7-Keto-DHEA (also known as 7-Keto, 7-ketodehydroepiandrosterone, or 7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid produced by metabolism of the prohormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).7-Keto is not directly converted to testosterone or estrogen, and has thus been investigated as a potentially more useful relative of DHEA. It is often used as the acetate ester prodrug 7-Keto-DHEA acetate.
While in vitro and animal studies have suggested potential uses for 7-Keto in humans, there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to support its use as a weight-loss aid, muscle-builder, immune stimulant, or for any other clinical use. Nevertheless, 7-Keto is marketed as a dietary supplement with the implication that it may accelerate weight loss, increase metabolism, enhance memory, orprevent age-related changes. When used in a topical (skin lotion) product 7-Keto caused long-lasting changes in the body's levels of testosterone, epitestosterone, estradiol, and other steroid hormones. Researchers have raised concern that supplements may trigger positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs.
The World Anti-Doping Agency lists 7-keto DHEA as a prohibited anabolic agent.
7-Keto is unique among other derivatives of DHEA because of its oxygenated 7-position. This molecular configuration imparts different characteristics to the molecule, and research reveals that 7-Keto DHEA has multiple distinct effects in the body.