7-Keto-DHEA Review

7-Keto (3-Acetyl-7-Oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone) is a naturally occurring metabolite of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). A metabolite is a breakdown product. 7-keto does not contribute to increased DHEA or other hormone levels in the body.


Aids in weight reduction by increasing fat burning
Supports thyroid function
Enhances memory
Improves immune system function


DHEA levels decline as we age and may result in DHEA deficiency. It is hypothesized that 7-keto may benefit the body in the same ways that DHEA does.

Scientific Support:

7-Keto has shown promise in animal in terms of inducing fat-burning enzymes and improving memory. However, animals do not make DHEA and since humans do make DHEA, giving more hormones to people is very different than giving DHEA to animal species who have a completely different hormone system. 7-Keto has not been well studied in humans.

The only published human study using 7-keto for overweight adults was published in 2000. This study followed 23 subjects for 8 weeks and compared two groups of overweight people who were on a diet and exercise program, one group also took 200 mg of 7-keto and the other group took a sugar pill. At the end of 8 weeks, the 7-keto group had lost 6 pounds on average and the placebo group lost 2 pounds.

It is a shame that the individual results were not published as one person can significantly skew the results in such a small sample size. There was also a significant increase thyroid hormone in the 7-keto group. The testosterone levels increased by 15% and the estradiol levels decreased by 25% although for some reason this was considered insignificant. This study was funded by the Humanetics Corporation, a manufacturer of 7-keto.1

There is one other study that is cited in the literature that was published in 2002. This study used a combination formula of 7-Keto plus different supplements called "7-Keto Naturalean". The Naturalean group lost 4.7 pounds (3.1 pounds of fat) and the placebo group lost 1.6 pounds (.6 was fat).

Upon close examination of the individual subject data, the main reason for the difference in the mean weight loss of the two groups is that one subject lost a whopping 22 pounds in the Naturalean group, thereby making the average weight loss for the group appear to be much more. If you removed this one individual, the groups would be about the same in terms of average weight loss. This study was also funded by the Humanetics Corporation, a manufacturer of 7-keto.2 


7-Keto appears to be safe in doses of 200mg per day. It has been said that 7-Keto does not have any androgenic or estrogenic effects.


7-keto can cost $50 for a one month supply. There is no real scientific evidence that it works. Therefore, the value of this product is low.


Two human trials found 100mg twice a day to be "effective". Nevertheless, some commercial supplements provide as little 50mg/day.


I am not impressed with the scanty data that we have so far on 7-Keto. The two studies that used 7-Keto did not have great results in either the 7-Keto group or the control group. You can achieve the same amount of weight loss achieved in the 7-keto group (4-6 pounds in 8 weeks) by making natural lifestyle changes. 


1. Kalman, D.S., et al., "A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study of 3-Acetyl-7-Oxo-Dehydroepiandrosterone in Healthy Overweight Adults," Curr Ther Res 61.7 (2000): 435-42.

2. Zenk, Helmer, Kassen, Kuskowski. "The Effect of 7-Keto Naturalean on Weight Loss: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial" Current Ther Res 63 (2002)

About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created Enlita.com to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)