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Raspberry Ketone: Don’t Believe the Hype Surrounding This Supposed Weight Loss Supplement

Fact Checked

raspberry fruit

Story at-a-glance -

  • Many are falling for raspberry ketone's purported benefits. But did you know that it has been already banned in the U.K. for several years?
  • Discover why you should avoid raspberry ketone and how you can manage your weight in a healthier manner

Weight loss supplements tarnish the reputation of the supplement industry because manufacturers are producing them not to support a healthy lifestyle, but because they sell and create lots of revenue. Essentially, people are buying them to reach their weight goals without the need to exercise and eat healthy. They want to maintain their current lifestyle and hope that by taking these supplements, the excess fat will disappear, as if by magic.

One type of weight loss supplement, raspberry ketone, continues to perpetuate this predicament because many are falling for its purported benefits. But did you know that it has been already banned in the U.K. for several years?1

According to the British newspaper Express, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) banned raspberry ketone and classified it as a novel food, which means that the product does not have a significant history of public consumption or one that is produced in a way that has not previously been used for food.2

What Is Raspberry Ketone and Where Does It Come From?

Essentially, raspberry ketone is a compound found in red raspberries that give them their color and aroma. It can also be found in small amounts in other plants such as:3,4

  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Rhubarbs
  • Yew, maple and pine bark

Additionally, raspberry ketone is used as a flavoring agent in the food industry, and it happens to be one of the most expensive as well, with a price reaching up to $20,000 per kilogram.5 Raspberry ketone supplements, on the other hand, are synthetically produced in a laboratory environment to help reduce costs.6

Clinical Studies on Raspberry Ketone Do Not Support the Popular Claims

Human studies about raspberry ketone are non-existent, which puts the benefits of the product in a very questionable light. According to Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, research on raspberry ketone have been performed on mice only.7 Even then, the results weren't exactly promising.

In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, 40 rats were fed with a fattening diet. The group of rats that were fed raspberry ketones had increased adiponectin levels that helped protect against developing fatty livers. However, the main issue here is that the researchers needed to administer extremely high doses to achieve this effect — something that you would not want to do to your own body just to get this benefit.8

In another study, a group of mice were fed an unhealthy diet that caused them to gain weight. One group was given raspberry ketone, while the other group did not receive any supplement. By the end of the study, the mice in the ketone group weighed 50 grams, while the remaining mice weighed 55 grams. Note that this study didn't highlight any weight loss capabilities in raspberry ketone at all — they just gained less weight than expected.9

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The Dosage of Raspberry Ketone and Its Potential Side Effects

There's no scientifically backed dosage recommended for humans regarding raspberry ketone supplements. Instead, the amount varies depending on the manufacturer, but the general average is 100 to 400 milligrams, one to two times per day.10 As for side effects, since there's practically no human studies done on raspberry ketone, no one really knows its long-term effects on a person's health. However, there are reports of rapid heartbeat, jitteriness and increased blood pressure among users.11

Instead of Relying on Raspberry Ketone for Weight Loss, Try Out the Ketogenic Diet

Remember that there is no single product that can magically help you lose weight while still being able to maintain the lifestyle you want. Real weight loss comes by steering your life into a healthier direction by initiating habit changes, and one effective example you can try is the ketogenic diet.

In the ketogenic diet, the bulk of the foods you consume is composed of healthy fats, along with moderate amounts of protein and minimal carbohydrates. Research has shown that dietary fats are far superior to carbohydrates as a source of fuel because they're "cleaner," which means they leave fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals. Sugar, on the other hand, can lead to inflammation and weight gain. Overall, the ketogenic diet may help with:

Facilitating weight loss: Switching your fuel to fat can help your body enter a fat-burning state, helping you lose weight in the process.

Fighting inflammation: Avoiding sugar may help you lower your risk of developing inflammatory diseases.

Reducing appetite: Reducing carbohydrate consumption can help reduce hunger pangs, preventing you from overeating.

Lowering insulin levels: Consuming less sugar helps prevent it from staying in your bloodstream longer, which can lead to insulin resistance.

There's lots of foods rich in healthy fats that you can choose from, even if you're a picky eater. You may refer to the table below to get you started:

Once your body becomes accustomed to using fat as its main source of fuel, you enter into nutritional ketosis and you will experience the aforementioned benefits above. Go ahead and give the ketogenic diet a try — it's something that most people can definitely benefit from compared to weight loss supplements that practically do nothing and only exist to drain your wallet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Raspberry Ketone

Q: What does raspberry ketone look like?

A: Similar to most supplements, raspberry ketone comes in capsule form.12

Q: Does raspberry ketone work?

A: There's very little data about the supposed benefits of raspberry ketone on humans, which is why this product is not recommended. In the U.K., raspberry ketone is actually banned.13

Q: What is raspberry ketone good for?

A: Purportedly, raspberry ketone is manufactured to help lose weight. However, existing studies do not support this claim.14

Q: How does raspberry ketone work in the body?

A: It is believed that raspberry ketone facilitates weight loss by increasing your body's adiponectin levels, which is the hormone that moderates fat, thereby causing flab to break down and disappear from your body.