Thousands of scientific articles have been published about this powerful hormone’s anti-depression, anti-obesity, anti-carcinogenic, anti-stress, immune-enhancing, anti-viral and anti-bacterial, anti-aging and anti-heart disease effects. DHEA’s reach into the human condition is so penetrating and powerful that it could easily fill books of encyclopedic proportions. One could start anywhere. DHEA research has shown it enhances insulin-like growth factor -1 (IGF-1) release. IGF-1 (formerly called “Somatomedin C”) is the “hidden anabolic power behind the throne” of growth hormone (GH). The Morales/Yen study found it boosted a 10% rise in serum IGF-1 levels. At the same time it has shown anti cortisol effects. You will recall that cortisol is the stress hormone that causes a build up in the mid section of the body.
So, why doesn’t everyone of middle age just supplement with DHEA? Though initially it seems to work like a dream, protracted DHEA supplementation eventually goes the opposite way by significantly boosting androgen/estrogen production. (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, androstenedione) or estrogens (estrone, estradiol). This increased androgen levels can potentially cause facial hair, acne, enlarged clitoris, abdominal fat, hyper-glycemia and insulin resistance in women and possibly even decreased testosterone level in men, hardly an ideal situation for either men or women’s health.
Fortunately, a safe, metabolite of DHEA, that does not convert into androgens or estrogens, is available. 7-keto DHEA (also called “7-oxo DHEA,)” is almost identical in structure to DHEA. Evaluated in both preclinical studies and human clinical trials for safety 7-keto possesses no mutagenic activity in even massive doses.
7- keto DHEA increases thermogenic enzymes in the liver. It has been demonstrated to increase IL-2 production better than DHEA, in human lymphocytes. IL-2 is the key cytokine regulator of T-helper cells, which activates the immune system to “go into battle” against invading pathogens.
Most of what is known about the biological effects of 7-keto-DHEA comes from the work of researchers at the University of Wisconsin, led by Henry A. Lardy. Lardy is also a principal in a supplement company, Humanetics Corp., that holds the patents and markets 7-keto. Here is a short list of what we know about how 7-keto would be helpful for people like our friend ED (last chapter, Ed is an acronym for Eating Disorder)
In terms of fat reduction and energy: 7-keto-DHEA decreases the efficiency of energy production in the body meaning that more fats have to be burned to produce the same amount of useable energy. This results in loss of fat. To achieve this result doses of 350 to 1400 mg/day must be used.
Immunity: 7-keto-DHEA treatment caused an increase in anti-viral antibodies to some of the viruses however a proper dosage level has not been determined.
Hormonal effects: 7-keto-DHEA does not metabolize to estrogens or testosterone.
Safety: Humanetics Corp., clinical trials have revealed no safety problems with 7-keto-DHEA used as a supplement at 200 mg/day for 28 days. As a matter of fact the only side effect of very high doses of this substance appears to be excess salivation in monkeys.
Supplementation with 7-keto and a sensible exercise / diet program should result in measurable weight loss and or maintenance.