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Mechanism of Action


7-Keto Thermo imageThermogenesis is a term which describes the creation of heat in mammals. Heat is a form of energy produced when the food we eat is metabolized in the cells of our body. Chemical energy, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is also produced in this reaction and is the body’s biologically useful energy. ATP is the “energy currency” of the cell and is used to drive all energy requiring reactions including the synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also causes muscles to contract and nerves to conduct.

ATP, while a good energy packet, is not a good fuel storage molecule, as it is used quickly after being formed. Better storage forms of energy are glycogen and triglycerides. Glycogen is broken down to glucose and triglycerides are broken down to fatty acids, both of which are readily utilized for energy. Of importance is that any food not utilized for energy is subsequently stored for use later, and mostly as fat since it is the most efficient energy storage form at 9 kcal/gm. The synthesis of triglycerides requires glycerol (from carbohydrates), fatty acids and energy from ATP.

The production of energy from glucose and fatty acids occurs at the cellular level with glycolysis (glucose metabolism) occurring in the cytosol of the cell and fatty acid oxidation in the mitochondria of the cell. The mitochondria is often considered the “powerhouse” of the cell, and most cells involved with fatty acid metabolism are in the liver. Acetyl CoA, an essential substrate for energy production, is an end product of both glycolysis and fatty acid metabolism. The enzyme required for the oxidation of fatty acids to acetyl CoA is fatty acyl CoA oxidase.

Acetyl CoA, as a substrate in the Krebs cycle, produces NADH, NADPH and FADH2, which are reducing agents that supply hydrogen atoms or electrons in chemical reactions and are used for ATP production in the mitochondria via a process called oxidative phosphorylation. The oxidation of fatty acids also produces NADH and FADH2. Each mole of NADH produces 3 ATP’s within the confines of the mitochondria. NADH is also produced in the cytosol (outside of the mitochondria) but needs to be transported into the mitochondria in order to be converted to energy. This transport mechanism is called the “glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle” and requires the enzyme glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase to catalyze the reaction. This “shuttle” requires energy and the end result is that cytosolic NADH is only able to produce 2 ATP’s per mole and the rest of the energy is released as heat. This is therefore a more “thermogenic” utilization of NADH (the reaction produces less ATP and more heat, also called “futile cycling”).

For the purpose of this discussion we will also include the reaction which converts malic acid (a Krebs cycle intermediate) to pyruvate and NADPH. This conversion occurs in the cytosol and requires an enzyme called malic enzyme. This reaction is important since it not only produces cytosolic NADPH but also produces heat.

Compounds with thermogenic activity are substances which foster the production of heat relative to the production of ATP. Very often these compounds have the ability to enhance the activity of certain enzymes which drive these thermogenic reactions. The quintessential thermogenic compound is the thyroid hormone, thyroxin (T4). Thyroxin has the ability “uncouple” oxidative phosphorylation (less ATP production and more heat production) by enhancing the activity of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme.

Research by Lardy and others has shown that 7-oxo DHEA is able to enhance the activity of three thermogenic enzymes: glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme and fatty acyl CoA oxidase.

7-keto Mechanism

1. Fatty Acyl CoA Oxidase

The activation of fatty acyl CoA oxidase results in an enhancement of fatty acid breakdown. This reaction results in the production of acetyl CoA, NADH and FADH2. This drives the cell to utilize fatty acids for energy, which in turn promotes the breakdown of triglycerides, the body’s fat storage moiety. The acetyl CoA, NADH and FADH2 produced in this reaction are subsequently converted to ATP and heat, and at a faster rate than normally expected. The end result is an increased production of heat considering the inefficiency of the reaction.

2. Malic Enzyme

The activation of malic enzyme results in the conversion of malic acid to pyruvate and NADPH in the cytosol. This results in an excess of NADPH in the cytosol which is subsequently transported into the mitochondria where it is converted to ATP and heat. This is a thermogenic effect since more heat is produced relative to ATP production due to the cytosolic origin of the reaction.

3. Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase

The activation of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase results in an up-regulation of the glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle. This, in turn, favors the conversion of cytosolic NADH to a pathway of less ATP production and more heat production.

All three of these enzyme activations drive energy producing substrates in a direction of less efficient ATP production relative to heat production. This is the biological definition of thermogenesis. In addition, they promote the utilization of fat stores for energy and heat production. Hence 7-Keto’s ability to enhance thermogenesis and through that mechanism accelerate the utilization of fat stores for heat production.

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What is 7-Keto®?

7-Keto® is a natural substance produced by the body in our adrenal glands. Scientists and physicians believe 7-Keto® plays an important role in up-regulating key thermogenic enzymes in the body, thereby enhancing resting metabolic rate. It has extensive clinical evidence supporting its ability to aid in weight loss. Other evidence points to the positive effects that 7-Keto® may have on immune and brain function

Is 7-Keto® related to the hormone DHEA? What is the difference between 7-Keto® and DHEA?

7-Keto® is a natural metabolite that is produced in the body from DHEA. Research scientists at the University of Wisconsin isolated the 7-oxo metabolite of DHEA and developed a method to produce it. Like DHEA, the levels of 7-Keto® decline with age. 7-Keto® is chemically distinct from DHEA and they are two completely different chemical entities. After 7-Keto® is derived from DHEA, it cannot convert back to DHEA in the body. The chief difference between 7-Keto® and DHEA is that 7-Keto® cannot convert to other steroid hormones in the body.

Is 7-Keto® a hormone?

No, 7-Keto® is not a hormone. Hormones are chemical substances produced by the body that have a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ; usually through the interaction of the hormone with a specific receptor. Our research reveals that 7-Keto® has no known receptor in the human body and no specific regulatory function.

Why do I need to take 7-Keto® if my body makes it naturally?

As we age our natural production of this metabolite declines. This decline is most dramatic after the age of 30. By age 40, we produce only half as much 7-Keto® as we did at age 20. This decline continues throughout the rest of our lives.

Where does 7-Keto® come from?

7-Keto® is made from plant sources. It is manufactured to a very high level of purity to look exactly like the 7-Keto® your body produces.

Is 7-Keto® natural?

We call 7-Keto® “the most natural” of natural products. This is because it is naturally found in everyone’s body. By taking 7-Keto®, you are simply putting back something that declines as we age.

How long has 7-Keto® been around?

7-Keto® was initially discovered in the human body in the 1950’s, however, its usefulness in weight loss was not discovered until the 1990’s by researchers at the University of Wisconsin.

Does 7-Keto® have any side effects? Is 7-Keto® safe?

7-Keto® does not have any known side effects. It has been put through very rigorous testing to insure that it is safe. The safety testing was presented to the Food and Drug Administration for their review before this product was offered to the public. In our clinical studies there have been no reports of serious adverse events and since being on the market in 1998, there have been no reports of serious adverse events by consumers.

However, everyone is unique and certain individuals react differently to the same substance.

Does 7-Keto® have any benefits beside weight loss?

Researchers have studied 7-Keto® for other benefits including helping improve the immune system and improving memory.

What age do you have to be to take 7-Keto®?

7-Keto® has only been tested in adults and probably only has a beneficial effect as a supplement in individuals older than age 25, when the natural decline in 7-Keto® begins to occur.

Can 7-Keto® and DHEA be taken together?

Yes, both can be safely taken together but the combination is unnecessary unless hormonal effects of DHEA are desired. Any individual taking DHEA should consult with their physician.

Will 7-Keto® affect my blood pressure?

In three clinical trials, 7-Keto® has never shown any adverse effects on blood pressure. In one trial, blood pressure actually had a slight decline.

Does 7-Keto® affect risks of cancer?


Have there been any controlled clinical trials using 7-Keto® for weight loss?

Yes. There are two clinical trials using 7-Keto® for weight loss at a dose of 200 mg per day. Both of these studies have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Each of these studies were double blind and placebo controlled and performed in population of overweight men and women over a period of 8 weeks. The results of each study confirm that administration of 7-Keto® at a dose of 100 mg twice daily when combined with a program of diet and exercise will result in a three-fold increase in weight loss and fat loss compared to placebo. There have been three other placebo-controlled studies investigating the effectiveness of 7-Keto® in weight management. Two of these studies evaluated 7-Keto® in a formulation that included other active ingredients. The third study confirmed the ability of 7-Keto® in increase metabolism – even when dieting.

Is 7-Keto® derived from animal sources?

No, it is made from plant sources. It is manufactured to a very high level of purity to look exactly like the 7-Keto® your body produces. It would be suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

How does 7-Keto® work to enhance weight loss?

7-Keto® works naturally with your body to enhance the activity of three key fat burning (thermogenic) enzymes. The up-regulation of these key enzymes provides a higher metabolic rate during periods of calorie restriction and diet modification. 7-Keto® works with a program of diet and exercise to accelerate weight and fat loss by 200% over the same period of time compared to comparable dieting and exercise while taking a placebo pill.

Are there any drug or supplement interactions with 7-Keto®?

7-Keto® will not interact adversely with other diet supplements or weight loss aids. 7-Keto® will also not interact with common medications for blood pressure control or blood lipid control. 7-Keto® has no interaction with Synthroid or other thyroid medications. Since 7-Keto® is very structurally similar to DHEA, it may have the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation (similar to Aspirin) and caution should be used if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin™. You should consult your physician before taking and dietary supplement and before starting any new weight loss programs.

How much weight can I expect to lose with 7-Keto®?

7-Keto® should be used in conjunction with a program of diet and exercise since this is the healthiest way to lose weight. Our clinical studies have been designed to include 7-Keto® into a healthy program of diet and exercise and the average weight loss in these studies was 6 pounds in 8 weeks and 80% of the weight lost by these individuals was body fat. Some of the subjects in these clinical trials lost as much as 22 pounds in 8 weeks. Weight loss in the range of 1-2 pounds per week is considered healthy and studies have shown that weight loss greater than this average typically ends in diet failure and regain of weight.

Is 7-Keto® an anabolic steroid?

No. 7-Keto® is not an anabolic or an androgenic steroid. Unlike DHEA, it does not convert to testosterone or other anabolic steroids in the body. Also our research has revealed that 7-Keto® itself is not able to interact with the androgen receptor in the body, thereby assuring that it has no ability to produce androgenic or anabolic effects in the body.

Is 7-Keto® a steroid hormone precursor?

No. 7-Keto® does not convert to any steroids that have any hormone related characteristics. Particularly, 7-Keto® does not convert to any androgenic, anabolic or estrogenic hormones.

Does 7-Keto® contain any stimulants like ephedra?

No. 7-Keto® is a very purified single molecular compound that itself has no cardiac or central nervous system stimulating characteristics. There is not ephedra or ephedrine in 7-Keto®. In our clinical studies, no adverse events related to stimulating side effects were reported. Also, since being on the market to consumers there have been no reports of stimulating side effects from taking 7-Keto® in the past 4 years and with over 180 million doses sold.

Will 7-Keto® affect my testosterone, estrogen or DHEA levels?

No. 7-Keto® is chemically distinct from testosterone, estrogen and DHEA and will not affect the blood levels of these steroids hormones. Also, our research has confirmed that 7-Keto® does not convert to testosterone, estrogen or DHEA in the body.

When is the best time of day to take 7-Keto®?

7-Keto® is best taken in divided doses two times daily. We usually suggest that the doses be spaced about 8 hours apart. 7-Keto® may be taken with or without a meal.

Does 7-Keto® have any effect on T3, one of the thyroid hormones?

No. One clinical study for weight loss showed a slight elevation in T3 (within the normal range) in the subjects taking 7-Keto®. Subsequent clinical studies have shown no effect on T3 compared to placebo or compared to baseline values in the subjects taking 7-Keto®. Therefore, there is no convincing positive or negative effect on T3 in individuals taking 7-Keto® at 200 mg per day.

Will 7-Keto® affect my appetite/Is 7-Keto® an appetite suppressant?

7-Keto® acts by a completely different mechanism. 7-Keto® is a thermogenic supplement, which means it helps your body convert stored fat to heat energy at a faster rate than if you were just cutting calories. When 7-Keto® is part of your dieting plan, severe calorie restriction is not required but rather eating a well balanced healthy diet. In our clinical studies, the subjects taking 7-Keto® were eating 1800 calories per day and exercising for one hour three times weekly and they lost three times more weight and body fat than the group taking only a placebo pill.

Do I have to change my diet while taking 7-Keto®?

Most people gain weight because they are eating the wrong kind of food or are eating too much food. If you are like most Americans, you will have to make some minor changes in your diet to allow your body to shift into “fat burning” mode. Calorie restriction is one of the key elements in any weight loss program but this calorie restriction does not have to be painful. We suggest you reduce your calories to 1800 per day, eat 4-5 meals per day and structure your meals so that your daily intake consists of 45% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 30% fat.

Do I have to exercise while taking 7-Keto®?

Exercise is an important part of any weight loss plan for several reasons; (1) it allows your body to burn more calories, (2) it helps maintain and increase the amount of lean muscle that you have, ultimately increasing your metabolic rate, (3) it helps to tone your muscles so that you look better at your new lower weight, (4) it helps your cardiovascular system circulate more blood and vital nutrients to your muscles and other organs which aids in the fat burning process, and (5) it helps you feel better about your body and yourself and motivates you to continue with your weight loss efforts. The amount of exercise you do is up to you, but the secret is to “get moving”. Even walking three times weekly greatly aids your chances of success.

What if I stop taking 7-Keto® after I’ve reached my desired weight, will I gain all my weight back?

Losing and maintaining your weight is not as easy as taking a pill. There are no magic bullets. 7-Keto® helps accelerate your weight loss so that you can achieve your goal weight faster and healthier. The key to maintaining your new lower weight lies in your ability to put the principles of healthy eating and exercise into your daily life. Eating a healthy diet keeps your body in balance and exercising regularly helps to build new metabolically active muscle, which helps you to maintain your new lower weight long-term.

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