Raspberry Ketones, also known as rheosmin, are phenolic compounds found in fruits responsible for the “smell of raspberries”. The raspberry ketone is 4-(4hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one and is only found in raspberries. It is used as food flavouring and as a base for scent in the cosmetic industry.
Before looking at the evidence of how Raspberry Ketones may be able to aid fat loss. There are certain factors involved in weight maintenance and loss.
Fat Cells produce.
1) Enough Adiponectin hormones.Adiponectin instructs the body to burn fat, reduces triglycerides levels and lowers blood sugar. When we eat normally and healthily foods are metabolised with no fat gain. Adiponectin also makes cells more sensitive to insulin, so decreasing blood sugar levels. The greater the amount of adiponectin, the more fat you burn. Overeating results in lower adiponectin. Research has also shown that low levels of adiponectin correspond to increased incidence of obesity. Unfortunately, the greater the amount of fat cells a person has, the lower the level of adiponectin .A vicious cycle.! To increase adiponectin try magnesium, exercise (adiponectin is stimulated during aerobic exercise) or try intermittent fasting. (Alternate daily fasting and eating the next day). High protein diets (whey protein shakes) help stimulate adiponectin as does increasing Omega 3 fatty acids.
2) Less Ghrelin hormone. Ghrelin can be nick named “ the hunger hormone”. The more ghrelin a person has, the more hungry they become, resulting in sweet cravings. Sleep deprivation increases Ghrelin and fat storage so get good nights sleep!
3) Insulin resistance results from prolonged excessive sugar and refined carbohydrates intake. Insulin resistance means that insulin hormone becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar.
4) Constant stress elevates Cortisol, a glucocorticoid hormone, from the adrenal glands. Cortisol’s function is to help cells create energy from food.This can increase cravings for sugars and carbohydrates. Cortisol then breaks down muscle for energy and the less muscle tissue, the lower the metabolism. Increased cortisol levels result in increased abdominal fat and the more abdominal fat, the more cortisol is produced in response to stress and more abdominal fat is stored.. There is a link between high cortisol levels and depression, which may lead to “comfort eating”
Research on raspberry ketone is scarce and there is no positive correlation between raspberry ketones and human weight loss at this time.
Various studies in vitro and on mice have shown that Raspberry ketones appear to increase adiponectin levels and the translation to humans has been made by virtue of the fact that mice contain 85% DNA the same as humans. However in these mice experiments the Raspberry Ketones appear to work in the following ways (Park.2010).
Increase lipolysis (break down of stored fat into free fatty acids)
Increase adiponectin levels
Increased fatty acid oxidation (fat burning)
Suppressed fat accumulation in fat cells
Improve insulin resistance. (Another rodent experiment showed that Raspberry Keytones have an anti obesity function through combined effects of improving insulin resistance. –(Wang Lili, Meng Xianjun,Zhang Yan, Zhao We, College of Food , Shenyang Argricultural University, China- Human Health and Biomedical Engineering International Conference 19-22 August 2011).
Further experiments in rats concluded that Raspberry Ketones improves obesity and fatty liver and help in the prevention of weight gain even on a high fat diet. These experiments showed that raspberry ketones suppressed fat accumulation while increasing markers associated with fat burning, such as lipoprotein translocation and norepinephrine induced lipolysis. (Morimoto, Satoh. 2005).
There are plenty of subjective reports on the wonders of Raspberry ketones. My 13 year old swears by them and certainly lost approximately 10 pounds taking one capsule a day. However remember, they should be taken along with moderate exercise and sensible eating as no pill will result in weight loss alone.
Take 1 a day with food.
Park KS. 2010. Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Planta Medica. 76(15):1654-8.
Morimoto C, Satoh Y, et al. 2005. Anti-obese action of raspberry ketones. Life sciences. 27;77(2):194-204.