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This article is an extract from my book Griffiths' Sport Supplement Review and is protected by copyright. Permission is given to copy this article on other websites as long as this statement is included with a link back to this site.


Other names
7-keto Dehydroepiandrosterone
7-oxo Dehydroepiandrosterone
3 beta-acetoxy-androst-5-ene-7,17-dione

What is it?
A metabolite of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) produced in the body and which is not converted into testosterone or estrogen. Therefore oral supplementation with 7-keto-DHEA does not affect the levels of these hormones in the body (1).

Claimed benefits
Fat loss.

Mode of Action
7-keto-DHEA has been shown to induce the thermogenic (calorie burning) enzymes mitochondrial sn-glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and cytosolic malic enzyme in the livers of rats which are known to metabolize DHEA in a similar way to humans (1).

There is also some preliminary evidence that 7-keto-DHEA can increase levels of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) which is responsible for energy regulation (2) (3).


Only one small study has has been conducted to assess the fat loss effects of 7-keto-DHEA which gave either a placebo or 7-keto-DHEA 100mg twice a day to 28 women and 2 men for 8 weeks (although 7 people dropped out before the end of the study). They also undertook an exercise program 3 times a week. The 7-keto-DHEA group experienced a -1.8% drop in body fat compared to -0.57% for the placebo group. The 7-keto-DHEA group also experienced a significant increase in T3 levels compared with the placebo group of +17.88 ng/dL compared to +2.75 ng/dL. There were no significant changes in levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), testosterone or estrogen.

Commonly used dosages
7-keto-DHEA can be found in commercial sport supplements in amounts from 100mg to 150mg usually together with various other ingredients as part of a proprietary blend.

It is easily obtained as a stand alone supplement in the form of capsules containing from 25mg to 200mg.

No known safety issues.


None known

1)Lardy H, Partridge B, Kneer N, Wei Y. Ergosteroids: induction of thermogenic enzymes in liver of rats treated with steroids derived from dehydroepiandrosterone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995;92(14):6617-9  Click here to read study
2)Kalman DS, Colker CM, Swain MA, Torina GC, Shi Q. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study of 3Acetyl-7-Oxo-Dehydroepiandrosterone in Healthy Overweight Adults. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp 2000;61(7):435-442  Click here to read study
3)Colker C, Torina G, Swain M, Kalman D. Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Abstract published in Journal of Exercise Physiology online, Volume 2 Number 4 October 1999.