Dr. Oz says that raspberry ketone supplements are …”fat burners in a bottle…” but there’s much more to the story. Here, we look at what Dr. Oz didn’t tell you about his latest favorite “miracle” supplement.
“Boost energy and burn fat with the Pure Raspberry Ketone!”
“Number One Miracle in a Bottle!”
“Raspberry Ketone: Fat Burner in a Bottle”
If you watch The Dr. Oz Show, you’ve probably heard about the latest must-have weight loss solution that the show claims is a “Fat Burner in a Bottle.” In fact, since Dr. Oz recently aired his segment promoting it’s fat-flushing benefits, sales of the supplements are soaring. Now, Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian and other celebs are reportedly pimping raspberry ketones too.
But before you jump onto Dr. Oz’s latest overly hyped and highly sensationalized “miracle,” there are five things you probably don’t know about raspberry ketones and their purported ability to help you lose weight.
1. No human studies show that raspberry ketones aid in weight loss or fat burning
Raspberry ketones are natural phenolic compounds in red raspberries that create the aroma of the berries. The only published scientific health research (there have been three studies to date) on raspberry ketones are considered preliminary because they are either animal model or laboratory studies. No studies have have been conduced with humans. Not one.
All three studies were conducted in Asia and published in small experimental publications rather than major medical journals. There was no disclosure by the researchers whether or not the supplement industry funded their studies, but one would expect that they were probably funded by the industry.
One study reported that feeding raspberry ketones to rodents resulted in increased secretion of adiponectin, a hormone secreted by fat cells that helps the body break down fat and plays a role in obesity and insulin resistance. In the other study, mice were fed a high-fat diet with varying amounts of raspberry ketones. The results showed that those with higher amounts of raspberry ketones were protected against fat gains and increased fat oxidation (burning). The third study exposed fat cells to raspberry ketones and found that the ketones were able to stimulate lipid metabolism by stimulating lipolysis, and the secretion of adiponectin in specific types of fat cells.
There’s a big difference between mice and humans and while the preliminary research is of interest, many more studies (including human studies) are necessary to make any type of claim that the products will help a human lose weight or increase fat burning.
2. Dr. Oz’s raspberry ketone expert, Lisa Lynn, is Not a weight loss expert
The other suspect part of the Dr. Oz segment about raspberry ketones is the so-called “expert,” who promoted the supplements. The segment features Lisa Lynn, who Dr. Oz referred to as a weight loss expert. However, Lisa Lynn has is not a dietitian, has no nutrition degree, is not a nurse or medical doctor. She does have certificates for exercise training from the International Sports Sciences Association and she sells raspberry ketone supplements on her website in the LynFit Accelorator product, which you can buy for $33.00 on her website. That doesn’t make her a “weight loss expert,” and certainly doesn’t qualify her to speak about the nutritional biochemistry of ketones and fat metabolism.
After hearing what she said on-air about the supplement, I knew immediately that she has no biochemistry or nutrition background:
Lisa Lynn: Research, research, and research.
Lisa, where is the research. There are two published mice studies in the worldwide medical literature database. Where are you getting your “research?”
Lisa Lynn: They[raspberry ketones] help your body burn fat. They slice it [fat] up in the cells so it burns fat easier….”
From nutritional biochemistry, there is absolutely nothing that “chops up,” or “flushes” fat from the body. it’s just simplistic ludicrous statements mean to get people to buy into the promises of the product.
3. Raspberry ketone supplements provide more than raspberry ketones
The other problem with assuming that Raspberry Ketone supplements aid in weight loss is the fact that most of the products contain much more than raspberry ketones. They often contain green tea, hoodia (a known appetite suppressant), caffeine or capsaicin (compound that makes peppers hot.) All of these ingredients have more evidence to providing a weight loss benefit than raspberry ketones. I believe the supplement manufacturers do this intentionally so that they can hedge their bets with product that have every possible item to aid in weight loss in one supplement.
However, the impact of all these items together would result in small impacts on our body weight. WE can do much more to lose weight by eating raspberries and other healthy foods than by spending upwards of $25.00 per bottle of raspberry ketone supplements.
4. Manufacturers don’t back up their product claims
After I watched the Dr. Oz raspberry ketone segment, I emailed and called several companies that manufacture and sell raspberry ketones nationally. I asked them all for any evidence to support their claims. Not one company returned my calls or emails and none provided any scientific evidence to support their claims. What’ more, with no efficacy studies, manufacturers have no basis for which to base any dosage amounts of raspberry ketone. That is why every supplement has different amounts of raspberry ketone as a suggested daily dosage. That’s another red flag that these supplements are more hype than help.
This is why if you look at the small print on the bottles of the supplements, you will see an astericks by the fat-burning, metabolism-boosting claim. If you go to the astericks, it reads:
[sws_blockquote_transparent align=”left” source=”FDA” quotestyle=”sws_transparent01″] This information has not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration, nor has it gone through the rigorous double-blind studies required before a particular product can be deemed truly beneficial or potentially dangerous and prescribed in the treatment of any condition or disease. [/sws_blockquote_transparent]
5. Supplements rarely measure up to all the hype
This may be hard for many people to swallow, but the overwhelming scientific evidence shows that there is no short cut to being fit, healthy or lean. Because the vitamin and supplement industry is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), few consumers are aware that many supplements have not delivered on their claims. In 2010, the vitamin and supplement industry grossed $28 billion.
Bottom line: To burn fat, focus on eating fewer calories than you do normally and getting more exercise. Eat primarily natural, wholesome foods like fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. If you want to try a supplement for added health benefits, do your homework and don’t just jump onto the latest fad Dr. Oz or anyone else is touting
–Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD