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To search for possible metabolites of DHEA that might have greater biological activity, greater specificity, and fewer propensities to form sex hormones, Dr. Lardy initiated a program assaying the derivatives of DHEA. The activity of 150 of these metabolites was monitored by measuring the induction of two thermogenic enzymes, mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and cytosolic malic enzyme. The results of this landmark study were published in the journal Steroids in 1998  and revealed that many of these steroids did not induce the activity of these thermogenic enzymes, whereas the 7-keto-DHEA metabolite did. In fact, 7-keto-DHEA was times more active than DHEA at inducing the activity of these thermogenic enzymes. In later work by Marenich,  it was discovered that the urinary excretion of 7-keto-DHEA declines with age in a similar manner to its parent compound, DHEA. Based on these discovered advantages, the 7-keto-DHEA metabolite was chosen for further study as a weight loss ingredient.