What is DHEA?
DHEA, or Dehydroepiandrosterone, is a naturally produced steroid often supplemented by athletes to improve their testosterone levels, allowing for fat loss, muscle gain, heightened energy, and increased libido. DHEA gained massive public appeal when average people looking to become more athletic, lose weight, or gain muscle discovered that it could do the same things for them.
Many fitness supplements throughout the 1990's and early 2000's used DHEA as part of their selling point. Numerous studies had come out detailing the effects of DHEA on all the athletic pursuits mentioned above, as well as a number of surprising positive benefits. Some of these included increased insulin production, better sex drive, improved mood, better memory, heightened levels of HDL "good" cholesterol, and various immune system benefits. Indeed, you can still see many DHEA supplements on the shelves in your local vitamin store – however, in recent years studies have surfaced showing the potential harm of DHEA.
DHEA has been shown to increase levels of certain sex hormones in the body – various powerful androgens and estrogens. These sex hormones regulate a number of important processes in the body, and their over supplementation has caused all sorts of unwanted side effects like excess facial hair (for both men and women), mood swings, hypergycemia, or even cancer growth within the body.
Why is 7 Keto DHEA better?
Luckily, scientists have developed a molecule nearly identical to DHEA, without its propensity for throwing off the body's natural hormone balance. Known as 7 Keto DHEA, it is a natural metabolite (breakdown product) of DHEA. This means that when you ingest DHEA, it is not actually DHEA that causes a lot of the desirable benefits you want. The body metabolizes DHEA into 7 Keto DHEA and various hormone enhancing compounds. By pre-metabolizing DHEA into 7 Keto DHEA and throwing out the unnecessary compounds, scientists can produce the exact same effects as DHEA, with none of the unwanted side effects.
What are some of the proven benefits of 7 Keto DHEA?
* Fat reduction
* Increased energy production
* Immune benefits – increase in anti-viral antibodies
* Effective treatment for muscle and weight loss for sufferers of HIV or wasting disease
* Improves HDL cholesterol, reduces risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
There are a few important details regarding these benefits. First of all, fat reduction requires at least 200 mg per day to get weight loss results. This is only the minimum – some people take up to 1400 mg per day depending on their weight loss goals. Many supplement companies sell 7 Keto DHEA in capsules that only contain 50 to 100 mg each, requiring a daily minimum of two or four pills. The companies do not tell you this, because it is quite expensive to take 7 Keto DHEA at the required daily dosage. 7 Keto DHEA is actually exponentially higher in cost than pure DHEA as a supplement.
Also, the increased energy production can come at a cost. The reason energy production is increased is tied into 7 Keto DHEA's use as a weight loss product. DHEA does two things related to energy production: makes it easier for the body to metabolize fats into energy, and it makes the body less efficient at burning fat. This makes the body produce more energy by burning an exponentially greater amount of fat. This is great if you have a lot of fat you need to burn off, but if you do not have any fat on your body, 7 Keto DHEA can actually be a dangerous product. By making the body less efficient, you can actually experience an energy reduction.
Regardless of these details, the studies proving 7 Keto DHEA's effectiveness in these areas are unassailable.
Some other benefits of DHEA
This list comprises a number of benefits of DHEA that have been proven, but for which studies of 7 Keto DHEA have not yet been done:
* Decreases lupus symptoms like rashes, anemia, arthritis, and heart, lung, or kidney problems
* Better mood
* Increases libido, better sex drive
* Normalizes blood sugar, prevents diabetes
* Anti-aging – reverses tissue deterioration
While there are not any studies specifically on 7 Keto DHEA, these have been proved benefits of DHEA, its "mother" molecule. While it only makes sense that it would have similar benefits, one should be wary of websites or products that advertise it making claims of these benefits. Especially the heightened libido / sex drive claim is somewhat dubious, because it is not supposed to increase sex hormone levels.
Dangers of 7 Keto DHEA?
As mentioned above, if you do not have any fat to burn, DHEA can actually decrease your energy levels.
Also, studies have shown that it may actually decrease levels of sex hormone in the blood. This result is believable, because it does not increase them like pure DHEA does.
Regardless of these dangers, it is a powerful weight loss product that can be useful in a number of other areas in your life. Be sure to consult with your doctor or health professional before taking this or any other supplement. Research says if you supplement with 7 Keto DHEA you should consume 200mg per day.