It seems like every day there is another “miracle” weight loss food, product, or program that promises to help you shed those unwanted pounds with little to no effort on your part. We usually gravitate to the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” But, we occasionally come across products or foods that aren’t necessarily a “miracle” , but when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle (eating a balanced diet and exercising) can help boost your metabolism.
To help you differentiate between what product/food is a great discovery, more like wishful thinking, or a blatant lie, we are starting a new series of posts called – Diets in Review.
First up… Here’s what you should know about Raspberry Ketones:
Raspberry Ketones have become nearly impossible to find in stores since Dr. Oz proclaimed it a fat-buster and “The No. 1 Miracle in a Bottle” on his television show. Some nutritionists have attacked the hype, because it (product claim) is unsupported by any human studies.
One argument in favor of the raspberry ketones is, “it might give a bit of a jump start to the challenge of losing weight and it seems to be just a condensed version of raspberries, which are good for you in general anyway.”
An opposing argument is there’s no substitute for long-lasting dietary changes and increased physical activity; they also worry about the absence of human studies establishing raspberry ketones’ effectiveness as well as safety.
“People are willing to take chances. It’s amazing how many people look for a miracle instead of looking at what they’re eating and how much they’re moving and fixing whatever is broken,” said Mary Hartley, a registered dietitian and clinical nutritionist in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Before you decide whether raspberry ketones are right for you, please do 2 things. First, read more about it (below), an informed decision is the best decision. Second, ask yourself why you want it (raspberry ketones).
Consider this.. If it isn’t to support your current healthy lifestyle, then it is most likely a band-aid and not a viable long-term solution. It could distract you from what you should be doing (eating a balanced diet and exercising), and end up doing more harm than good.
ABOUT RASPBERRY KETONES
Raspberry ketones (RK) are the chemical compounds that give raspberries their enticing aroma. And when ketones are taken from raspberries, they can be used to add fragrance and flavor to things such as colas, ice cream, and cosmetics.
But the buzz that has put raspberry ketones in the spotlight is the claim that raspberry ketone supplements can melt away fat and prevent weight gain — even in the face of a high-fat diet. But can they really do that?
The answer is no one knows. Experts say that investing anywhere from $12 to $20 in a bottle of raspberry ketone supplements amounts to little more than wishful thinking. And doing so may or may not be harmful.
What the Science Says
There have been no human studies so far on the weight loss effects of raspberry ketones.
The only studies on the effect of raspberry ketones on fat are a handful of animal studies. The studies were done over the last 10 to 15 years. Researchers looked at the effect of raspberry ketones on rats, mice, and rabbits.
There are also a few studies on the effect of raspberry ketones on isolated cells in test tubes. But there is no way to know whether the same results would be produced in people.
The excitement over the potential benefit is understandable. In the animal studies, raspberry ketones appear to alter the animals’ metabolism. As a result, the animals had a:
- Speed-up in the processing of fat
- Reduction of fatty tissue, especially in the liver
In the animal studies, raspberry ketones also seemed to affect the production of certain hormones that increase the body’s ability to burn fat.
But whether raspberry ketones would have the same effect on metabolism and hormone production in humans hasn’t been studied.
Until it has, experts say you’re better off holding onto your money. Instead, concentrate on a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Both of those have been shown to be effective ways to manage weight.
The Unknown Potential for Harm
Raspberry ketones in food and cosmetics are generally considered safe. But no one knows what short- or long-term effect raspberry ketone supplements could have on your overall health. That’s because there has been no study to document potential side effects. There are also no studies that look at potential drug or food interactions.
The fact that raspberry ketones chemically resemble other stimulants suggests the potential for certain side effects. And there are anecdotal reports of jitteriness, increased blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat among people taking raspberry ketone supplements. But without the evidence, no one can say what dosage of raspberry ketone supplements, if any, might be safe to take.
The best advice is to discuss your concerns about weight and weight management with your doctor or talk to a dietitian or nutritionist before trying any unproven method for weight control.