Teenagers and young adults benefit from a high resting metabolic rate, which simply means that they burn more calories at rest than older adults. For those of us in the “older adult” group, wouldn’t it be nice if we could restore a more youthful resting metabolism and actually burn some calories at rest? Well, a combination of nutrients may indeed help us to do just that! A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
demonstrated that a formula of vitamins C and D, calcium, green tea, chromium, and a special metabolite of DHEA can in fact raise the resting metabolic rate.
Benefits of Raising the Resting Metabolic Rate
Being overweight often means that your resting metabolic rate is slower than it used to be. So more and more of the calories you eat are being stored as body fat rather than being burned as energy. Improving resting metabolism can help overweight people convert fewer calories to fat, helping them to lose weight. If we have a higher resting metabolic rate, our cells are better fueled to function at peak performance. We’ll feel more energized and maybe even lose a few pounds. Now, of course, exercise and eating small meals throughout the day are well-established as metabolic boosters. But the current research investigated if certain supplements could also provide a boost to resting metabolism. Let’s find out.
Restoring Youthful Resting Metabolism: An Investigation1
Researchers wanted to investigate whether or not a select group of nutrients, all believed to be metabolic boosters, could in fact raise resting metabolism. They designed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of obese and overweight adults. Each participant was placed on a calorie-restricted diet and was randomized to three, seven-day treatment periods that included 7-Keto® DHEA (a known thermogenic or fat burning hormone); 7-Keto DHEA in combination with a nutrient formula consisting of vitamins C and D, calcium, green tea, and chromium; and, lastly, a placebo. Each participant “crossed-over” from one treatment arm to the other. For example, one person would start with 7-Keto DHEA. After one week, the same person would then crossover to a combination of 7-Keto DHEA and the nutrient formula. For the last seven days, the same person would take a placebo. All of the participants, at some point, were placed into each treatment group. This type of “cross-over” study provides reliable information that allows researchers to draw conclusions with more confidence. Of 45 subjects enrolled, 40 completed the study. While the subjects were taking the placebo, their average resting metabolism decreased (became slower or lower) by 3.9%. However, the subjects’ resting metabolic rate increased significantly (became faster or higher) by 1.4% with the 7-Keto DHEA and by 3.4% with the combination of 7-Keto DHEA and the nutrient formula. The results showed that 7-Keto DHEA alone could in fact raise the resting metabolic rate. However, when it was combined with vitamins C and D, calcium, green tea, and chromium, the results were even more impressive. The authors concluded that 7-Keto DHEA and the nutrients tested are, in fact, metabolic boosters and could benefit overweight and obese individuals with impaired resting metabolism.
Steps to Raising Your Resting Metabolism
If you want to maximize the metabolic benefits of 7-Keto DHEA, vitamins C and D, calcium, green tea, and chromium, then begin by eating less. Remember, in the study just described, all participants were placed on a calorie-restricted diet. So begin by speaking with your doctor about a diet plan that targets 15 to 20% fewer calories a day. Next, after speaking with your doctor, supplement with 100 mg/day of 7-Keto DHEA for at least one month. Hopefully that’s all you’ll need. After a month, if you and your doctor believe that you could benefit from additional metabolic help, then consider adding the following supplements with the suggested dosing:
- Vitamin C — 1,000 mg/day
- Vitamin D — 1,000 IU/day
- Calcium — 500 mg/day
- Green tea extract — 725 mg/day
- Chromium — 500 mcg/day
If you already take a daily multivitamin that provides these nutrients, adding 7-Keto DHEA is probably all you’ll need.
J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Sep;18(9):629-34.
7-Keto® is a registered trademark of InterHealth N.I. U.S. Patent 7,199,116.