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Do Raspberry Ketones Really Help With Weight Loss?

I’ve been getting quite a few questions recently from readers asking me about my opinion of Raspberry Ketones for weight loss. It appears Dr. Oz recommended this supplement a while back as something for overweight individuals to consider experimenting with.

While I typically agree with the majority of Dr. Oz’s recommendations, I figured I’d do some research to see if all this hype on Raspberry Ketones was legit or not.

Let me preface this discussion by assuring you that this isn’t one of those bogus sales pitches for a product cleverly disguised as a “review.”

Sure, reviews from actual consumers can certainly be helpful, but a review that quickly turns into a product pitch without citing research or experiences from actual users is of questionable value.

What follows is simply my personal opinion from an objective review of the research. In full disclosure I’ve not used the product myself nor do I have any feedback as of yet from personal training clients.

More after the jump…

What are Raspberry Ketones and how does it supposedly help with weight loss?

Raspberry Ketones are simply an antioxidant compound found in red raspberries. Specifically, they constitute an “aroma” compound, in essence it’s what gives raspberries their distinctive smell.

The claim is that Raspberry Ketones may help to stimulate fat cell release through the following mechanisms:

  • By working to increase the expression and secretion of the fat generated hormone adiponectin.
  • By working to increase the availability of hormone sensitive lipase, which acts to break down fatty acids stored within the cells.

More on the hormone adiponectin for a second. This hormone plays a role in several metabolic processes, namely glucose regulation and the metabolism of fat for energy production.

It works to enhance insulin sensitivity which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Generally what we find is that the leaner an individual is, the more adiponectin they have and vice-versa.

Individuals dealing with metabolic syndrome tend to have lower adiponectin levels along with some degree of low insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance.

So what does the research say about Raspberry Ketones?

Interestingly, I couldn’t find a SINGLE research study confirming or denying the effectiveness of Raspberry Ketones for weight loss.

What I did find was a couple of studies conducted on mice that looked at the connection.

Here are the references if you want to check them out:

Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone

Raspberry ketone increases bothy lipolyis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Since these are both mice studies, I’m not sure we can correlate all that much to the metabolic impact on humans. Let’s just say it may provide some clues that are worth further investigation.

When Dr. Oz talks about the research that led him to become intrigued with the supplement, this must have been what he was referring to. If there’s any research out there conducted on humans, I couldn’t find it.

Are Raspberry Ketones safe and could there be any side-effects?

From what I’ve gathered in the information I could find on the subject, there doesn’t appear to be any safety concerns with supplementation. However, you’ll want to look at each product’s ingredient list carefully and discuss with your physician.

Many products containing Raspberry Ketones also have other herbal stimulants and caffeine which may pose a problem for some individuals.

Needless to say, ever since Dr. Oz gave a raving review of this compound, supplement sales have skyrocketed. Seeing how the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements on the front end, this opens the door for scores of manufacturers to get in the game. Some of the products will have high quality ingredients, others not so much.

You’ve really got to do your homework as it’s the “wild west” out there whenever some new product gets hot in the weight loss marketplace.

What are other ways to increase adiponectin levels?

Here are some additional compounds and ways which could help you increase adiponectin levels:

Blueberries contain Cyanidin 3-glucoside which is an antioxidant compound that shows similar promise with perhaps helping to increase adiponectin levels. I’d be surprised if most other berries wouldn’t be helpful as well.

Curcumin is an herb that has interesting benefits on increasing fat oxidation and reducing inflammation. Here’s an article that’s worth looking at from Mike Roussell, PhD, on the benefits of curcumin. For what it’s worth I think Dr. Roussell is one of the sharpest guys on nutritional science out there and brings a lot of credibility to the table.

Omega-3′s from fish oil have been looked at in several research studies for their relationship to helping increase adiponectin levels. Similar impacts have been found with monounsaturated fats like those found in avocados, olive oil, Macadamia nuts, Sesame oil, etc.

And certainly perhaps the BEST way of all to increase adiponectin levels is with regular exercise. This is something that has been looked at with research on humans. The benefits are pretty clear, move more and improve adiponectin levels.

Here’s a reference to research:

Exercise Increases Adiponectin Levels and Insulin Sensivity in Humans

The final verdict on Raspberry Ketones for weight loss…

To be completely blunt and honest, I simply don’t have enough credible information to confirm or deny the effectiveness of Raspberry Ketones for weight loss. The research, albeit on mice, does make it intriguing.

I believe it may be worth experimenting with if the product is high quality and doesn’t contain additional herbal compounds that could be potentially harmful for some individuals.

I have to say I did look at a few products sold on Amazon.com that had some positive reviews from consumers.  However, on the same token even the products with numerous positive reviews had their fair share of reviews from other consumers who saw little to no benefits.

The key thing I’d be looking for if you’re considering taking raspberry ketones would be simple ingredient list, without other herbal compounds, and no “proprietary blends.” After all, you just want the real deal and not products with questionable ingredients.

Having said all that, I’d still suggest discussing this with your physician, especially if you’re on any medications, as there may be contraindications.

At the end of the day I’m pretty confident this won’t be weight loss “magic in a bottle” any more than the next hot supplement to come down the pike. The lure of quick-fixes never seems to lose its appeal and I get that.

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Some people may find improved weight loss while using Raspberry Ketones, others won’t notice a thing. That’s the way it goes. However, those individuals who succeed with long-term weight loss do so with lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. That’s always going to be a common denominator to the equation.

I don’t suspect you’re going to find positive results with any product unless you’re setting the conditions right for fat loss in the first place. Ultimately that’s always going to come with diet and exercise. Tis my two cents for what it’s worth.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Charleston, you can receive a no-obligations personal training trial and consultation without risking a dime. Over 1000 Charleston area residents have transformed their bodies following our unique burst training workouts and simplified nutrition programs. Experience the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Supplements.