Friday, December 14, 2012

FAQ Friday: Do Raspberry Ketones Work?

I'll never forget the moment I was introduced to Raspberry Ketones.  I was at work, in the supplement aisle, and I was approached by a customer who said, "Do you have Raspberry Ketones"?  I was confused. "No, I don't think so.  What are they used for"?  I asked.  "A Doctor on TV said they could help me lose weight", the customer replied. 


That day I had about five more women ask me for Raspberry Ketones.  

Source: iStockPhoto
Raspberry Ketones are a compound found in raspberries, which are similar to capsaisin found in chili peppers.

As I do with most of the supplements I hear about via Doctors on TV, I looked it up on The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (subscription required) and found out there was evidence to support that it might help with.......alopecia (hair loss).  There was absolutely nothing about weight loss or "fat burning".  As the months went by I continued to get questions from customers about this "miracle in a bottle".  But as we all know, if raspberry ketones really worked, we'd all be taking them, there wouldn't be an obesity epidemic, and of course, the pills would cost thousands of dollars (not $15.99 for three bottles, as I've seen it advertised online).  But who knows, maybe one day scientists will prove that they do really work, in certain doses, but until then I can't justify recommending them as a weight loss tool.

To be fair, The Doctor on TV did tell his viewers to use this product in addition to adhering to a healthy diet and exercise regimen.  But after you talk about a pill that can help you lose weight, most people tune out anything else.

Source: iStockPhoto

I mean, if there was a pill that could really burn fat and help you lose weight,  wouldn't we have learned about it by now? It would be all over the news.  But wait....Raspberry Ketones are all over the news these days, but not necessarily for any good reasons.  This article from Today's Dietitian gives a great overview of Raspberry Ketones, what they are, how they are supposed to work, and the research that has been done on the supplement.  This article from the LA Times is also a quite interesting read.

Here is a summary of the two articles, as well as my thoughts on Raspberry Ketones; 
  • Not only are Raspberry Ketones touted as a "fat burner" because of their capsaisin (same compound found in chili peppers) but they are also thought to indirectly help with weight loss because of their ability to increase adiponectin circulation (a hormone secreted from fat tissues, which has been indirectly associated with lower BMI and insulin resistance)
  • There have been zero human trials with Raspberry Ketones.  They have all been done with mice.  We are not mice.  While the research has been hopeful, I'd like to see some evidence that it can work in humans, wouldn't you?  
  • Raspberry Ketones might have some interactions with certain drugs, and may have stimulant-like effects (hence the ability to possibly help you lose weight?).  Use with caution.
  • Most Raspberry Ketone products on the market are not just Raspberry Ketones, but instead they are a combination of several other weight loss compounds and supplements.  Be sure to read the label and be aware of what you are taking.  And of course inform your doctor.
  • If you want to try Raspberry Ketones, that's fine, but don't expect miracles.  You still need to exercise and eat a well-balanced diet.  Even The Doctor on TV can agree with that!
  • I'll be back for another post on this supplement after there are some human trials. Who knows, maybe it does work, but until I see human studies I don't feel right recommending it to clients.

QUESTION:  Have you ever tried Raspberry Ketones? Do you know anyone who has? If so, did they work?

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd
NOTE: I love comments!  But, be sure to come back to read any replies to questions or comments, as they do not go directly to your e-mail.


  1. I've not seen any evidence so far that raspberry ketones cause harm, so if someone wishes to try it, as long as they don't expect miracles, like you said, then it's fine. As with any pill, medication, or supplement, taking it should not displace a healthy diet and exercise - it's when that happens that we have problems! Maybe in those ads, they should say "employ a healthy eating and diet regimen ... then try our ketones!"? ;)

  2. I'll be honest...I hadn't heard of raspberry ketones until this post. Shame on me, I guess! I love how RD's are the last to hear about these things...the media is a very powerful tool, eh? The adiponectin component is a very compelling one, however. Hmmm!!!

  3. I saw that Dr Oz show that was promoting these products. Great informative post - thank you so much.

  4. Very interesting post. I haven't heard of raspberry ketones. What worries me is that people who don't do their research first, believe what they hear on television, and plunge ahead with something that could cause more harm than help. As you said, most of those supplements recommend diet and exercise along with the supplement, which I suspect is what leads to the majority of the weight loss anyway.

  5. raspberries are my favorite fruit of ALL time! i just how how damn expensive they are so they always end up becoming a treat. wah. but that still makes them ultra delicious whenever i have them! :)

  6. FAQ Friday do rasberry Ketones work- read to know more

  7. Not sure whether or not they work, but I did try them based on my own opinion, but The Doctor on TV. (Who I think people put way too much faith in.) I started taking them not expecting miracles and fully aware that I still needed diet and exercise. I didn't feel like they did anything so I stopped taking them, but I may not have given them long enough either.

    1. Interesting! Yeah, I think a lot of people tried them and then....stopped. Like oyu said, the diet and exercise are two key components. It was not a quick fix, and that's what "The Dcotor" made it sound like. Ugh.

  8. Thanks for the feedback, i've posted your Raspberry Ketones and ideas on our suggestion box.

  9. We always joke at work that it would be great to get a heads up on the newest supplement Dr Oz is touting as "must have" so we could have it in stock when customers come asking for it. Not that I agree with most of the things he recommends...

  10. I really have to say this blog is never lacking good quality and original content. Keep up!

  11. I was looking for solid information on this supplement and finally got it here. Thank you. My boyfriend has been taking these pills and he seems to think they work and they seem harmless enough. He gave me one to take. I forgot about it and mentioned much later in the day how I hadn't been hungry and how odd that was for me. He said that is how they help him - they suppress his appetite. I have to say I did notice they suppressed my appetite too. Seemed to give me more energy as well to workout more. However, we are both really active people and eat healthy so who knows if it's the pill or not. I could see the pill working if you just take advantage of how it helps you feel but I don't think it's a miracle pill - you gotta still do the work. I don't plan on taking it until there is more evidence on its immune building and energy increasing effects (this is where I need help, not really weight loss).

  12. Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanks