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7-Keto DHEA

7-Keto DHEA is a metabolite of DHEA that is nonhormonal, and it appears to be a fat loss agent as it may increase the metabolic rate. Studies in humans show promise for helping during a fat loss diet, but currently are of questionable quality due to potential conflicts of interest.

Our evidence-based analysis on 7-keto dhea features 48 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of 7-Keto DHEA

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone (7-oxo DHEA and more commonly known as the brand name 7-keto) is one of three oxygenated metabolites of dehydroepiandrosterone, and these three oxygenated metabolites interconvert with one another but do not convert back into parent DHEA; 7-keto supplementation is a way to get these three oxygenated metabolites without using DHEA supplementation, and DHEA may form androgenic and estrogenic hormones via an alternate metabolic pathway (which 7-keto does not participate in).

7-keto supplementation is mostly known to not be hormonal; it can interact with steroid metabolism but the exact manner in which it does it not fully elucidated. It does appear to have anti-cortisol mechanisms as the enzymes that activate cortisol (from the relatively inactive precursors of cortisone and corticosterone) are the same that interconvert these oxygenated metabolites. Although it appears to be anti-cortisol by its mechanisms, there is insufficient evidence to support these mechanisms in the body following oral supplementation.

Studies using 7-keto supplementation tend to note an increased metabolic rate later on during a caloric restriction period (which is secondary to reducing the rate of metabolic rate decline associated with dieting, and becoming a relative increase) although the quantity of data on this is pretty minimal if we exclude studies with possible conflicts of interest or those that use 7-keto alongside a multitude of supplements.

7-keto appears to be a somewhat promising non-hormonal fat burning agent but requires more evidence on both of those claims.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

A typical supplemental dosage of 7-keto is 200-400mg daily in two divided doses (100-200mg), some limited evidence suggests that lower doses of 50-100mg may be effective for neural purposes.

The optimal dosing schedule and overall dose of 7-keto is not yet known, and the above dosages are just based on what is known to have efficacy.

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine Plus members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects 7-Keto DHEA has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine Plus members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c Notable - See study
Somewhat notable as the decrease seen with dieting was effectively abolished and reversed with 7-keto supplementation over 7 days of low caloric intake, but more evidence is required to establish the reliability of this and how strong it actually is.
grade-c Minor - See study
The amount of fat lost appears to be more with 7-keto than with placebo when either of them are paired with a low calories weight loss regiment.
grade-c Minor - See study
There appears to be an increase in circulating T3 hormone levels (active thyroid hormone) when 7-keto is paired with a caloric restriction and exercise (relative to placebo with the same regimen)
grade-c Minor - See study
A weight loss of 2.88kg (1.8% body fat) was seen with 7-keto over placebo (0.97 kg loss with 0.28% bodyfat) which is significant but not overly notable, since the study used obese persons and exercise
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support changes in blood glucose
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support changes in blood pressure following 7-keto supplementation.
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to claim changes in estrogen following 7-keto supplementation.
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support changes in fatigue and energy following 7-keto supplementation.
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support changes in parathyroid hormone from 7-keto supplementation.
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support alterations in T4, with no changes detected when it is measured
grade-c - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support changes in testosterone following 7-keto supplementation.

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Confounded with the inclusion of other nutrients[1][2]

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Primary Function:

Also Known As

7-ketodehydroepiandrosterone, 7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone, 7-ketoDHEA, 7-oxoDHEA, 7-oxo, 7-keto

Do Not Confuse With

Dehydroepiandrosterone (parent molecule)

  • For the most part, 7-keto supplementation is neither estrogenic nor androgenic

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Click here to see all 48 references.