The popular Dr. Oz program recently aired a segment devoted to raspberry ketones which has resulted in a stampede of consumers looking to try the product.
Although it has been on the market for a while, the Dr. Oz endorsement has given it a much wider exposure and enhanced its credibility as a legitimate aid to weight reduction.
Raspberry plants have a long and honorable history of medicinal use and the berries are recognized for their powerful nutritional benefits. Raspberry ketones are derived from the berries and are responsible for the distinctive raspberry fragrance.
The compound is biosynthesized industrially for higher yields and used in perfumes, cosmetics and as a food additive. Ongoing research with mice now appears to demonstrate potential applications for weight loss as well, although the effects have not been extensively studied in humans.
The studies indicate that raspberry ketones may have an advantage over other supplements in that they appear to encourage fat loss by several methods:
The hormone norepinephrine is released in greater amounts, activating thermogenesis (heat production) in the body to stimulate lipolysis – the breakdown of stored fat. (Veteran dieters will recognize the process as the same one that induces a metabolic state of ketosis on the Atkins program.) Increases metabolism.
Increases levels of adiponectin hormone to boost fat burning, enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce triglyceride levels. Adiponectin also lowers blood glucose (sugar) levels, i.e. less conversion to stored energy (glycogen).
It is thought to have anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Adiponectin levels normally decline as the amount of fat we’re carrying increases.
Suppresses synthesis of fat from glucose, inhibits fat absorption/accumulation (so it functions as both fat blocker and burner)Protects against developing a fatty liver.
As with any supplement you take, additional research is recommended to ensure that it is compatible with your personal circumstances. Stimulants can affect heart rate, blood pressure and thyroid function, and may be contraindicated for certain conditions or for combining with certain medications.
Diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma were mentioned specifically by the pharmacist on the show, as well as antidepressant medications. Estrogen levels could be affected, so those with hormonal issues linked to estrogen production might want to consult an expert before undertaking a course of treatment.