How Can 7-Keto Help You Lose Weight?
Interview with Dr. John Zenk
Interviewed by Scott Peters
Scott Peters: Doctor John Zenk, we’re talking today about obesity, weight loss. Talk about 7-Keto. That’s something I think a lot of people have heard about recently. Can you talk about what that is?
Dr. John Zenk: Sure. 7-Keto is a compound that I’ve been working on for a good number of years – probably close to eight or ten years – and I’ve been in charge of doing a lot of the clinical research. It was actually developed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. It’s a natural compound that your body produces every day, and what it is, we call it a natural metabolite of DHEA, which is a major what we call pro-hormone in the body. That’s produced by your adrenal gland, and DHEA is acted on by a series of enzymes, which converts it to 7-Keto in the body. Now, because it’s like DHEA, it declines with age, and a lot of people don’t know that. By the time you’re 40, you’ve got about 40 to 50 percent less DHEA and 7-Keto floating around in your bloodstream than you did when you were 20. A lot of us doctors and other scientists believe that there’s a link between this decrease in these important compounds like 7-Keto, and what’s actually known in the literature is an age-related decline and resting, or basal metabolic rate. We’re basically, by giving 7-Keto, replacing what nature has taken away and sort of modulating your metabolism or increasing your metabolism to help improve your chances of losing more weight than if you just dieted and exercised alone.
SP: Can you talk a little bit more about how it works?
JZ: Sure. It has an interesting mechanism. It falls into a category of supplements that we call non-stimulant thermogenic agents, and there’s not many of them around, obviously. We actually have a compound here that can increase your metabolic rate without the side effects of stimulating your central nervous system or stimulating your cardiovascular system, like fast heart rates or headaches and things like that that a lot of the stimulant thermogenics tend to do. How it works is that it gets into your bloodstream and actually activates important fat-burning enzymes. They’re very key enzymes in the process of converting stored fat to fatty acids, and then fatty acids become an energy source for metabolism. That only happens when you don’t have carbohydrates around to burn for energy. In order for 7-Keto to work absolutely perfectly, you have to be on some sort of calorie restriction. In other words, you have to watch your food intake, but not that much. This is not a 400-calorie diet. Most of our clinical trials were like 1,800 calories, so that’s not much of a restriction really. So your body is not looking for carbohydrates to burn for energy, it’s actually looking for stored fat, or adipose tissue to burn for energy. Once it’s in that mode, and you’re actually doing a little bit of exercise on top of that, you take 7-Keto, and our clinical trials show that you can lose about three times more weight than if you just followed the same diet and exercise program.
SP: You talked about the level decreases as we get older. Is there a way to check for that to know where we are and how much we need to get to an optimal level?
JZ: Yeah. The published numbers are right around two percent decline per day per decade of life, and there’s a way of measuring metabolism. One is indirectly where we put you under hood and we can measure the amount of carbon dioxide you’re excreting in association with the amount of oxygen you’re taking in. That will give us a pretty good estimate of what your resting metabolic rate is. And then there’s a direct way of doing it where we have special rooms and we place people, and the room is totally sealed, and we’re actually using the room to measure how much heat your body is giving off. We call it direct calorimetry, and also indirect calorimetry. Probably the most convenient and less expensive is indirect calorimetry, and you can have that done as most health clubs nowadays.
SP: When you talk about how much we need and finding out at what age do we want- when we’re 20, do we want to keep it at that level, even when we’re 40, do we want to get up there, or how do you maintain that?
JZ: It would be nice to have a 20-year-old’s metabolism, wouldn’t it?
SP: It would.
JZ: Now that I’m in my late 50s, that’s a pleasant thought. But I tell people that we can advocate that we can increase your resting metabolic rate some, but not to the point where you were 20 years old again. Anything we can do to increase energy expenditure gives you a better chance of losing weight and a better chance of keeping it off.