7-keto DHEA is used primarily to increase metabolism and promote a healthy body weight. DHEA and 7-keto DHEA are naturally formed in the body. DHEA is made in the adrenal gland and is the precursor of 7-keto DHEA.
7-Keto DHEA can’t be converted to the steroid hormones androgen or estrogen, hence supplementation of 7-keto DHEA doesn’t affect levels of steroid hormones in the body. In fact, 7-keto DHEA may actually decrease total levels of testosterone. Body builders and men with lower testosterone levels would want to avoid.
Clinically there is some evidence1 that 7-keto DHEA may increase the body’s thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the body’s natural method of increasing temperature and increasing our basil metabolic rate.
7-keto DHEA appears to increase2 the levels of thyroid hormone T-3, which could be helpful in weight management.
7-keto DHEA appears to support memory3 (study done on mice), with a significant benefit to memory retention. This study showed promising results and suggested, “The possible effect of 7-oxo-DHEA in human memory problems deserves investigation3” Unfortunately, as so often happens in nutritional investigation, further investigation into this potentially inexpensive treatment for memory issues is still lacking.
Cautions, Warnings, Side Effects
Because there hasn’t been a great deal of investigation there is little evidence on the complete safety of 7-keto-DHEA. It should not be used during pregnancy and lactation. There are no reported side effects, but I have noticed that some patients have admitted to occasionally feeling agitated while taking the supplement.
In weight loss studies subjects used 100mg of 7-keto DHEA twice daily. Personally I limit dosages for patients to 25-100 mg per day.
If you have a thyroid problem and are being tested for T3 levels and are taking 7-keto DHEA you may see your test results elevated.
- Lardy H, Partridge B, Kneer N, Wei Y. Ergosteroids: induction of thermogenic enzymes in liver of rats treated with steroids derived from dehydroepiandrosterone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995;92:6617-9.
- Colker CM, Torina GC, Swain MA, Kalman DS. Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Abstract presented at 2nd ASEP Annual Meeting, October 14-16, 1999, and published in Journal of Exercise Physiology online, Volume 2 Number 4 October 1999
- Shi J, Schulze S, Lardy HA. The effect of 7-oxo-DHEA acetate on memory in young and old C57BL/6 mice. Steroids 2000;65:124-9.
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