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Raspberry Ketones

raspberry ketoneIn February of last year, an item on the Dr. Oz Show describing a raspberry-based dietary supplement as a weight loss ‘miracle in a bottle’ sent sales of the product soaring. Viewers of the show flocked to health food stores after hearing personal trainer Lisa Lynn’s ringing endorsement of raspberry ketone supplements, which purport to burn fat quickly and aid weight loss.

A number of stores sold out of their entire stock after the products – which sell for between $12 and $20 a bottle – became an overnight sensation, but some detractors in the medical profession have dismissed the potential health benefits of raspberry ketones, saying the sudden surge in popularity is based on nothing more than media hype.

What are raspberry ketones?

Ketones are one of the compounds found in raspberries. They give the fruit its characteristic scent and flavor that help make raspberry-flavored drinks, puddings and ice creams so appealing to consumers.

A ketone is an organic compound found in numerous food products. It is also found in the industrial solvent acetone. Similar to capsicum – another common ingredient in weight loss supplements – it is regarded as a weight loss agent by scientists, though there is much dispute over just how effective a raspberry ketone diet is.

How do they claim to help weight loss?

Like many other fruits and vegetables, raspberries contain a number of healthy substances, including anthocyanins, vitamin C and beta carotene. Proponents of raspberry ketones say the fruit aids weight loss by releasing norepinephrine in the brain, a powerful hormone that causes fat cells to break down. In turn, these cells produce fatty acids, converted into ketones by the liver.

A major part of the current popular appeal of raspberry ketones is their association with low-carb regimens like the Atkins Diet, which force the body to burn its own fat for fuel, causing rapid, significant weight loss.

Raspberry ketones reviews

As with many fad diets, the true benefits of raspberry ketones are a matter of dispute. Positive raspberry ketone reviews rest entirely on two studies conducted on mice. In 2005, Japanese researchers put a group of mice on a high-fat diet, and then provided them with raspberry ketones. The study found that the supplement prevented obesity and fatty deposits in the liver by expediting the breakdown of fat cells.

A Korean study conducted in 2010 reported that raspberry ketones increased the production of adiponectin, a hormone naturally found in fat cells that regulates the processing of sugar and fat in the blood. But numerous scientists claim that these two animal studies are not a sufficient basis for learning how raspberry ketones might work in humans. A pediatrics professor from UC San Francisco, Dr. Robert H. Lustig, has remained unconvinced. “Until there are human studies I won’t weigh in,” Dr. Lustig said.

Are there any other benefits of a raspberry ketone diet?

Despite disagreement over the raspberry ketone diet as an effective aid to weight loss, it’s widely agreed they do help the production of hair and skin cells. According to another Japanese study, from 2008, applying raspberry ketones to the scalp and face for five months restored hair growth in a small group of bald people. The same study also found that topical application of raspberry ketones improved skin elasticity in five women.

Raspberry ketones side effects

More than 1,400 comments posted on the Dr. Oz Show website in the wake of the initial item questioned the safety of using raspberry ketones on a regular basis. Norepinephrine is associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure, raising legitimate concerns about the risk of a raspberry ketone diet for individuals with underlying cardiac problems. However, manufacturers note the supplements are approved by the FDA as ‘safe’, and there have been no reports of adverse raspberry ketones side effects thus far.

Is there a more effective way to lose weight?

The market for popular diets involving health supplements is largely made up of already-healthy individuals, so gathering useful anecdotal evidence is problematic. Many weight-conscious people claim they have had real results from the pills.

But nutritionists maintain that fad diets are no substitute for a long-term healthy lifestyle, comprised of a balanced diet, calorie moderation and regular exercise. Some of the most dramatic results have been achieved through physician-led programs like those offered by The Center for Medical Weight Loss, the largest network of non-surgical weight loss doctors in the U.S.

They offer customized programs, tailored to the needs of individual dieters, and complemented by specially-devised counseling designed to help patients understand and change their own bad eating habits. According to research, patients leave treatment with an average body weight reduction of 11.1%, and more than 95% of people maintained their new weight a year after completing the program.

To get started on a program at your nearest Center for Medical Weight Loss, enter your zip code in the box at the right to see if one of the 450 Centers around the country is in your area. In many of the 450 locations across the country, first-time clients can take advantage of special introductory offers – contact them today to find out if you are eligible.