Red Berry Diet: What’s All The Fuss Around Raspberry Ketones?

Once you’ve read my Raspberry Ketones review, I’ll tell you exactly what to look for if you’re looking to buy Raspberry Ketones and what to look for to get the best product! Michelle Carrillo.

The Full Review

Hi, and welcome to my no-holds-barred review of Raspberry Ketones. Since their ‘discovery’ on prime time show Dr Oz, we’ve been racing to the stores to try a new way to lose weight; with minimal exercise and diet changes, and a big intake of red berry antioxidants.

But the diet industry and some of the players in it are notoriously unscrupulous, and some people have tried Raspberry Ketones and experienced very little impact on their weight. Does this mean that it’s a scam, or is there a trick to buying and supplementing with Raspberry Ketones that these people are missing?

In my extended review I’ll look at the research for, and against, to help you make an informed decision as to whether to integrate Raspberry Ketones into your diet for weight loss and all-round health. Thanks for reading my Raspberry Ketone review, I hope you find it helpful!

What are Raspberry Ketones?

Before we look at who should take Raspberry Ketones and how to find the best Raspberry Ketones for weight loss, let’s take a minute to look at why Raspberry Ketones have been propelled to the top of our wish list. It might surprise you to discover that they have not ‘just’ been discovered, raspberry ketones have been around for a very long time in the following forms:

  • Raspberry food flavorings, such as jams, jellos, candies
  • Raspberry aromas, in perfumes, shampoos and creams
  • It’s also widely used in cosmetics

The raspberry ketone itself is a natural phenolic (like an alcohol but more acidic) compound that’s found in red raspberries and, to a lesser extent, in blackberries and cranberries. It also has a similar molecular structure to capsaicin (found in chili peppers), which have thermogenic and subsequent metabolism-boosting properties.

So why would I supplement my diet with Raspberry Ketones?

I mean, if it’s just a chemical compound that’s used for aromas and flavorings, how can this affect my weight loss? Well, many people correctly think that raspberries contain a lot of antioxidants, but there are a LOT more benefits than those that meet the eye!

  • Reduction in body weight through two methods:
    • By causing the body temperature to rise, like capsaicin, and boosting our metabolic rate and helping us burn calories faster, through the intake of rheosmin which boosts enzyme activity, oxygen consumption and heat production in our cells[1]
    • By encouraging the production of a hormone called adinopectin, which regulates the body’s fat production. Typically, lower levels of adinopectin tend to be associated with obese or overweight people
    • Helping the liver fight back! Through the release of adinopectin through the raspberry’s flavonoid named Tiliroside, the buildup of plaque on our arterial walls can be prevented and we can fight off fatty liver disease[2] (caused by diet, not alcohol-related liver disease)
    • Keeping a healthy fat level: a healthy liver helps us burn off existing fat stores through an efficient metabolism and prevents excessive buildup of new fat stores. Raspberry ketones also decrease our natural production of pancreatic lipase, the enzyme that makes us store fat[3]
    • Lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes; Hormone adinopectin can help prevent the onset of diet-related, or Type 2, diabetes[4], and inhibit the activity of enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which usually breaks down food to release the glucose, so Raspberry Ketones can help control blood sugar levels
    • Cancer-busting antioxidants; Raspberries are bursting with natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, lowering oxidative stress and decreasing the risk of cancer-forming cells
    • Lowering the appetite; As with many metabolism-boosting supplements, they can leave the user with more energy and less focused on snacking. Simply being more active and being able to think more clearly than when suffering from the usual sugar spikes and post-carb lethargy can help us control our food intake more than before
    • The stuff you can see! An interesting Japanese study found that with a topical application of raspberry ketones, skin elasticity and hair growth, up to 50% even in alopecia sufferers, could be expected

How are Raspberry Ketones specifically linked to weight loss?

All of the above benefits show that we should be incorporating Raspberry Ketones into our diet, but how do they specifically help with our weight loss?

The best article that I found for explaining just how raspberry ketones support weight loss was from website WHFoods.org (World’s Healthiest Foods). It explains, although in slightly scientific terms, just how raspberry ketones can help us lose weight and keep it off; the Holy Grail, right?! Here’s a recap:

  1. Raspberry ketones boost our metabolism in fat cells by increasing activity, oxygenation and heat production, so we are less likely to store new fat there and may be able to use up existing fat stores
  2. Raspberry ketones reduce the activity of our fat-digesting enzyme so that we digest and absorb less fat
  3. Raspberry ketones increase the production of hormone adinopectin, to improve blood sugar balance and insulin regulation
  4. Raspberry ketones slow down the activity of enzyme alpha-glucosidase, responsible for breaking down starches into sugars, to significantly reduce blood sugar spikes

Can’t I just eat raspberries?

Around 1-4mg of Raspberry Ketone is gathered from every kilogram of raspberries, so in order to get the recommended amount of around 100mg a day, you’d need to eat around 90lbs according to our friend Dr Oz! Now I LOVE raspberries but I’d struggle to even incorporate a single 1lb into my daily diet!! Make it easier on yourself and just grab the tablets. Raspberry Ketones can be produced synthetically so quickly and cost effectively, so you get all the benefits for a low price.

Raspberry Ketones: Where’s the evidence?

Now there are clinical studies around to show the efficacy of Raspberry Ketones on weight loss, but they are lacking in numbers and what some might call rigorous testing. I’ve found several conducted on mice, but to be honest the research is pretty limited at the present time. So, whilst the FDA has concluded that Raspberry Ketones are ‘generally safe for consumption’, I think that the research is far from empirical and needs a lot more clinical studies to be unequivocally linked to weight loss. As health expert and pharmacist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Catherine Ulbricht, said; “Reliable research on the use of raspberry ketone for any health condition in humans is currently lacking. Further high-quality research is needed.” But I want to present the three studies to you so that you can make an informed decision:

  • In one study, mice were fed a high fat diet and 2% of their total diet comprised raspberry ketones. The raspberry ketones were found to prevent an increase in overall weight, liver weight and fatty tissue[5]
  • A study conducted in 1970 concluded that when given a dosage of 100mg/kg, rats showed no effect on body weight[6]
  • An in-vitro study using humans found that raspberry ketones may increase the production of adiponectin, an essential element of fat and glucose metabolism[7]

So, whilst research is currently limited and a little inconclusive, there are still some positive and encouraging aspects.

Is it trusted and safe to use?

An interesting question. Has it been evaluated and approved by the Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) as fit-for-purpose as a weight loss aid? No. Has it been approved as ‘generally safe for consumption’? Yes. Will we most likely have been consuming it as a flavor agent for most of our lives? Yes. Raspberry Ketones in high dosages haven’t been approved by the FDA, along with many supplements of its type, but it is a compound synthetically produced from a natural product. As long as you fulfil the health profile (see below and also my Side Effects and Who Should Use Raspberry Ketones article), you should be safe to try supplementing. It should go without saying that if you experience any adverse effects, stop and get medical advice. In fact, it’s always better to embark on using supplements after you’ve chatted it through with your physician.

Who should and who shouldn’t’t take Raspberry Ketones?

Being a natural supplement, there are few people that should avoid taking Raspberry Ketones. However, until more research has been undertaken, it is recommended that the following people should avoid it, or use it under medical supervision:

  • If you have issues with your blood pressure, please take advice from a physician before using Raspberry Ketones
  • If you have a chronic disease, whether physical or mental such as Alzheimer’s, and are taking medications, please consult a physician before using Raspberry Ketones
  • If you are pregnant, trying to conceive or nursing, it’s advisable not to use Raspberry Ketones until more research has been done
  • There is a certain discussion around Raspberry Ketones and the thyroid; if you are using Thyroxine or have any thyroid problems, consult a physician

For a more in-depth look at Raspberry Ketones, the side effects and contraindications, you can access my full report here.

Finding Raspberry Ketones: What to Look For

Once you’ve decided that you want to try supplementing your diet with Raspberry Ketones, the next important thing to do is to find a reputable brand….

In general, I would say:

  • Always use a name or store that you trust, and if possible, opt for a version that offers a money-back guarantee or check that the manufacturer is FDA-registered
  • Look for 100% natural or pure raspberry ketones, not ketones grown in a lab
  • Opt for versions with no added ingredients, fillers or binders
  • Avoid any version that says ‘Proprietary blend’, you want 100% raspberry ketones
  • Make sure it contains at least 450mg of raspberry ketone per serving
  • Be careful with ‘free trials’ and automatic shipping, these can work out very hard to cancel and end up costing your health as well as your bank balance

Taking Raspberry Ketones: Dosage and instructions for optimum effects

In the successful rat trial, the rats were given between 0.545 and 2.18g per kg, which equates to a human equivalent of around 80 to 340mg per kilogram of weight. According to examine.com, the correlating amounts for humans should be within the following parameters:

  • 870-3,700mg for a 150lb person
  • 1,100-5,000mg for a 200lb person
  • 1,500-6,200mg for a 250lb person

However, these amounts are extremely high and show no evidence of supporting weight loss against the recommended daily intake of 450mg or 500mg two or three times daily, before meals. Some brands, such as NatureWise recommend between 1 and 2 because of their high concentration.

Take them on an empty stomach, half an hour before a meal. You can choose if you want to take it before breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, or however you want. For me, it makes more sense to take them before your two biggest meals of the day, or before any particularly starchy meal (to help control blood sugar levels afterwards).

The million dollar question: Do Raspberry Ketones assist with weight loss?

At the moment, the jury is out. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of happy and positive customer reviews, but nearly as many that claim no results at all. Why is this? Personally, I think that there are some cleverly-worded dud or inferior pills out there, call it the ‘Dr Oz effect’, as many of these companies appear out of the woodwork as soon as a product has been touted on the show.

I tried two versions; one containing a couple of additional ingredients such as African mango, for a couple of weeks, then a pure ketones supplement. Both made me feel a little spaced, like I was on an intense coffee buzz, but that wasn’t altogether unpleasant as I’m a coffee addict anyway!

I didn’t snack nearly as much as usual, although one could argue that a big glass of water half an hour before a meal usually curbs the appetite.

Did I lose weight? Maybe a pound or two, nothing hugely noticeable, but then again I had a holiday during that time and I usually add a good 7lbs over a fortnight’s break (glutton I know! It’s my downtime!!) but I weigh just under my regular weight now.

So, inconclusive I know, but I certainly didn’t put on weight, even with the cocktails, which was an unexpected bonus! My advice? Try it for yourself, it has worked for so many people. I’m just about to start again without the curve-ball of a vacation, and I’m hoping to get rid of the 5lb or so I could do with shifting. I’ll keep you posted!

What’s great about Raspberry Ketones?

  • Relatively inexpensive (a good brand will cost around $20 for a month’s worth)
  • Naturally occurring chemical
  • Strong appetite suppressant qualities
  • Keeps blood sugar levels under control
  • Provides energy throughout the day
  • Helps rid of stubborn fat stores
  • Easy-to-swallow veggie capsules available

Anything not so great?

  • Less than scrupulous versions full of fillers, you need to buy wisely
  • The above issue has resulted in many negative reviews
  • Can cause anxiety and a rise in temperature
  • Can curb appetite and lead to extreme weight loss

What others are saying about Raspberry Ketones?

I’ve looked at various sources of reviews, from medical sites to Amazon, health food stores to weight loss forums, and for me, the results have been inconsistent. I see this a lot with new diet ‘miracle’ products, not because the product itself is dubious but usually for two reasons. Firstly, there are unscrupulous companies out there that pounce on shows like Dr Oz and have inferior products for sale within hours of the shows going live. And secondly, because pills and supplements are hailed as ‘miracle’ weight loss aids, so people think that they can eat whatever they like (in some cases, even drop off their old diet) and lose weight. Now this simply isn’t possible folks, we still need to moderate our eating and try to be as active as possible. It’s a supplement – it’s key to remember this word – view it as a ‘supplement to a healthy lifestyle’ for optimum results.

Here are a selection of the typical comments I found from a wide range of reviewer sites:

  • Columnist for Woman Magazine, Julia Miller, used Raspberry Ketones with a colon cleanser and stated “I couldn’t be any happier with the results. I lost 25 pounds in 4 weeks, no special diet and no intense exercise.”
  • “Outstanding product!”
  • “You didn’t’t get bigger overnight and you’re not going to lose it overnight, but it does work, be patient.”
  • “Since the first day I started taking these, I do not crave sweets at all.”
  • “Wonderful and it really works.”
  • “This, along with exercise, low sugar and low carb diet, I have lost 30lb so far.”
  • “Did not work for me.”
  • “Have taken these for 2 weeks with no effect at all, really disappointed.”
  • “Each time I’I’ve tried them they’ve given me the jitters and made me feel like I have consumed way too much caffeine!”
  • “Better than hoped for.”

My opinion: A summary review of Raspberry Ketones

It seems that over the last year, a wealth of supplements and diet aids have surfaced; Garcinia Cambogia, African Mango, Green Coffee Bean Extract and of course Raspberry Ketones. Many success stories have been as a result of a supplement that contains some or all of these, although there have been some encouraging results using Raspberry Ketones alone. For me, it was not the most dramatic weight loss I’ve seen, but it stopped me putting on the usual pounds that I gain on vacation. I would recommend finding a reputable supplier that offers a money-back guarantee, and trying the product for yourself. Just don’t look at it as a replacement for healthy eating and activity!


[1] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=39
[2] http://globalhealthideas.org/raspberry-ketones-improve-liver-health-and-aid-weight-loss/
[3] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=39
[4] http://www.evitamins.com/a/key-health-benefits-raspberry-ketone-230
[5] Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, Okuda H. Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. 2005;77:194-204
[6] Gaunt IF, Sharratt M, Colley J, Lansdown AB, Grasso P. Acute and short-term toxicity of p-hydroxybenzyl acetone in rats. Food Cosmet Toxicol.1970;8:349-358
[7] Park KS. Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Planta Med. 2010;76:1654-1658

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Michelle
 

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