Raspberry ketone is a compound found in red raspberries that gives it its sweet fruity smell. It is also found in lesser quantities in some other fruits. Until a few years ago it was only used as a flavouring agent for food products. Recently, new studies have shown that the compound may help people lose weight. However, there was a popularity surge and an increase in demand after it was featured on Dr. Mehmet Oz’s TV show, in which he called it “the number one miracle in a bottle.”
Why Are Weight Loss Supplements Required In The First Place?
The surge in demand for supplements based on raspberry ketone underlines the need for products that allow us to lose weight without going on a difficult diet and exercise program. There is no doubt that a healthy diet and regular exercise is the tried and tested method for losing weight. However, the biggest obstacle to that is the busy daily schedule that most us in the working age group are going through.
Not many of us have the energy or discipline to go to the gym regularly and it is not easy to stick to frugal diets. In any case, the safety of these diets is questionable and there is also the problem of rebound weight gain after discontinuing them.
Healthy eating habits and regular moderate exercise is the key to preventing unhealthy increases in weight. But, what about the excess weight that we have already put on? Supplements like raspberry ketone may be helpful in bringing our weight to a healthy level, which we can then maintain with healthy eating and moderate physical activity.
How Does Raspberry Ketone Work?
Dr. Oz, in his show, says that raspberry ketone excites fat cells and makes them give up fat. It also activates a hormone called adiponectin. Adiponectin activity is higher in slimmer people and as one gets overweight, its activity level drops. When one gets overweight, the body switches into a fat storing mode. Activating adiponectin with raspberry ketone tricks the body into thinking that it is thin and thus makes it switch to burning fat rather than storing fat.
There are two major theories about how raspberry ketone works. The first one is by stimulation of adiponectin, which is known to promote burning of fat, reduce the storage of fat and regulate glucose levels in our body. The second method of weight reduction is thought to be the stimulation of a natural process in the body which causes fat cells to break down.
Studies Into the Effectiveness Of Raspberry Ketone
A few studies have been conducted on rats and humans to test the effectiveness of this substance for weight loss. In rats, the compound prevented them from gaining weight even with a high fat diet when compared to control groups. In humans, one study was conducted in which the volunteers in the test group took a supplement that contained a combination of substances including raspberry ketone.
Although significant weight loss was observed when compared to the control group, the contribution of raspberry ketone to that result is not known.
The general conclusion is that while raspberry ketone could be a possible weight loss solution, further tests are needed to make a definite conclusion about its effectiveness. There is no evidence so far to discourage its use except in some situations.
Safety Of Raspberry Ketone
Raspberry ketone is considered safe at the recommended doses. However, you must not take supplements containing the substance in the following cases:
1. Allergy to raspberry or raspberry ketone. Allergy is a rare occurrence, but it cannot be ruled out. In case of an allergic reaction, you must discontinue use and seek medical help immediately.
2. Raspberry ketone should not be taken during pregnancy as raspberries can cause premature contractions.
3. Safety during breast feeding is not established, hence it should be avoided.
4. Children should not take it as safety has not been established.
5. Raspberry ketone is similar to the stimulant synephrine. Hence, it should not be taken by people with high blood pressure or heart disease except under medical advise or supervision.
6. Raspberry ketone may interfere with the action of the anticoagulant warfarin. People who are taking drugs containing this substance should not take supplements containing raspberry ketone without clearing its use with their doctor.
Raspberry ketone may help in reducing weight at the recommended doses when combined with a healthy diet and moderate exercise like half an hour of walking or jogging. Studies in rats have shown positive results and similar effects may be possible in humans. Further studies are required to establish this scientifically.