Does Raspberry Ketone Help You Lose Weight?

Like other popular diet supplements, there is no shortage of controversy about raspberry ketone. Does it really work or not? Has it been studied and what were the findings? We try to answer a those and other questions.

How does it work?

raspberry dietA 2010 study showed that Raspberry Ketone increased the secretion and expression of adiponectin - a protein which regulates your metabolism. . It also increased the fatty acid oxidation and thermogenesis (a process which generates heat in cells to increase energy metabolism) and suppressed lipid (fat) accumulation in certain types of fat cells. RK also speeds up fat metabolism by increasing the breakdown of fat (lipolysis) induced by the hormone norepinephrine.

Clinical Research

One of the most vocal arguments against raspberry ketones is the outdated claim that no scientific studies had been done on humans. In 2013, a research study of a raspberry ketone diet supplement WAS conducted on human subjects - the results of this study were published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports and Nutrition in April, 2013.

This 8-week study examined the effectiveness and safety of a proprietary raspberry ketone supplement on 70 overweight men and women between the ages of 21 and 45. It was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, meaning the subjects did now know if they were being given the supplement or a placebo (inactive lookalike pill). The subjects were all otherwise healthy individuals who participated in a diet and exercise program for the duration of the study.

At the end of the 8 weeks, all subjects showed improvements in weight and body fat, but the group taking raspberry ketone had significantly BETTER results in body composition and in waist and hip measurements as compared to the group who were given the placebo. They also demonstrated an increase in energy levels and a decrease in fat cravings.

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Animal and In Vitro Studies

dietingThe effect of raspberry ketones (RK) upon fat cells and metabolism has been studied in both the lab ("in vitro") and in animals ("in vivo") since the 1980's. These studies were conducted because scientists had noted that substances with similar chemical structures had the ability to break down fat. Initial, lab tests indicated that RK was indeed able to break down fat cells. The question then became: did it work the same way outside of the test tube?

In an oft-cited 2005 study, mice (often used in the early stages of medical research) were fed a high-fat diet and raspberry ketones for 10 weeks. Another group of mice were fed a high fat diet without RK for 5 weeks and the same diet with RK starting in the 6th week. The conclusion of the study was that despite the high-fat diet, raspberry appeared to prevent and even improve obesity and fatty liver.

Another study, using rats and conducted in 2012, confirmed that raspberry ketones appeared to prevent the liver damage and inflammation associated with a high-fat diet


Future Research

From the results of this research, raspberry ketone has certainly demonstrated itself as being worthy of further study. Ongoing clinical trials are being conducted to further investigate and substantiate these results and to better understand the workings of this exciting supplement.


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"Of the 45 subjects who completed the study, significant differences were observed in: body weight, ... fat mass, ... lean mass, ... waist girth, ... hip girth, ... and energy levels"

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013