Will Raspberry Ketones Help You Lose Weight?
In the past few years, the new fad weight loss pill has been raspberry ketones. Many don’t necessarily correlate raspberry ketones to ketosis. But those who do, expect the results of a no carb diet—a leaned out body and expedited fat loss.
You’ll hear things like “Natural Thermogenic” “Breaks Down Fat!” “Controls Appetite”
But, are raspberry ketones supposed to put your body in a state of ketosis? Or do they do something else?
First, let’s go over ketosis so we can understand ketones, then we’ll get to the science on whether they help with weight loss.
Ketones and Ketosis
A ketogenic diet accelerates fat loss by forcing the body into a state of ketosis.
Ketosis is when the body’s glycogen stores from carbs and sugars, has been depleted and thus it turns to the body’s fat reserves for fuel instead of glucose.
After the glycogen stores are depleted, the smart liver takes fat and converts it into ketones for fuel. The body usually won’t go into ketosis until 2-3 days after a no-carb/low-carb diet. After that time, fat oxidation begins. The liver overproduces acetyl-CoA to create ketone bodies from fats which are then used by the body as fuel.
So, if you have adequate glycogen stores, the question is—are raspberry ketones claiming they can force the body to ignore its glycogen and use ketones? If ketones are provided by the supplement-doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of making your body use FAT to make ketones?
Are they anything like human ketones?
Let’s find out, curious soul.
Rasperry ketones are the aroma compounds found in raspberries. That sweet summery smell is brought to you by raspberry ketones. They are used in perfumes and food industries and now, thanks to Dr. Oz’s sensational commercials, they are fairly popular supplements.
Touted as a weight-loss miracle drug (insert eye roll and groans here), they are purported to basically burn off fat without you changing your lifestyle. Well, let’s blow your mind with the first fact: raspberry ketones in those supplements are not derived from raspberries.
Rasperries have very little in comparison to the dose you’re offered by supplements (which are, in fact, way too low anyway, but we’ll get to that later.) In fact, around two pounds of raspberries only contains 1-4 mg of raspberry ketones, which is why they are so expensive.
Yep, the natural raspberry ketones can cost around $10,000 per pound. So, the ones you consume are made by those people in white lab coats—yeah they’re synthetic.
What they do:
Now, let’s review the science. But here’s a caveat: No human studies have ever been conducted on raspberry ketones and weight loss. ALL of these studies involve mice and a test tube…without a punch line.
Raspberry Ketones Increased Release of Adiponectin
In one study, on mice, researchers isolated fat cells and grew them in test tubes. Upon adding raspberry ketones it increased the breakdown of fat by making them more sensitive to the fat burning hormone norepinephrine and caused the fat cells to release more adiponectin, a hormone with a role in regulating blood sugar and metabolism.
Raspberry Ketones Make Cells More Sensitive to Norepinephrine
Some supplement companies claim the raspberry ketones actually release norepinephrine however, studies in mice only showed it made cells more sensitive to norepinephrine. Hmmm.
Raspberry Ketones Prevent Weight Gain
In another study, mice were fed fattening diets and the ones with extremely high doses of raspberry ketones did not lose weight, but did not gain as much as expected. So, it prevented a bit of weight gain, but did not affect weight loss–in mice.
Raspberry Ketones Inhibit Digestion of Fats
Other ‘clinical’ trials on mice with test tubes have shown raspberry ketones inhibit the action of pancreatic lipase which prevents the digestion of fats. This means that fats, rather than used, are eliminated by the body when mice “drop the kids off at the pool.”
So, if you’re a mouse, on a high fat diet, taking raspberry ketones, at insanely high doses—they might help you not gain weight. But if you’re a human—don’t count on it.
Raspberry Ketones Will NOT Induce Ketosis
Circling back to our initial question–are raspberry ketones a method to induce ketosis? Negative. However, a lot of people mistakenly believe, because of the name ‘ketones’, that raspberry ketones will induce ketosis. Ketosis is only induced in a healthy individual through a reduction of carbs to around 50g per day or fewer for more than 2-3 days. At this time, the body uses fat to create its own ketones to use as fuel to keep the body going.
But, if you have a bottle you’re regretting buying, while there aren’t any studies on humans for weight loss, there is a study showing women who put a topical solution of .01% of raspberry ketones on their skin, it increased skin elasticity. Now, why they can devote time to human skin studies and not human weight loss studies should be a major pause in your buying decision. Anything you put in your body should be tested and backed by science.
When it comes down to it, if you’re looking to lose weight, increase metabolism and lean mass—do it the tried and true way—through diet and exercise. It takes a while, but it’s a healthy and safe way to lose weight and gain muscle. Need scientifically supported natural ingredients to get you closer to your goals? Go here. Cross that finish line with dedication and hard work—not “hope.”