Raspberry ketones are derivatives of the fruit. The ketones are the compound which are responsible for the delicious aroma, and as such have been used for many decades as an additive in both foods and cosmetics. More recently, however, raspberry ketone supplements have become associated with health benefits such as weight loss.
What Are The Claims?
The manufacturers of raspberry ketone based supplements claim that they are effective for weight loss because they help to stimulate the breakdown of fat cells. It is know that the ketones are very similar in chemical structure to capsaicin, which has been scientifically proven to improve metabolism and help people to lose weight more quickly.
What Does The Science Say?
Currently, there are no human based clinical trials into the effects of raspberry ketones on weight loss. This means that the sale of the supplements, when targeted at the diet and fitness market, does not have medical backing in some countries.
However, this does not necessarily means that the claims are false. There is evidence that that compounds do have a significant effect on metabolism, but so far the testing has only been carried out on rabbits and rodents. In these experiments, animals which had been given the ketones presented less weight gain than those who were in the control group. They also showed a reduction in visceral fat, which is the fat that is stored around internal organs, and which is responsible for the many of the negative health problems associated with obesity.
Animal studies often precede human experimentation, and the results of the studies usually give a reliable indication that an area of science is worth pursuing. But although there is some basis to the idea that raspberry ketones may impact weight loss in humans, it cannot be said with certainty until further trials are carried out. Animal physiology is, of course, different to a human’s.
At present, the closest thing we have to a human study is a Korean investigation into the effect of ketones on isolated cells. This did show that raspberry ketones improved efficiency in the lipolysis process, but that does not guarantee that the results could be replicated in a living person.
Although there is reason to believe that raspberry ketones can impact weight loss, the claim is not yet substantiated by scientific proof. Always seek medical advice before trying a new weight loss supplement, especially if you have an underlying condition.