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.
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 loss was body fat in the 7-keto group. Thyroid 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 the 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 of the 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.
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