Raspberry ketones are the chemical compounds that give raspberries their distinctive and mouthwatering scent. The ketones are even used to add that same aroma and flavor into many foods, drinks, and cosmetics. All smells aside, raspberry ketones are being called the “miracle supplement for melting fat and preventing further weight gain.
Raspberry ketones have been a buzzword in the health and wellness industry after a February 2012 segment of the Dr. Oz Show suggested they’re basically a miracle product for fast and safe weight loss. But do these supplements really help someone lose weight, and lose weight fast and safely? We consulted two experts from two noteworthy health and wellness spas to weigh in on these weight loss claims.
While no human studies have been performed to support these claims, there has been animal testing on rats, mice, and rabbits, which resulted in the animal’s metabolism speeding up and reduced fatty tissue, as well as an increased ability to burn fat. But really, what do lab rats eat? Surely not the diet of an average American, yet the suppliers of these supplements claim you can consume your regular fat-heavy diet and still lose fat. We’re not exactly buying that, and neither is Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, and nutrition advisor at Golden Door fitness resort and spa in Escondido, California.. “First and foremost, it’s important to know a supplement will never make up for a poor diet,” Dr. Bazilian has stated numerous times in many articles and her books like The SuperFoodsRx Diet.
“There have only been a handful of studies in test tubes and in animals (none in humans) that show that raspberry ketones may impact metabolism in some way. Whether and how it may impact metabolism, and thus weight, is unclear,” explains Dr. Bazilian.
The fact is, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many online reviewers actually reported that taking raspberry ketone supplements gave very similar side effects as a cup of coffee would for a non-coffee drinker—feeling jittery and increased blood pressure and heart rate. “There is no evidence that it benefits weight loss in humans, and until there is more research, it’s not possible to say if it works or if it’s safe when bottled and sold as [a] supplement [of] an individual component extracted from its natural source or formulated into a special cocktail with other ingredients,” Dr. Bazilian says.
Kimberly Altman, MS, RD, LD/N, from Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Miami, Florida, agrees. “At Pritikin, we base all of our recommendations on science. We do not support the supplement raspberry ketones for weight loss as it is not based on science (reliable, well-done scientific studies that prove the supplement works alone for weight loss).”
Want the benefits without the potential risk? Head over to your local grocer and pick up a package of the fresh sweet fruit we all know and love. Why settle for a substitute when you can get the real deal? “Raspberries are safe and delicious, health-promoting, and a friend to a lean waistline and healthy weight,” says Dr. Bazilian. “They have vitamin C, antioxidants, and a whopping eight grams of fiber in a mere 60 calories (one cup worth). Raspberries are where raspberry ketones come from, and more and more research is showing that it’s the synergy of the different compounds bundled together in the whole food source that brings the greatest benefit.”
“Every time you hear about a supplement like this (the latest and greatest), it is always followed by the phrase—‘along with a healthy diet and exercise program,’” says Altman. “The best and most effective plan for weight loss is one full of healthy, wholesome, and delicious food, one that will keep you feeling satisfied, and most important, help prevent (or reduce) complications associated with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.”
What are your thoughts on raspberry ketones? Have you tried them or do you want to? Let us know!
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