You have tried exercise and diet, but it does not seem to work. Your hectic lifestyle just keeps getting in the way. You hear about this new diet supplement; raspberry ketone weight loss supplement. You wonder what it is and whether it will work for you. Well, read on!
First, a quick background on obesity:
Obesity is on the rise around the world, and it is not just a body issue concern. Obesity increases your risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and various cancers. Diet and exercise are not the solution for many reasons such as our hectic lifestyles. As a result, people are turning to weight loss surgery and pharmaceutical weight lossdrugs. However, these strategies have risks and side effects.
People are now interested in exploring natural supplements for losing weight. One such supplement is the raspberry ketone weight loss supplement.
What are raspberry ketones?
Raspberry ketones are compounds found in red raspberries. They are also found in kiwi, apples, peaches, grapes, other berries, rhubarb and maple, yew and pine tree bark.
Raspberry ketone have many uses. They are used for hair loss, as a fragrance for cosmetics, and as a flavouring agent for food. More recently, they have become popular for weight loss.
Why are they used for weight loss?
Raspberry ketones have a chemical structure similar to capsaicin(found in hot peppers) and synephrine (found in citrus fruit). Both capsaicin and synephrine are helpful in weight loss. Capsaicin has been shown to reduce fatty tissue mass(non-lean body mass) and blood triglycerides by increasing your metabolism. Synephrine causes the breakdown of fat cells. Because all three compounds have similar structures, researchers felt that raspberry ketones would have similar weight loss effects.
Is there any research behind raspberry ketone supplements?
Yes. Animal and in-vitro(test tube) research have shown that raspberry ketones prevent weight gain. They do so by possibly increasing metabolism and hormonal levels of adiponectin in the body. Adiponectin has been shown to increase the rate at which your body burns fat and also helps to reduce your appetite.Raspberry ketones increase metabolism by increasing norepinephrine levels. Norepinephrine is a substance which causes lipolysis (fat breakdown) in fat cells. Raspberry ketones also prevent weight gain by blocking the small intestine’s absorption of fat from the diet.
In a study where, researchers fed mice a high-fat diet which included raspberry ketones, raspberry ketones prevented weight gain and fatty liver(accumulation of fat in the liver). Also, the raspberry ketones lowered weight and triglyceride levels in the liver after they had been elevated by a high fat diet. Researchers concluded that raspberry ketones prevent and reduce obesity and fatty liver.
In a study where fat cell precursors were treated with various doses of raspberry ketones, fat cells were prevented from forming and the build-up of fat was prevented. The higher the concentration of raspberry ketone given, the greater the effects.
Has it been tested in humans?
Yes … in part. One published study examined the effects of a dietary supplement which had raspberry ketone and other substances. In the study, 70 overweight people aged 21 to 45 took either the supplement or a placebo (fake supplement) once a day for 8 weeks. The supplement contained raspberry ketone, caffeine, bitter orange, ginger, garlic, cayenne, L-theanine, pepper extract, B-vitamins and chromium. Participants also exercised and followed a calorie reduced diet. Those who took the supplement lost more weight and body fat than those who did not. Also, no serious side effects were observed.
A weak point of the study is that 25 people dropped out. Eight of the supplement-taking participants dropped out of the study, while 17 of the placebo group dropped out. The researchers stated that the reason was due to poor compliance with the diet, supplement and/or exercise program.
Studies have shown that low energy levels (physical and mental) combined with cravings for high calorie foods can reduce your ability to stick to a weight loss program. In this study, those on the supplements had increased energy leveIs and less cravings for high calorie foods.
So, it works!
It is hard to tell if raspberry ketone supplements work in humans. In the only one published study conducted on humans(mentioned above), the supplement contained a mixture of ingredients that could account for the weight loss. Cayenne has been shown to increase metabolism and increase fat breakdown, while, ginger and garlic have been shown to reduce the buildup of body fat. Meanwhile, bitter orange has been shown to increase metabolism and improve weight loss. As a result, it is hard to figure out if raspberry ketone had any effects on weight loss, and if so, how much.
There is an unpublished study on raspberry ketonesalone by a raspberry ketone manufacturer. This study was contracted to the Ohio Research Group, the CEO being Dr. Ziegenfuss. He was one of the researchers in the one published human study mentioned above.
In this study, a sole ingredient raspberry ketone supplement was given to trained athletes. The athletes were found to have increased breakdown of body fat 30 minutes after their work out. This is very promising news for raspberry ketone supplements, however, this study has potential bias in that it was funded by a raspberry ketone manufacturer.
There is need for more human studies on raspberry ketone supplements alone to conclusively determine if raspberry ketones work in humans.
How much do I need to take?
It is hard to tell since this has not been studied in humans. In a raspberry ketone study on mice, it was shown that raspberry ketone makeups of between 1% and 2% of total calories resulted in weight loss. Does this translate to humans? It is not known.
Are there any side effects?
There are no known side effects. Also, no safety concerns have been reported. However, the safety of raspberry ketone supplements have not been extensively studied. As with all medications, it may have effects in pregnant and nursing women. For instance, other components of raspberry plants such as raspberry leaves have been shown to shorten labour and decrease the chances of having a caesarian section in pregnant women.