7-keto-DHEA is a compound naturally produced in your body from dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, which is a hormone that comes from the adrenal glands located at the top of each of your kidneys. DHEA is one of the most abundant circulating steroid hormones in your body. It is a precursor for female and male sex hormones, which includes estrogen and testosterone.
7-keto-DHEA is different because it does not actively interact with your sex hormones. This means when taken as an oral supplement, it doesn't increase the amount of them in your blood.
Early studies have suggested that DHEA prevents fat gain in mice due to its thermogenic properties. Thermogenesis is the process of our body burning calories to produce heat.
Another test-tube study suggests 7-keto-DHEA is 2.5 times more thermogenic than its parent compound DHEA. This study has led researchers to begin tests to find the thermogenic properties in humans.
There haven't been too many studies on the effects of 7-keto on metabolism. One study had researchers randomize people who were overweight to receive a supplement that contained 100 mg of 7-keto or a placebo for eight weeks.
The study found the group who received 7-keto lost significantly more weight than those who were given a placebo, but they did not find a difference in their basal metabolic rate between the groups. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories that your body needs to perform its basic functions that sustain life like breathing and circulating blood.
In another study, 7-keto was found to increase the resting metabolic rate of people who were overweight. Resting metabolic weight is less accurate than basal metabolic rate at estimating the number of calories your body needs to sustain life... but it is still useful for measuring your metabolism.
The study found that 7-keto prevented a decrease in metabolism that is normally associated with a reduced-calorie diet and also increased metabolism by 1.4% above baseline levels.
This equals an extra 96 calories per day or 672 per week. This study found the weight loss between the groups were insignificant — likely because the study only lasted seven days.
Studies suggest 7-keto may have the potential to increase your metabolism, but we need more research. Along with the suggested metabolism-boosting properties of 7-keto, it may help aid with weight loss.
One study suggests that 7-keto was well-tolerated in men at doses up to 200 mg per day for four weeks. Most 7-keto supplements on the market contain 100 mg per serving and a recommended two servings per day.