Science and consumers alike are always looking for the magical pill that can help lose weight effortlessly. With all the different types of weight loss supplements out there with varying claims, it is hard to tell what actually works and what does not. Read on to learn more about the effects of raspberry ketone supplements, and decide whether or not they may help you lose weight.
What Is It?
Raspberry ketone supplements, often abbreviated to RK, first came into popularity when Dr. Mehmet Oz mentioned their effects on weight loss on his television show. The supplement usually consists of concentrated raspberry ketones – the aromatic compounds that give the fruit its smell – in a pill form, and they are to be taken orally according to the instructions on the package. A person would have to consume about 90 pounds of actual red raspberries to harvest the same amount of ketones found in one serving of supplements!
How Do Raspberry Ketone Supplements Lead To Weight Loss?
As it turns out, the ketones found in red raspberries have shown to help lab mice used in studies to stimulate the production of the hormones, adiponectin and epinephrine.
- Adiponectin, found in fatty tissues of both mice and humans alike, helps the body metabolize fat. Past studies have also shown that thin people have higher levels of adiponectin than obese people, and research has shown that the hormone specifically helps regulate weight in humans by improving insulin sensitivity.
- Epinephrine, on the other hand, is the same as adrenaline the body secretes during fight-or-flight reactions; in other words, it naturally stimulates the body to increase metabolism and fat breakdown. Raspberry ketones also has a similar structure to capsaicin, which are compounds found in hot chili peppers found to improve fat metabolism.
Is It Safe And Does It Work?
Raspberry ketone supplements have been praised since their origin. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have ruled raspberry ketones as “generally recognized as safe” due to their natural, fruit-derived source. However, be sure to do thorough research on each company’s formulations of the supplement. For example, there may be additives in the supplement blend, such as caffeine, to boost metabolism; however, some people may be sensitive to caffeine and have adverse reactions. When taking RK supplements, it may be the best to take the “purest” form available without any additives. (To learn more about adverse reactions caused by caffeine, see 10 Possible Side Effects Of Too Much Caffeine In Your Diet.)
Extensive studies of RK and its effects on weight loss have been conducted via lab mice. RK has been found to decrease the fat content of mice after they had been put on a high-fat diet, and that it could help improve obesity and fatty liver. Studies done by the Korean Food and Drug Administration also revealed that raspberry ketones could increase the metabolism and breakdown of fatty acids, along with decreased fat storage in lab mice.
There is compelling evidence in lab rats that raspberry ketone supplements can help the body metabolize fat. However, if you decide that you would like to try raspberry ketone supplements for weight loss, try not to solely rely on the supplements as they may not help you achieve the desired effect. Indeed, the magical do-it-all pill that allows a person to gorge on gourmet food, but still lose weight without exercise has yet to be discovered. In lab studies, mice that were fed a high fiber diet supplemented with RK and regular exercise showed the most dramatic weight loss results. Even Dr. Oz stressed that the supplements would be best used along with exercise and a nutritional diet, and that raspberry ketones are not magic do-it-all weight loss pills.
Also, there remains the question of the lack of human studies. Since there has not been any human studies conducted on RK as of date, consumers should take the hype with a grain of salt. Results seen in mice do not necessarily equate results in humans. Also, who knows what the long-term effects of taking this supplement can result for humans? After all, there is still something synthetic about extracting ketones from red raspberries and making them into pills for consumption.
As mentioned before, even if the FDA approved the use of raspberry ketones for consumption, many formulations on the market may have additional additives that may not give consumers the purest form of raspberry ketones. Remember to always consult your doctor and educate yourself before adding any dietary supplements to your usual meals.
If you are still unsure about including RK in your diet, you can always add red raspberries to your usual meals for a natural boost!