7-keto DHEA is a metabolite of the adrenal hormone dehydroepiandrosteronen (DHEA). 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone, or 7-keto, is a naturally occurring byproduct of DHEA that is produced in the adrenal glands, brain and skin. There are about 150 DHEA metabolites, and 7-keto seems to be one of the most valuable among them. 7-keto DHEA may enhance immune function, decrease muscle loss, decrease stress, increase metabolic rate and accelerate weight loss in healthy adults.
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7-keto DHEA has clinically been shown to increase metabolism and contribute to healthy weight loss. One way that 7-keto contributes to weight loss is by increasing the activity of thermogenic enzymes responsible for fatty acid oxidation. Studies show that 7-keto supplementation increases acyl CoA-oxidase by 128 percent, malic enzyme by 860 percent, and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase by 138 percent. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 30 overweight adults showed a 6.3-lb. decrease in body fat, compared to 2.1 pounds placebo. More of the weight lost was body fat in the 7-keto group. Thryroid hormone was elevated, but no other side effects were reported. Paired with diet and exercise, 7-keto has been shown to accelerate fat loss threefold without any stimulant effect on the body.
7-keto DHEA has also been shown to improve immune function. Monkeys infected with simian HIV experienced increased body weight, a five-fold increase in T cells, and improved overall well-being with 7-keto supplementation. The Minnesota Applied Research Center performed a four-week human clinical trial to determine the effects of 7-keto on elderly men and women. Using 100mg two times a day, the subjects experienced improved immune function, as well as an increase in immune helper cells, increased white blood cells and decreased blood pressure.
As a natural metabolite of the hormone DHEA, 7-keto naturally declines with age in similar proportion to its parent hormone. 7-keto levels rise until age 20. By 30, blood concentrations begin to decline, reducing by up to 50 percent by age 50. Decreases in DHEA and 7-keto can lead to dominance of the stress hormone cortisol, which can contribute to aging and disease. A Czech study evaluated the effect of 7-keto on markers for heart disease. Only 25mg per day for five days significantly raised HDL or good cholesterol. The total cholesterol reduction was low, but the atherogenic index--a measure for risk of cardiovascular disease--showed marked improvement. 7-keto may also help to improve brain function by helping neurons establish contact with others, increasing efficiency in the aging brain. A leading researcher of 7-keto, Dr. Henry Lardy, says that 7-keto provides many of the benefits of DHEA supplements with none of the side effects. A 28-day human safety trial on 7-keto showed no conversion to male or female sex hormones and no effect on blood and urine chemistry. At 200mg per day of 7-keto, no side effects were reported.