7-Keto DHEA is a supplement used for losing weight, elevating mood, and improving the immune system. It is one of the three oxygenated metabolites that make up Dehydroepiandrosterone and goes by a few different names.
7-keto is a precursor to steroid synthesis, and some studies have found that it has anti-cortisol mechanisms (cortisol being the primary stress hormone).
It has been seen that 7-keto leads to a higher metabolic rate during a period of restricted calorie consumption, leading to its use as a thermogenic supplement that increases energy expenditure.
1. Beverly International 7-Keto Musclelean
Musclelean by Beverly International not only contains a healthy dose of 7-keto per capsule (100 mg), but each serving is also bolstered by green tea extract and other natural ingredients to improve your energy and mood.
Green tea extract has been shown to help support your metabolism and weight loss, further compounding the metabolic benefits of 7-keto.
Each ingredient is included at clinically effective doses to ensure powerful and potent results. It’s no surprise this is BodyNutrition’s #1 pick of 2021.
2. Life Extension 7-Keto Metabolite
Life Extension’s first supplement on our list provides 100 mg of high quality 7-keto DHEA per serving, with no fillers, additives or allergens.
Each capsule is also made with only vegetarian-friendly ingredients, making it great for people avoiding animal products.
3. Pure Encapsulations 7-Keto Capsules
Pure Encapsulations capsules only contain 25 mg per pill, making it great option for those that are new to supplementing with 7-keto DHEA.
You’ll find no fillers, additives or unnecessary ingredients here, making it one of the purest options on the market.
4. NOW Foods 7-Keto Capsules
NOW Foods 7-keto capsules come in a bottle of 120 vegan-friendly capsules. Each bottle is double sealed to ensure no one’s tampered with the capsules in between purchasing and the supplement arriving at your home.
Third party lab tested and free of most allergens, this is one of the best options on the market.
5. Source Naturals 7-Keto Tablets
Source Naturals 7-keto DHEA capsules contain 50 mg a pop. This provides a nice middle ground between the standard of 100 mg a tablet and the smaller concentration of 25 mg.
6. Jarrow Formulas 7-Keto DHEA
Jarrow Formulas makes a potent 7-keto DHEA supplement that’s simple and effective. Its vegan-friendly capsules do contain a few extra fillers, but other than that it’s a very solid product.
7. Bestvite 50mg DHEA 7-Keto Capsules
Bestvite 50mg 7-keto DHEA capsules are made with vegetarian-friendly ingredients.
There are no other ingredients included in the formula used here, so it’s a great choice if you want pure 7-keto DHEA.
8. Nature’s Way 7-keto DHEA Metabolite
Nature’s Way makes a straightforward lower dosage 7-keto supplement that unfortunately has a bit too many extraneous ingredients, like titanium dioxide coloring, to end up any higher in the rankings.
9. Healthy Origins 7-Keto Capsules
Healthy Origins contains 120 capsules per bottle without any ancillary ingredients.
It’s a potent, pure supplement with an easy-pour cap to ensure that putting a few capsules in your palm is quick and easy.
10. Designs for Health 7-keto DHEA
Designs for Health makes a 7-keto DHEA supplement that’s got a solid dosage, but like several of the other lower-ranked 7-keto supplements, loses points in our rankings due to the inclusion of extra binders, fillers, and stabilizers not found in the top supplements.
Best 7-keto DHEA overall: Beverly International 7-Keto Musclelean
7-Keto Musclean is our top overall pick thanks to its broad base of ingredients that uses 7-keto DHEA alongside other powerful supplements for stimulating fat oxidation and elevating your metabolism, like green tea extract and guarana. It’s the perfect option for dropping weight and boosting caloric expenditure.
Best 7-keto DHEA for weight loss: Beverly International 7-Keto Musclelean
Our top overall pick is also our favorite when it comes to weight loss. By combining 7-keto DHEA alongside other potent weight loss supplements, you can aim for a synergistic effect that both elevates metabolism and cuts down on hunger cravings.
Best 7-keto DHEA for fatigue: Pure Encapsulations 7-Keto Capsules
For people with adrenal fatigue and other hormonal causes of tiredness and listlessness, 7-keto DHEA is a popular supplemental remedy. For this use case we recommend Pure Encapsulations 7-Keto Capsules because of its clean formulation and easily-modified dosing with 25 mg tablets that give you the best shot at restoring normal energy levels by modulating your 7-keto DHEA intake.
Best 7-keto DHEA for boosting testosterone: Life Extension 7-Keto DHEA Metabolite
For men looking to boost testosterone levels with 7-keto DHEA, Life Extension is the way to go. Its powerful 100 mg dosage gives you the precursors you need to keep your hormonal production levels maxed out.
Best 7-keto DHEA for women: Pure Encapsulations 7-Keto Capsules
Pure Encapsulations is our recommendation for women for two reasons: first, the minimalist formulation that makes this supplement integrate into supplement stacks for a variety of purposes (weight loss, muscle gain, etc.); and second, the 25 mg capsules which provide maximum control over the precise dosage you’re getting. When trying to calibrate 7-keto DHEA intake to optimize women’s hormone levels, this level of control is particularly helpful.
Best 7-keto DHEA for elevating mood: Pure Encapsulations 7-Keto Capsules
Pure Encapsulations is our pick for elevating mood and alleviating feelings of depression and anxiety thanks to the ease with which you can control the dosage. Though higher-dosage competitors are good for some other use-cases, the fact that you can use this supplement for any increment of a 25 mg dose makes it a versatile option for people who need to do some experimentation with how their mood responds to different 7-keto DHEA doses.
Who should buy 7-keto DHEA
7-keto is a compound that you naturally produce in your body from the parent hormone DHEA. This hormone originates on top of the adrenal glands on both of your kidneys. As a result, it’s one of the most abundant steroid hormones that circulate through your body.
This being said, it’s only a precursor hormone for both of the male and female primary sex hormones. It doesn’t actively interfere with these sex hormones and doesn’t increase the amount of either in your blood. So it would be inaccurate to think of 7-keto as a kind of steroid you can use to boost muscle gain.
7-keto is primarily used by those who want increased thermogenic effects, better metabolism, and potentially better weight loss. All of these potential benefits are related to its metabolic increasing properties. As 7-keto increases your metabolic rate, your body eventually burns more calories. Since people trying to lose weight often need to lower the number of calories that they consume every day or force their body to burn more calories, 7-keto can potentially be helpful in this manner.
There are small studies that indicate that 7-keto may provide slight benefits and other spheres, like heart health or cortisol reduction. Others claim 7-keto can improve your mental attributes. However, the lack of available evidence for these ancillary benefits means that only those looking to improve their metabolism and lose weight through that should consider taking 7-keto. This is especially true over the long-term.
Of course, even if you do decide to take 7-keto to improve your weight loss efforts, you must combine the supplement with exercise and a good diet in order to actually reap the benefits. 7-keto does not increase your calorie-burning potential to such a degree that you can eat unhealthy food and not exercise and expect to see results.
As such, those already committed to a healthy diet and lifestyle can benefit from 7-keto the most. Those who have naturally slow metabolisms and also commit to the above will see the most benefit. People currently taking any medications should avoid 7-keto DHEA. Pregnant women, nursing women, diabetics and other special populations should speak to a doctor before starting a supplement regimen with 7-keto DHEA.
How we ranked
7-keto supplements come in several potencies or concentrations. 100 mg is the most common and works with the average dosage recommendation of 200 mg per day (one capsule in the morning and the other in the evening). Products that contained this amount were ideal, which is a main reason why Musclelean by Beverly International took top spot.
Other capsules may be in concentrations of 50 mg or 25 mg. These are great for trying out the supplement yourself before making it a staple part of your routine. But they’re also good concentrations if you’re older and don’t want to boost your metabolism too much – which is why we included products from Pure Encapsulations and Source Naturals on our list.
We also looked at the number of capsules contained in each bottle. This directly affects value for money since bottles with more capsules will last you longer (unless the capsules are very low potency). Bottles with lots of capsules and a low asking price are great budget options since they let you continue to use the supplement for longer stretches without having to make another purchase.
Some of the bottles above contain added ingredients like Bioperine, which provide their own supplementary effects or can even improve the effects of the ketosis diet. These add more value to a given supplement but may only be worthwhile to those following the keto diet. Other supplements, like Musclelean by Beverly International contain complementary metabolism supporting ingredients like green tea. This helped it stand out from the competition, directly elevating the weight loss benefits of 7-keto DHEA.
7-Keto DHEA can support weight loss. 7-Keto DHEA is a byproduct of DHEA that occurs naturally and is produced in the skin, adrenal gland, and the brain. A lot of people don’t know this but there are almost 10 DHEA metabolites, and out of these, 7-keto is the most famous and valuable.
It is seen that 7-Keto DHEA contributes to weight loss and can increase the metabolism in the body. The substance works by increasing the activity if the thermogenic enzymes that are known for the oxidation of fatty acids. There are studies that show that the supplement has caused an increase of CoA oxidase by 128% and an increase of 860% when it comes to malic enzymes (1).
In a placebo controlled study conducted on thirty overweight people, the results showed a 2.1 pound decrease in the placebo compared to a massive 6.3 pound decease in the control group (2).
The only side effects that were recorded in this study were the elevation of the thyroid hormone. It is seen that when 7-keto is paired with exercise and diet, the results of fat loss were three times higher compared to not taking any other stimulant during weight loss.
7-Keto DHEA can improve the immune function of the body. One study conducted on monkeys that were infected with simian HIV and the results showed an improved wellbeing, a notable increase in the T cells, and weight gain that can be accounted to the wellbeing of the animals.
Other than this, a 4 week human trial was conducted on elderly men and women by the Minnesota Applied Research Center in order to see the effects of the 7-keto on the subjects. These elderly men and women were given one dose of 100 mg twice a day.
At the end of the trial, it was seen that the subjects has better immune health, decreased blood pressure, an increase in the white blood cell count, and an increase in the immune helper cells that contributed to t general well beings of the elderly participants.
7-Keto DHEA can be a powerful anti-aging compound. It is seen that 7-keto, being a natural metabolite of DHEA, declines with age in a way that is directly proportional to the parent hormone. The levels rise until the age of 20, and there is a decline in the blood concentration level by the age of 30. By the age of 50, there is almost a 50% reduction in the blood concentration level (3).
A study evaluated the effect of 7-keto on heart disease. A small dose of 25 mg per day for five days managed to increase the level of good cholesterol. The aggregate reduction of cholesterol was low but there was a huge difference in the atherogenic index, which is a measure used to study the risk of cardiovascular diseases in people.
7-Keto DHEA may support brain health. There are other health benefits of 7-keto that involve improving the brain function, which is done by helping the neurons to come in contact with each other that stops brain aging.
According to Dr. Henry Lardy, a researcher in the field of 7-keto DHEA it is seen that the supplement only has benefits and no side effects. A 29-day trial was conducted on human beings and it was seen that there was no change in the urine chemistry, blood culture, and no conversion of the sex hormones of both the sexes. The subjects were given a dose of 200 mg of 7-keto and no side effects were observed in the results.
7-keto DHEA may cause heartburn. A randomized and double-blind trial involving 7-keto supplements found that several of the participants in the study experienced significant heartburn over the course of the trials. However, the participants were already overweight, so it’s possible that the heartburn was a result of their previous eating habits and current health conditions instead of 7-keto itself (4).
7-keto DHEA can cause a metallic taste. One study involving 45 participants involving some placebo supplements found that many of the patients experienced a metallic taste upon taking the 7-keto. Again, results were generally inconclusive as to whether the taste was from the supplement itself. Regardless, no other serious side effects were reported (5).
7-keto DHEa may cause nausea. A double-blind and placebo-controlled study of 7-keto supplements found that, although most body chemistry remained unchanged by the supplements themselves, several subjects did report bouts of nausea. Other than this, no other serious side effects were reported (6).
Ultimately, it seems that any 7-keto side effects will be extremely mild, if you experience them at all.
7-keto DHEA is a banned substance. The World Anti-Doping Association has listed the supplement as prohibited because it tests positive for tests checking for performance-enhancing drugs. So you will not want to take this supplement if you went on participating in major sports in the near future.
While 7-keto doesn’t alter your hormonal levels if you take it as an oral supplement, it might influence your hormonal levels if you apply the supplement to your skin as a gel. For instance, there are studies that suggest that 7-keto can affect cholesterol, sex hormones, and thyroid function in men. Again, studies on women are relatively few, so more research is needed for the full breadth of potential side effects you need to be aware of (7).
7-keto may not be safe for women. 7-keto DHEA is generally thought to be safe and there’s only a very low risk for any serious side effects. Several studies show that the supplement is generally well-tolerated in men, even at doses up to 200 mg per day for four weeks (8).
There is less research available for women (a problem in much of the medical industry), which is why it may not be safe for them.
A dosage of 7-Keto DHEA was given in two divided dosages to all the participants of various clinical trials. These dosages ranged between 200 to 400 mg daily but generally ranged between 100 to 200 mg.
There is some research that suggests that low doses that range between 50 to 100 mg are suitable for a number of neural issues. The optimal dosage range of the drug is not known and the dosages that have been mentioned here are based on the amount that had proven efficacy.
That being said, 7-keto should primarily be used as a metabolic enhancement supplement instead of a mental booster.
Why does 7-Keto DHEA help with weight loss? One of the biggest reasons why 7-keto DHEA can help with weight loss, is because it can enhance your metabolism. Your metabolism is best understood as the rate at which your body can convert your fuel and energy, which also involves burning calories as a necessary step.
You burn this energy not just for physical exercise but for everything you do all they, including breathing, pumping blood draw your body, growing and repairing cells, and even adjusting various hormone levels. The ultimate number of calories that your body uses to do all of these tasks is your basal metabolic rate.
Why do people have different metabolic rates? Different people can have different metabolic rates. This is because your metabolism can be affected by a wide variety of things, including your body size, sex, and age.
People who are larger tend to burn more calories, even if they are just sitting on the couch. This is true if they are overweight or if they are large because of muscle mass. They burn more calories because their hearts need to pump more blood to more tissue and need to breathe more frequently to ensure proper oxygenation
Men usually have less body fat and more muscle. This means they usually burn more calories and have higher metabolic rates. Men are also larger than women on average, resulting in the same higher metabolic rate.
When people get older, their metabolism tends to slow down. Coincides with a reduction in muscle mass and an increase in fat. Your genetics can also play a role in your metabolism. Some people naturally have high metabolic rates while others are unlucky and have difficulty burning calories efficiently.
What is a sex hormone and how are they related to 7-keto DHEA? Sex hormones are some of the most important hormones in your body. While they include the two main types (testosterone and estrogen), they also include other sex steroids.
Sex hormones are the steroids you hear about in doping news. Many athletes will take extra testosterone to boost their performance in their chosen sport. While 7-keto DHEA can’t directly improve these hormones, it can have similar effects.
Is 7-keto DHEA a thermogenic? A thermogenic is a compound that causes your body to produce heat. It’s usually applied to various drugs that can increase your body’s heat output by affecting your metabolism. Since 7-keto affects your body’s metabolic rate, you burn more calories and generate more heat, so the supplement is classified as thermogenic.
However, practically every enzymatic reaction in your body as thermogenic, so this isn’t a particularly useful descriptor and can be ignored on supplement bottles as a marketing element.
Can you improve your metabolic rate through other means besides 7-keto? Yes, to some extent you can improve your metabolic rate through other means. Eating different foods and exercising frequently can eventually get your body used to a higher metabolic rate. By the same token, if you don’t exercise and eat unhealthy foods (and thus take on more fat mass), your body will get used to a lower metabolic rate.
Why would it be bad for 7-keto to affect hormone levels throughout the body? Your hormones affect much more than your general metabolic rate and how well you can lose weight. Your hormones are responsible for the growth and repair of various tissues, your mood, your weight, your mindset, and even your sex.
If a supplement were to mess with hormonal levels, it could cause a wide variety of dramatic side effects the likes of which would be difficult for anyone to handle. Fortunately, 7-keto doesn’t normally interact with hormone levels throughout your body (with the possible exception of gel-based supplements).
Can you take 7-keto if you are pregnant or breast-feeding? While you definitely can, it’s not recommended for the same reasons that most other supplements and unnecessary medication are not recommended.
A woman’s body while pregnant or breast-feeding passes along almost everything she consumes to the child. Since infant research about the effects of 7-keto and virtually all other supplements are illegal and otherwise unavailable, there’s no way to know whether an infant might have a negative side effect upon absorbing the supplement. Be safe and avoid taking 7-keto if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
Can kids take 7-keto supplements if they’re overweight? It’s not recommended, as their bodies are going through hormonal and metabolic changes as they grow. They should pursue other weight loss strategies instead.
Can 7-keto supplements really extend your life? Directly, they cannot extend your life. The “life extension” aspect of many supplements is conjecture based on the higher metabolic rate this supplement can induce in many.
Higher metabolism is associated with better weight and greater fat loss, both of which are, in turn, associated with longer lifespans. But this is not because of the drug itself. Technically, exercise is also life-extending in the same way that 7-keto may theoretically be.
Can you take 7-keto with other medications or supplements? It’s quite likely that 7-keto will be fine to take with other medications or supplements, but you should double-check with your doctor before beginning any new supplement just to be safe. They will be able to advise you both on dosage and on possible applications that might arise from the multiple medications or supplements interacting with one another.
Is 7-keto DHEA a good supplement to take while on the keto diet? Yes, 7-keto DHEA is a good supplement to take while on the keto diet. The keto diet is mostly focused on inducing a state of ketosis in your body, which is characterized by increased burning of fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
This may also provide additional health benefits since compounds called “ketones” flood your blood. It can be effective for Western people, whose diets are usually quite high in carbs and fat. The keto diet doesn’t make you lose weight by forcing fat out of your body; it works by enhancing the rate at which your body burns through your fat.
Metabolism-boosting supplements like 7-keto are, therefore, a great fit for this diet. You can sometimes find 7-keto supplements that include keto-friendly ingredients like ketones (the compounds produced by your body while the state of ketosis). They may also include Bioperine or other ingredients which can help your body absorb other helpful nutrients and compounds.
7-Keto DHEA provides a number of health benefits that are linked with its anti-aging, weight loss, and immune system boosting properties. No side effects of the drug have been reported in any of the clinical trials conducted to date.
Clinical trials reveal it to be a very effective supplement if you want to lose weight but suffer from a generally low metabolic rate that prevents you from burning calories as efficiently as you want.
For BodyNutrition’s #1 recommended 7-Keto DHEA supplement, click here.