You may have seen products containing raspberry ketones advertised as a weight loss miracle or a cure-all for a variety of health issues, but the research behind these claims remains limited. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what raspberry ketones are, how they’re thought to work, and what the current research says about their effectiveness.
What Are Raspberry Ketones?
Raspberry ketones are compounds that give raspberries their characteristic aroma. They can also be extracted from other fruits and flowers, including blackberries, cranberries, and rhubarb. Raspberry ketone supplements are usually made from synthetic versions of these compounds, rather than from actual raspberries.
How Do Raspberry Ketones Work?
Raspberry ketones are thought to work by affecting two hormones in the body that are involved in metabolism and weight loss: adiponectin and norepinephrine. Adiponectin is a hormone that helps regulate metabolism, and levels of this hormone are inversely related to body fat percentage— meaning that higher adiponectin levels are associated with lower body fat levels, while lower adiponectin levels are associated with higher body fat levels. Norepinephrine is a hormone that helps break down stored fat so that it can be used for energy, and it’s also thought to help increase the metabolic rate.
Do Raspberry Ketones Have Any Health Benefits?
While some preliminary studies in animals suggest that raspberry ketones may have some potential health benefits, there is currently no evidence from human studies to support any health claims about raspberry ketones. One small study found that people who took a raspberry ketone supplement lost an average of 1% of their body weight over a period of eight weeks, but this study was very low quality and did not compare the effects of raspberry ketones to those of other weight loss interventions. Another small study found that taking a raspberry ketone supplement for four weeks did not result in any changes in body weight or fat percentage in overweight people.
At this time, there is no evidence to support any claims about the health benefits of raspberry ketones. If you’re looking to lose weight or improve your health, focus on lifestyle interventions like eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise— rather than relying on supplements with unproven health benefits.