Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Supplement Series: Raspberry Ketones

With the new year just around the corner, new years resolutions are going to be on peoples minds. Weight loss or more specifically fat loss is guaranteed to be up there on peoples lists of priorities post-Christmas.

A few years ago raspberry ketones were the new 'in' thing targeted for fat loss. But do they actually do what they claim? And are they still they still a popular supplement for weight loss?

Raspberry ketones are a natural substance which give raspberries their scent. They are also used as flavorants in food products and are contained in some cosmetic products. However, the raspberry ketones sold as a weight loss aid are artificially derived and are not natural.

Now for the science - the molecular structure of raspberry ketones is similar to that of capsaicin and synephrine, both of which are known to boost the metabolism. When given to rats, raspberry ketones increased the breakdown of fat and made fat cells release more adiponectin (regulates metabolism and blood glucose). Low levels of adiponectin are associated with diabetes and obesity. However, to achieve the results seen in rat studies you would have to consume 100 times the recommended dosage of raspberry ketones.

Regarding human weight loss there is no conclusive evidence. Some people lose weight - others do not. It may be worth considering though that raspberry ketones have in fact been found to improve hair growth and improve hair elasticity.