7-Keto DHEA is a hormone metabolite, produced in the brain, kidneys, and reproductive organs, that is commonly used to boost weight-loss and may provide some cognitive benefits.
It is a metabolite of the parent hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Since 7-Keto DHEA is a metabolite, once ingested it will not likely convert into the steroid hormones androgen or estrogen, but further research is required (1, 2).
Best 7-Keto DHEA
1. Pure Encapsulations 7-Keto DHEA Capsules
Pure Encapsulations offers the #1 doctor-recommended supplement and comes in small capsule form that contains 25 mg of pure 7-Keto DHEA. The veggie capsule is made specifically with hypoallergenic materials making this an optimal choice for those with various allergies. It is also vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
Although Pure Encapsulations provides a low dose, it makes it easy to adjust and tailor the serving to an individual. Pure Encapsulation’s supplements are tested and pure to incredibly high standards, which is why it’s our top pick.
2. Jarrow Formulas 7-Keto DHEA Capsules
Jarrow Formulas presents a hearty option for 7-Keto DHEA in their formula that is specifically designed to enhance your metabolism through natural means and without the awful side effects that pure DHEA supplements can sometimes have.
This supplement contains 100 mg of 7-Keto DHEA per serving. This supplement comes in a veggie capsule with no additives, fillers, or binders to be concerned about. Jarrow Formulas is a US-based company but it is unclear whether it is manufactured in an FDA/GMP-registered facility.
3. Enzymatic Therapy 7-Keto DHEA Metabolite
7-Keto DHEA Metabolite from Enzymatic Therapy contains 25 mg of 7-Keto DHEA per dose. These capsules do not contain any additives or fillers. There is titanium dioxide for color purposes.
This supplement is manufactured in the USA in a GMP-certified facility. Enzymatic Therapy strives to deliver innovative and effective products and their products undergo an intense quality control process.
4. NOW Supplements 7-Keto Veggie Capsules
NOW has more than one 7-Keto capsule option. We’re not a fan of the Lean Gels version as it contains several additives that don’t fit our spectrum but this 100mg blend is optimal. The veggie capsule contains no fillers, binders, or additives to worry about. The capsule is less than an inch long so it’s small and easy to take.
This supplement is manufactured in a GMP-registered facility and undergo heavy quality control, including third-party lab testing for potency, stability, and formula.
5. Source Naturals 7-Keto DHEA Tablets
Source Naturals delivers 50 mg of 7-Keto DHEA per tablet, with a recommended dose of 2 tablets per day. The bottle only contains 60 capsules so it is a short-term supply.
This supplement is manufactured in the USA but it is unclear whether or not it is in a GMP or FDA facility. However, all products and ingredients are third-party lab tested for quality.
6. Healthy Origins 7-Keto DHEA Veggie Capsules
Healthy Origins offers a basic and simple 7-Keto DHEA supplement in veggie capsule form. This formula contains 100 mg of 7-Keto DHEA without the DHEA-related side effects.
It is delivered in a veggie capsule with no additives, fillers, or binders included in the ingredients. Healthy Origins has all of their products clinically studied and tested prior to distribution. All products are manufactured in the US but it is unclear whether the facility is GMP or FDA-registered.
7. Designs for Health 7-Keto DHEA Capsules
Designs for Health offered up a suitable solution with their 7-Keto DHEA supplement that is 7-OXO. This formula provides 100 mg of 7-Keto per serving of 1 capsule. While the capsule is not vegan-friendly, it’s free of most fillers and additives. This product is manufactured in the USA and undergoes strict quality control practices.
8. Bestvite Stearate Free 7-Keto DHEA Veggie Capsule
Bestvite’s 7-Keto DHEA is impressive with their stearate-free compilation that is hard to find in some supplements. This formula contains 50 mg of 7-Keto DHEA per serving size of 1 capsule and the formulation holds a U.S. patent. There are absolutely no artificial colors or flavors, just a simple veggie capsule without binders or additives to be concerned with.
This product is manufactured in the US and is held to strict quality control standards directly through the company. FDA or GMP-certification information is unclear.
9. Swanson 7-Keto DHEA Capsules
Swanson prides themselves on offering natural supplements with efficient results and their 7-Keto DHEA capsules certainly fit the bill. This formula contains 100 mg 7-Keto DHEA per capsule, which is a full serving. This is not a veggie capsule but is still considered vegetarian-friendly.
This product is made in the USA in an FDA-registered facility and has undergone testing for purity and potency.
10. KAL 7-Keto DHEA Tablets
KAL is another lesser-known company but they’ve taken the cake with their 7-Keto DHEA tablets that are highly-rated for efficiency and quality. This formula contains 50 mg 7-Keto DHEA in a single serving.
This product is backed by a 60-day guarantee and undergoes third-party lab testing in a USA facility.
How We Rank
We made an allowance for some supplements that were 7-OXO, like Designs For Health, as this is essentially the same thing as 7-Keto DHEA (it is simply the extraction form for the supplement). However, we dismissed any products that were DHEA without the 7-Keto stringent. DHEA commonly has some ill side effects and the general purpose of 7-Keto DHEA is to avoid many of these unpleasant effects, particularly on hormones. With that in mind, we negated top sellers like Sheer Strength and Zhou because their formulas were DHEA rather than 7-Keto DHEA and simply did not meet what we were looking for.
You will notice in the NOW option we offered, we mentioned we wouldn’t promote their other 7-Keto options. That is because there was a long list of unnecessary additives rather than focusing on the primary supplement. We also eliminated Life Extension for this reason. Another factor in this selection was to disallow proprietary blends as you simply don’t know what is in them and they often contain things you don’t want or need. No Keto BHB is a 7-Keto DHEA supplement that is highly recommended and used. However, we removed it from our ranks based on the label statement of a “proprietary blend” which does not necessarily even contain 7-Keto DHEA as we want it to.
There are numerous options that are lotions, powders, sprays, etc. but we were trying to keep our ranks simple and effective rather than muddying the waters with an overwhelming assortment of choices. Companies like Pure Encapsulations and Jarrow Formulas ranked highly here.
Lastly, we considered was whether the supplement was third-party tested or had quality-control standards the company required to be met. Companies like NOW, and Source Natural’s that are willing to invest in quality-control measures and exterior testing shows us that they have nothing to hide and they are willing to take that extra step to ensure we know they are offering a superior product that meets certain standards.
1. 7-Keto DHEA can help with weight loss. 7-Keto DHEA has been shown to help study participants lose more body fat (3).
In one study 33, healthy but overweight adults (12 men and 21 women 40-69 years old) received 200mg of 7-Keto DHEA supplements every day for 8 weeks. 7-Keto along with diet and exercise reduced weight more than just diet and exercise with no adverse effects (4).
2. 7-Keto DHEA can suppress appetite. A 1977 study on mice showed that 7-Keto DHEA suppressed appetite, which is crucial for weight loss (5).
3. 7-Keto DHEA can increase your metabolism. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that 7 days of 7-Keto was used both alone and in combination with other supplements (green tea extract, vitamin C, chromium, and vitamin D3) increased metabolic rate (7).
4. 7-Keto DHEA can help with stress. Cortisol levels will increase after a short period of stress, but may rapidly fall if the stress is prolonged. In one study, 7-Keto DHEA (25 mg single doses) gel was applied to the skin of 10 healthy men. After five days the cortisol levels decreased by 7.4% (8).
5. 7-Keto DHEA helps protect the heart. A 2001 study showed that 7-Keto DHEA increased HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol), and apolipoprotein A-I, overall reducing the risk for clogged arteries and heart disease, especially in older men (9).
6. 7-Keto DHEA can help boost reproductive health in men. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology showed that 7-Keto DHEA increased the production of sperm in the cells that make sperm (Sertoli cells) (10).
7. 7 keto DHEA helps with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Several case reports indicate that 7-Keto DHEA supplementation was helpful in women experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) who were previously treatment resistant (11).
Note that these are case reports and no controlled trials have been conducted to determine the efficacy of 7-Keto DHEA for PTSD treatment.
8. 7 keto DHEA can boost brain function. 7-Keto DHEA may aid in reversing or slowing some cognitive impairments (12).
Mice were injected with a cognitive neurotoxin, and those who were also given 7-Keto DHEA were better able to retain their memory (13).
Similarly, older mice who were given 7-Keto DHEA performed better in memory-oriented tasks than their same-aged control counterparts (14).
No human trials have been conducted for the efficacy of 7-Keto DHEA on memory or cognitive abilities.
9. 7-Keto DHEA can bulletproof the immune system. In two studies, adding 7-Keto DHEA during an immune response caused a quick replication of monocytes (the pathogen-engulfing white blood cells). This indicates that 7-Keto could boost the immune response (15, 16).
Another 2016 study found that 7-Keto activates a receptor on T-lymphocytes (17).
T-lymphocytes are white blood cells that develop in the thymus gland. T-lymphocytes alter their responses to specific pathogens making them essential for fighting pathogens. The activation of the receptor helps replication that is essential for the immune response.
10. 7-Keto DHEA can help ward off depression. A 2003 study demonstrated that 7-Keto reduced depressive symptoms (18).
11. 7-Keto DHEA can improve your thyroid. A 2000 study showed that 200mg of 7-Keto DHEA supplementation increased serum T3 levels (19).
In the double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol, 30 adults were randomly divided into 2 groups of 15. Group 1 received 7-DHEA 100 mg twice daily, and group 2 received placebo for 8 weeks.
All subjects participated in an exercise training program 3 times per week. Each exercise session consisted of 60 minutes of cross-training under the supervision of an exercise physiologist. In addition, each subject was instructed to follow a diet of approximately 1800 calories per day by a registered dietitian.
In the end, group 1 lost almost three times the weight compared to group 2 and had much more T3 hormone in their system.
There were no significant changes in levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) or thyroxine (T4) in either group. In addition, no significant changes were observed in vital signs, blood sugar, testosterone and estradiol levels, liver and renal function, or overall caloric intake during the study. No subjective adverse effects were reported throughout the study.
12. 7-Keto DHEA may help sober you up. In a 2012 study, using rats, 7-Keto DHEA was shown to decrease the rats’ responsiveness to alcohol consumption (20).
In this same study, the 7-Keto DHEA rats managed to stabilize their blood ethanol concentration despite increased intake of ethanol (21).
Again, it should be noted that this study was done with rats and is only preliminary, but provides an intriguing area for future research on alcohol use in humans.
13. 7-Keto DHEA may affect mood during the menstrual cycle. It has been observed in women that the concentration of 7-Keto DHEA metabolite is lower during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (22).
The luteal phase is thought to be when the majority of mood changes occur. There are no studies determining whether 7-Keto DHEA supplementation will have an effect on mood during the menstrual cycle; however, the current research suggests that 7-Keto DHEA may play a role in mood swings during menstruation (23).
14. 7-Keto DHEA has a long list of health benefits associated with it. These benefits include weight loss, fat loss, lean body mass, muscle gain, thyroid gland improvement, reduce anxiety, reduce depression, slow down aging effects, boost the immune system, enhance memory, and calm PTSD symptoms.
The most common use of this supplement is primarily for weight loss purposes as these other health benefits are still being studied and there is not sufficient information to fully back these potential benefits.
15. You might experience improved heart health as well as cortisol reduction when you use 7-Keto DHEA supplements. In a specific study using gel, cortisol levels were reduced after only 5 days of consistent use of the supplement.
The same study showed improved heart health through reduced cholesterol levels (a known benefit) as well as reduced apolipoprotein. These reductions lead to fewer clogged arteries and a reduced risk of heart disease. These benefits come without the hormonal risks associated with DHEA.
16. 7-Keto DHEA does not negatively effect hormones. DHEA increases steroid hormone levels like estrogen and androgen which can cause hair loss, hot flashes, and a number of other hormone-related side effects. 7-Keto DHEA, particularly when taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin, will not increase these levels as it does not directly convert to steroid hormones within the bloodstream.
2. 7-Keto DHEA is banned by WADA. 7-Keto DHEA supplements are banned in competitions governed by WADA because they been suggested to trigger positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs (27).
3. 7-Keto DHEA can affect hormones. Several studies have shown that when applied to the skin, 7-Keto can affect sex hormones, cholesterol and thyroid function in men. Oral dosage does not seem to affect hormones. It remains unknown how 7-Keto gel affects women (28, 29, 30).
4. 7-Keto DHEA gel can decrease luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone in men. Application of 25mg 7-Keto via cream for 8 days in healthy males has been associated with a reduction in luteinizing hormone (LH) by 46% and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) by 25% when measured the day after the cream was starting to be applied (31).
5. 7-Keto DHEA may not work well in humans. The biological functions, role in disease, and mechanism of action of 7-Keto DHEA are still under investigation. The clinical trials on 7-Keto DHEA are very limited and have not studied its long-term use. Studies done on rats and mice may not continue to hold true in humans (32).
6. 7-Keto may have more psychological effects than DHEA, without influencing sex hormones. DHEA, on the other hand, achieves many effects by raising hormone levels because it can be converted to sex hormones — androgens.
7. The side effects of 7-Keto DHEA are still being tested and remain largely unknown or untested. The most noticeable side effects associated with this supplement in clinical trials appears to be low blood pressure, nausea, and dizziness. Keep in mind that this is a fairly new supplement that continues to be studied and tested. There have been results of adverse symptoms in some trials and overall results continue to be reviewed (33).
8. 7-Keto DHEA is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding due to inconclusive results and the lack of tested information available. For safety purposes, these individuals should avoid the use of this supplement.
Most studies use a dosage of up to 100mg taken twice per day. Despite this, very limited studies using higher or lower doses have been conducted, and thus the optimal dosage is still uncertain. 200 mg per day was safe in healthy males for 4 weeks (34).
It is also important to note that 7-Keto DHEA can be used as a topical cream. Used this way, the recommended dosage is 25mg (35).
25-150 mg of 7-Keto per day was safe in women with PTSD (35).
Does 7-Keto DHEA increase estrogen? Taking 7-Keto DHEA by mouth or applying it to the skin does not increase the level of steroid hormones in the blood and will not affect estrogen levels.
What’s the difference between 7-Keto DHEA and DHEA? DHEA is a hormone made by the body, which can be transformed into 7-Keto. Although 7-Keto DHEA and DHEA are similar, they can have different effects. 7-Keto may have more psychological effects than DHEA, without influencing sex hormones.
DHEA, on the other hand, achieves many effects by raising hormone levels because it can be converted to sex hormones — androgens. The research on both is still limited (36).
Does 7-Keto DHEA increase blood pressure? No, 7-Keto DHEA has not been shown in studies to increase blood pressure.
Does 7-Keto DHEA increase testosterone? No, unlike DHEA, 7-Keto DHEA is not converted to steroid hormones such as androgen and estrogen.
Does 7-Keto DHEA cause hair loss? Hormone imbalance is one of the reasons for hair loss in men. 7-Keto is not directly converted by the body into steroidal hormones, such as testosterone or estrogen, which could affect hair loss. There are no studies to verify if this supplement causes hair loss.
If you would like to take 7-Keto and worry less about hair loss, try 200 mg doses per day for up to 4 weeks. Dr. Oz advises taking 100 mg in the morning and another 100 mg before going to bed in order to spread the dosage throughout the day.
Is 7-keto DHEA safe for a ketogenic diet? Yes, 7-Keto DHEA is 100% safe to use on a ketogenic diet as it does not affect blood sugar levels nor add calories.
Does 7-Keto DHEA cause adrenal fatigue? No, in fact, it has been shown to help adrenal sufferers recover.
Is 7-Keto DHEA better in pill or cream form? Neither is better or worse. Just make sure to use the correct dosages as they vary considerably (25mg vs. 200mg).
Can DHEA cause cancer? DHEA is a hormone. Use of this supplement might increase levels of androgen and have a steroid effect. DHEA also might increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers, including prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. If you have any form of cancer or are at risk of cancer, don’t use DHEA.
Is 7-Keto DHEA legal? Yes, it is currently a legal dietary supplement.
Does 7-Keto DHEA put you into ketosis? No, 7-Keto DHEA does not put you into ketosis.
What is the best time to take 7-Keto DHEA? The best time to take 7-Keto DHEA would be the first thing in the morning. The morning is the time when most hormone production in the body is at its peak. It also helps to boost your metabolism first thing in the morning to aid in fat loss throughout the day.
Is 7-Keto DHEA a stimulant? No, 7-Keto DHEA is a non-stimulant, thermogenic agent that is clinically proven to increase metabolism and promote healthy weight loss.
Should you take 7-Keto DHEA with or without food? You can take 7-Keto with or without food. The best results come when you take 2 doses, about 8 hours apart. The full dose is 3 capsules twice a day. But you might have to work up to that amount if you are sensitive to caffeine.
Can 7-Keto DHEA fight off colds? Yes, 7-Keto DHEA can help fight off colds and diseases. 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.
Can 7- Keto DHEA fight off aging? Yes, 7-Keto DHEA can help fight off aging. 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.
How long does 7-Keto DHEA stay in your system? 7-Keto DHEA is quickly absorbed and transferred in your system. Depending on how you take the supplement, your body could experience maximum absorption in less than 2 hours. Additionally, the drug stays in your system about 5 hours maximum but it may take longer for you to notice reduced effects.
Will 7-Keto DHEA cause your DHEA levels to rise? Because this supplement is not directly DHEA it has a reduced effect on your hormones and DHEA levels. You will not see a change in these levels in your bloodstream but rather will experience the useful benefits without the negative hormonal changes often associated with DHEA.
Is 7-Keto DHEA a typical keto weight loss supplement? There are numerous weight loss supplements that are used by those who are living the keto lifestyle. Supplements can strongly vary. The primary purpose of 7-Keto DHEA is to provide weight loss and metabolic support.
There are a number of Ketogenic supplements designed to aid in these approaches and more. To answer the question, yes this is a typical keto weight loss supplement but keto weight loss supplements are not limited to this option.
What makes 7-Keto DHEA more acceptable than DHEA? DHEA is what is known as a parent hormone within your body. You naturally produce this hormone but there are supplements available that are pure DHEA. DHEA is converted to specific steroids within your system, the most common one being estrogen.
7-Keto DHEA was designed to provide the same supplemental benefits for metabolism, weight loss, and the reduction of aging effects on your body. However, this supplement was designed to provide these benefits without the tragic hormonal side effects of DHEA, making it a superior option.
Is 7-Keto DHEA considered a steroid? This is a common misconception because DHEA converts to steroid hormones within your bloodstream. 7-Keto DHEA is not a steroid and in fact, does not affect these steroid-based hormones the same way that DHEA does.
Is 7-Keto DHEA undergoing more testing to be further understood? 7-Keto DHEA continues to be tested in order to fully know and understand the side effects and benefits that are associated with the supplement. At this time, the FDA has moved to ban this ingredient from use in medicines but it remains available as an individual supplement.
There is a lot of information that points to potential benefits beyond simply the most-known benefit for metabolic support and weight loss but many of these benefits are not yet understood. Researchers continue to test and assess benefits of the supplement for further supplemental knowledge.
Is 7 Keto DHEA a brand name? 7-Keto DHEA is the brand name commonly used for the substance called 7-oxodehrdoepiandorosterone. Although similar to its cousin, DHEA, 7-keto acts differently in the body.
What is 7-keto DHEA used for? 7-Keto is used for cell metabolism and by the brain. And while there is only some overlap between the effects of DHEA and 7-Keto, other 7-keto effects are very different. Research is still very limited, but points to numerous possible health benefits of 7-keto DHEA as a nootropic, for PTSD and depression, as well as for lifespan extension.
7-Keto DHEA is a naturally occurring metabolite of the parent hormone DHEA. DHEA is the most abundant of the adrenal steroid hormones and serves as a precursor for sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. Despite its hormonal linkages, the metabolite has not been shown to significantly alter circulating hormone levels.
When used as a supplement 7-Keto DHEA appears to be effective at increasing metabolic rate and burning body fat while following a calorie restricted diet and exercise program. Although its main use is for weight loss, there may also be some cognitive benefits of 7-Keto DHEA supplementation.
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