General Information: 7-Keto-DHEA is a natural metabolite of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is one of the most abundant steroidal products of the adrenal gland. 7-Keto-DHEA is the oxygenated form of DHEA and is present naturally in the body. Studies have been conducted to evaluate 7-Keto-DHEA effects on the reduction of adipose tissue, increased immune response, enhance memory, lean tissue levels and other effects.
Each DHEA metabolite is thought to have some biological significance. 7-Keto-DHEA is one of the major metabolites of DHEA. 7-Keto-DHEA may have a profound effect on the body’s ability to metabolize fat. 7-Keto-DHEA has been shown to increase resting metabolic rate in dieting adults undergoing caloric restriction, thus increasing dieting effectiveness.12 One study demonstrated a 1.4% increase in resting metabolic rate in individuals who were administered 7-Keto-DHEA, compared to a placebo group who experienced a 3.9% decrease (7-Keto-DHEA 100 mg twice daily).1 Another study demonstrated a formula containing 7-Keto-DHEA helped subjects who were dieting and exercising to lose 4.7lbs compared to a placebo group who lost 1.6lbs (7-Keto-DHEA 100 mg twice daily).2
7-Keto-DHEA has been found safe in doses up to 200 mg per day for up to four weeks in length.3 Doses are usually divided into two 100 mg doses due to the short half-life of 2.17 hours.3 After administration peak levels are reached in the blood after 2.2 hours.3
One of the most cited features of 7-Keto-DHEA is its ability to strongly affect thermogenic enzymes. Two of the enzymes affected of the enzymes affected include mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and cytosolic malic enzyme.4 It was more recently found that the third enzyme family acyl-CoA: oxygen 2-oxidoreductases are also important in 7-Keto-DHEA mediated thermogenesis.5 The downstream effects of 7-Keto-DHEA on these enzymes include increased thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation. These enzymes are readily involved in cellular carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
7-Keto-DHEA can be metabolized into 7a-hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone (7a-OH-DHEA), 7b-hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone (7b-OH-DHEA) and 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone (7-oxo-DHEA). Once metabolized into these downstream products, interconversion between products are possible. The hydroxylated metabolites are thought to have some physiological effects.
Unlike DHEA, 7-Keto-DHEA is not readily converted into estradiol or testosterone due to the ketone group on the seventh carbon, and does not activate the androgen receptor.34 This trait has led many to believe that 7-Keto-DHEA is a superior DHEA metabolite. The amount of DHEA required to induce thermogenesis readily converts into unwanted androgenic, estrogenic and various other metabolites. On the other hand, 7-Keto-DHEA may induce thermogenesis while not converting into unwanted metabolites.
As a person ages the levels of 7-Keto-DHEA decrease concurrently with resting metabolic rate.6 Many believe supplementation of 7-Keto-DHEA can attenuate some of the negative aspects of a decreased resting metabolic rate, including increased fat storage.
Furthermore, antidotal support indicates 7-Keto-DHEA might be effective in increasing the body’s ability to oxidize fat, stimulate metabolism, aid the learning process, and fight the conditions associated with aging. 7-Keto-DHEA has been shown to statistically improve the memory in mice, however has not been studied in humans.7 At the University of Wisconsin, research led by Henry A. Lardy also revealed that potential positive muscle wasting and immune system effects may be exhibited by 7-Keto-DHEA, due to studies done in monkeys and mice.
7-Keto-DHEA has also been used in a topical form. When administered in this fashion several hormones have been shown to fluctuate in response to the transdermal absorption.8
Please note that dieting and exercise were present in every study that demonstrated 7-Keto-DHEA’s ability to increase thermogenesis, resulting in weight loss. Unrealistic expectations of 7-Keto-DHEA to promote weight loss should be avoided.
Who should not take this medicine: Do not take this medicine with any dietary supplements containing DHEA.
Key warnings before taking this medicine? Your healthcare provider needs to know if you have any of these conditions: pregnancy; breast-feeding; thyroid disease or dysfunction.
What are the precautions when taking this medicine? Additive effects could potentially occur with concurrent use with hormones. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can be antagonized by DHEA. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Some items may interact with your medicine.
How is it best taken? Take DHEA by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions of your healthcare provider. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for 7-keto-DHEA. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your healthcare provider before using.
What do I do if I miss a dose? If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at the same time.
What are some possible side effects of this medicine? DHEA could potentially cause change in sex drive, headache, loss of appetite. Call your health care provider immediately if you are experiencing any signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue. Call your doctor if you are experiencing acne, breast pain, swelling, dark urine, nausea vomiting, right upper abdominal pain.
How should I store this medicine? Store this medication at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) and away from heat, moisture and light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Do not flush unused medications or pour down a sink or drain.
- 1. Zenk, J.L., J.L. Frestedt, and M.A. Kuskowski, HUM5007, a novel combination of thermogenic compounds, and 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone: each increases the resting metabolic rate of overweight adults. J Nutr Biochem, 2007. 18(9): p. 629-34.
- 2. Zenk, J.L., et al., The effect of 7-Keto Naturalean™ on weight loss: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Current Therapeutic Research, 2002. 63(4): p. 263–272.
- 3. Davidson, M., et al., Safety and pharmacokinetic study with escalating doses of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone in healthy male volunteers. Clin Invest Med, 2000. 23(5): p. 300-10.
- 4. Lardy, H., et al., Ergosteroids. II: Biologically active metabolites and synthetic derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone. Steroids, 1998. 63(3): p. 158-65.
- 5. Bobyleva, V., et al., The effects of the ergosteroid 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on mitochondrial membrane potential: possible relationship to thermogenesis. Arch Biochem Biophys, 1997. 341(1): p. 122-8.
- 6. Marenich, L.P., [Excretion of testosterone, epitestosterone, androstenedione and 7-ketodehydroepiandrostenedione in healthy men of different ages]. Probl Endokrinol (Mosk), 1979. 25(4): p. 28-31.
- 7. Shi, J., S. Schulze, and H.A. Lardy, The effect of 7-oxo-DHEA acetate on memory in young and old C57BL/6 mice. Steroids, 2000. 65(3): p. 124-9.
- 8. Sulcova, J., et al., Delayed effects of short-term transdermal application of 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on its metabolites, some hormonal steroids and relevant proteohormones in healthy male volunteers. Clin Chem Lab Med, 2005. 43(2): p. 221-7.