Should You Try Raspberry Ketones?

A close-up image of red raspberries
Raspberry ketones seem to be the latest weight loss wonder supplement. But…was are they, and why are they suddenly so popular?

What are raspberry ketones?

Ketones are the chemical compounds that give raspberries their aroma. When these ketones are taken from raspberries, they can be used to add fragrance and flavor to just about anything, from desserts to lipstick.

Why are raspberry ketones so popular?

The current claim is that raspberry ketone supplements can melt away fat and prevent weight gain, regardless of your dietary habits.

Are the benefit claims true?

Experts say that there have been no human studies so far on the weight loss effects of raspberry ketones. The only studies on the effect of raspberry ketones on fat are a handful of animal studies. The studies were done over the last 10 to 15 years. Researchers looked at the effect of raspberry ketones on rats, mice, and rabbits. In these animal studies, raspberry ketones appeared to alter the metabolism, which resulted in the burning of fat and the reduction of fatty tissue. In the animal studies, raspberry ketones also seemed to affect the production of certain hormones that increase the body’s ability to burn fat.

But whether raspberry ketones would have the same effect on metabolism and hormone production in humans hasn’t been studied, which is why experts say you may want to hold off on trying them. Instead, concentrate on a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise – two proven ways to effectively manage your weight.

Can raspberry ketones hurt you?

Raspberry ketones in food and cosmetics are generally considered safe. But no one knows what short- or long-term effect raspberry ketone supplements could have on your overall health. That’s because there has been no study to document potential side effects. There are also no studies that look at potential drug or food interactions, or what dosages are safe to take.

The fact that raspberry ketones chemically resemble other stimulants, such as energy drinks, suggests the potential for certain side effects, such as jitteriness, increased blood pressure, and a rapid heartbeat.

The best advice? Talk to you doctor or a pharmacist first before trying any unproven supplement for weight control, particularly if you have a medical condition or are taking any type of medication.