Ketones are super popular on the web right now as more and more people are trying a ‘ketogenic diet’.
Ketones are essentially an alternative form of energy to glucose that the body can use to perform its various functions without needing to spike the blood sugar. Raspberry ketones meanwhile are a specific type of ketones that are benefiting from all this hype and a little marketing. Products like Raspberry Ketone Plus and Raspberry Ketone Max are trying to capitalize on the popularity of ketogenic diets but do they actually do any good?
What Are Raspberry Ketones?
Essentially, raspberry ketones are what give raspberries their powerful smell. They’re also found in some other fruits like blackberries and kiwis and have been used in a number of other products (for color or flavour).
When you buy raspberry ketones in supplement form though, it’s unlikely there’s any raspberry in the product at all. Instead, the supplement is normally derived from synthetic processes which are much cheaper. You’d need 90 pounds of raspberries to get enough raspberry ketones for a single dose!
This normally isn’t particularly clear from the packaging. And what’s also not particularly clear is the fact that these are not ‘ketones’ in the same sense as MCT (medium chain triglycerides) or coconut oil are.
In other words, they have nothing to do with low-carb, ketogenic diets and won’t offer you the same benefits at all.
‘Raspberry Ketones’ sounds like ketones extracted from a superfood but in fact this is completely inaccurate!
What Are They Good For?
That said, raspberry ketones are still interesting to researchers. That’s because they have a molecular structure very similar to two other molecules: capsaicin (found in chilli peppers) and synephrine (which is a stimulant). Both of these can boost metabolism (1, 2) and the hypothesis was that raspberry ketones could do the same.
And in studies on rats, it has been found that raspberry ketones can raise levels of adiponectin and increase lipolysis – the burning of fat cells (3).
It all sounds very promising but unfortunately the reality is that the doses used in that study were incredibly high. Also, rats have a very different biology to humans and the results cannot necessarily be extrapolated and applied to us.
And there isn’t a single study on humans using ketones to lose weight. There was one where ketones were used in a combined cocktail of herbs and supplements along with dieting (4) but it is hard to definitively say that the ketones were responsible for these results.
All in all then, it’s impossible to claim that raspberry ketones in the quantities they’re sold, will have any benefit on weight loss.
They may work, sure. But for now, you’re much better off spending your money elsewhere and using tried and tested diet and exercise!