The Raspberry Diet in the News

After Dr. Oz called raspberry ketones a miracle fat burner, bottles of the supplement have been flying off the shelves. As we previously reported, raspberry ketones have been linked with weight loss in laboratory mice. The effect on humans is not so certain.

The raspberry diet doesn't really involve raspberries at all. In fact, to get enough raspberry ketones to equal one dose of a supplement, you would have to eat 90 pounds of raspberries. That is why the supplements are in such high demand.

The theory behind the raspberry diet is simple: raspberry ketones boost your metabolism by affecting production of a protein called adiponectin. This protein plays a role in the complex cycle which regulates our respiration and energy generation and storage. The raspberry ketones boost your consumption of calories without requiring increased exercise. Further, a research study on mice showed that raspberry ketones also caused mice to break down fat cells more quickly. A very nice double whammy!

So what’s the problem? Maybe nothing, but there has not been a peer-reviewed human trial to verify that raspberry ketones work the same in humans as they do in mice. They might, but then again they might not.

The second issue is around the raspberry diet supplement that is sold in stores. Rather than crushing millions of raspberries and separating out the ketones, the supplements are made from synthetic chemicals. The only chemical used in the process that many of us recognize is acetone, and that’s better used in fingernail polish remover. And there are some small medical studies that tie these supplements to problems with the thyroid.

Could Dr. Oz be wrong? That’s hard to believe. He may be way ahead of the scientists. Or he may have to eat a giant dish of humble (and raspberry) pie. It may be a good time to wait and see.

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