Raspberry ketone, also called rheosmin, has become popular as a weight loss supplement. According to its distributors in the market, this substance causes the fat inside the cells to break down in a more optimal way and, in turn, helps to regulate the metabolism. However, these properties are currently being discussed with scientific evidence. Does it really work?
To begin with, it should be noted that this compound is responsible for giving the characteristic smell of raspberries. It is even used in the production of cosmetics, perfumes and flavorings for certain foods.
Beyond this, certain medicinal properties are attributed to it, especially associated with metabolic health. Below we reveal them in detail and tell you what science says.
What is Raspberry Ketone?
To be more precise, raspberry ketone is a natural substance that is obtained from achenes, that is, the small seeds of the fruit where polyphenols are concentrated. It gives the particular smell to the raspberry, although it is also present in other fruits, such as kiwi, blackberries and blueberries.
In the food industry it is often used as a flavoring for ice cream, confectionery and beverages. In addition, since the 1960s it has been distributed in the form of food supplements, the purpose of which is to promote well-being. Its popularity reached it in 2012, after it was recommended in a popular American television program as a weight loss supplement.
Since then, many people with overweight and obesity problems have accessed this product in the hope of losing weight easily. What many do not know is that commercial presentations do not contain the substance naturally.
As detailed in an article published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, the raspberry ketone used in the manufacture of slimming supplements is a component manufactured synthetically. The high cost of extracting it naturally has led to its production in the laboratory.
At the same time, it must be clarified that, although it is called “ketone”, it has nothing to do with low-carbohydrate diets that raise ketone levels in the blood and induce fat burning. The term is more of a commercial thing. But the question is whether it works.
Raspberry ketone and weight loss
Supplement manufacturers claim that raspberry ketones can improve health and promote weight loss. In fact, some give it almost miraculous characteristics. The truth is that the scientific evidence supporting these properties is quite limited.
To date, only one human study has been conducted regarding its effects on body weight. The clinical trial, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and funded by the industry, determined that a product that contained raspberry ketones among its components helped reduce weight, fat mass, and waist and hip circumference in people with obesity.
Of course, these findings are insufficient to affirm the effectiveness of this supplement. Since the product used had many other ingredients, it is unclear what role raspberry ketones played in the result.
Now, studies have been done in animals that have allowed us to observe how this substance can be useful in weight loss. A research in the medical journal Planta Medica suggests that raspberry ketones stimulate lipolysis, i.e. fat degradation. By the way, they contribute to a greater release of adiponectin, a hormone associated with a proper functioning of the metabolism.
Other research shared in Life Sciences determined that raspberry ketones appear to prevent weight gain and the occurrence of disorders such as fatty liver. These effects are related to its ability to make cells susceptible to norepinephrine, related to the breakdown of fat.
This is consistent with the results of a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, which noted that rats given raspberry ketone had higher levels of adiponectin and a decreased risk of fatty liver and heart disorders.
Are there other benefits?
Raspberry ketones are also claimed in the supplement industry to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory disorders, and cardiovascular disease. However, there is no solid evidence to prove it.
Regarding its cosmetic effects, a study published in Growth Hormone & IGF Research determined that the topical administration of creams with raspberry ketones helped increase hair growth and skin elasticity. Anyway, more research is needed.
Risks and possible side effects
Due to the lack of high-quality human studies, it is unknown whether raspberry ketone is safe or not. Therefore, it is recommended to follow the consumption recommendations given by the manufacturer. Often the recommended dose is 100 to 400 milligrams, 1 or 2 times a day.
Some reported side effects from taking these supplements include the following:
However, the studies done so far do not report on these risks. It warns of possible interactions with drugs to treat diabetes and drugs for blood clotting.
What is there to remember about raspberry ketones?
Despite the popularity they gained in the weight loss supplement market, raspberry ketones are considered ineffective. Although they have given positive results in animal studies, high doses have been used that would not be used in humans. On the other hand, there are no relevant studies evaluating its effects in people.
All that said, it must be remembered that weight loss requires a multidisciplinary and personalized approach. It is advisable to consult your doctor and nutritionist for effective and healthy weight loss programs. It is also recommended to adopt an exercise routine and, in general, to improve the lifestyle.