball players than in controls (P < 0.01). The exercise did not induce significant changes in T and DHEA salivary concentrations in handball players. Positive correlations between testosterone concentrations and DHEA were observed at all the time points studied. These findings showed that the T and DHEA concentrations followed a remarkably similar pattern. Considering the very low concentrations of testosterone in women, in particular in saliva, and its biosynthetic pathway, we suggest that measurements of DHEA could serve as a substitute for testosterone measurements to study training responses in elite sportswomen.


Edith Filaire

Laboratoire de la Performance Motrice UFR STAPS Université Blaise Pascal

Clermont-Ferrand II

BP 104 „Les Cézeaux”

F-63172 Aubière, Cedex


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