As high-calorie holiday goodies stare us in the face everywhere we go, the idea of being able to indulge without gaining is irresistible. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a pill that would burn off a few of those extra calories? So, if you’re like many of our clients, you may be curious about the fat-burning benefits of raspberry ketones touted on the Dr. Oz show recently.
Here’s the low-down. If you’ve ever noticed the sweet smell from a container of raspberries, you’re actually picking up the scent of raspberry ketones—they’re the main aromatic compounds found in raspberries. Raspberry ketones’ chemical structure has some similarities with synephrine, which is a stimulant. Stimulants and other compounds that have the ability to “speed you up” are continuously being looked at for weight loss. The idea is they’ll make your body burn more calories while you’re sitting still.
While raspberry ketones have been studied, they haven’t been studied very much. In fact, there have only been three very small studies conducted, and they were performed on rodents. In this research, the rodents did gain less fat and raspberry ketones helped the rats to break down fat. This is interesting, but we’d love to see some studies performed on humans, because humans don’t necessarily respond the way rodents do. Plus, how can we know what dosage to give humans if it’s only been tested on rodents? Perhaps this is why our clients who have tried raspberry ketones haven’t seen success. Additionally, keep in mind that, even if researchers knew how much to give humans, supplements are not regulated or enforced by a governmental agency like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so they may not contain the ingredient amounts that the label claims. It’s also worth mentioning that none of these studies were published in any major respected medical journals, and there’s a good chance they were funded by an organization that had a vested interest in the success of raspberry ketones.
As registered dietitians, it would be irresponsible of us to recommend raspberry ketones to our clients at this time. However, we look forward to seeing more research on the subject. For now, we’ll stick to eating real raspberries (along with other healthy foods) and exercising–and we’ll continue to recommend that our clients do the same. If you decide to try raspberry ketones, we suggest reading the ingredient label carefully. Many other stimulants are often added, which may cause feelings of shakiness or heart palpitations. Remember, no reliable clinical research has evaluated this supplement for safety or adverse reactions.
If you’ve tried them please let us know your experience!
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