A new food and diet supplement which contains raspberries has become the focus of many an eager dieter, thanks to a mention of it on the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Mehmet Oz proclaimed that the compounds or – ‘ketones’ – found in red raspberries, and subsequently sold in health supplements as ‘a fat-buster’ were ”The No. 1 Miracle in a Bottle’ on his television show. The good doctor told his studio audience and the millions watching that, “I never understood how powerful it could be,” however, as there have been no scientific studies attached to the health claims, some nutritionists are questioning the authencity of these claims.
The raspberry ketones in question are the compounds that give rise to the very characteristic raspberry smell and flavor to ice creams, puddings, soft drinks and sweets. But apparently they can also help to shift unslightly pounds, depending on whether you are listening to what Lisa Lynn, the fitness and nutrition expert who spoke about them on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’, back in early February and which was broadcast again last week. Ms Lynn has a range of healthy supplements – ‘LynFit Nutrition’ and one contains the raspberry ketones which Dr Oz was so enthused about. She told audiences that they were ‘very healthy’ and produced ‘no side effects’ and even said that she had seen with her very own eyes the results they had produced in as little as five days. In effect, what Dr Oz and Ms Lynn are so excited about is the fact that the raspberry ketones are supposed enable the body to ‘burn fat easier.’
Of course, as soon as viewers heard the magic words ‘fat burner’ they were off to the supermarkets and health stores to try and bag themselves a few bottles but unfortunately, many were disappointed as stores had run out. Even people who may seem sceptical of the apparent fat burning properties of the rapsberries are deciding to give the supplements a go.
One consultant, who prefered not to be named, commented, “I’m interested because it seems like it might give a bit of a jump-start to the challenge of losing weight and it seems to be just a condensed version of raspberries, which are good for you in general anyway.” However, most diet experts are stating that there is no magic cure to get rid of fat and it is a simple ‘calorie in – expenditure out’ exercise in numbers. The more calories you eat without using them up the fatter you will get and maintaining a healthy diet at all times is the way to remain at your ideal weight.
It also appears that any results from the Raspberry Ketone Plus supplements seem to be anecdotal or based on a couple of studies using overweight mice, who were put on a high fat diet and then fed the ketone. The Japanese study saw that the raspberry ketone did in fact increase the fat cells’ secretion of a hormone called adiponectin, which is important in regulating the processing of sugars and fats in the blood.
Do we believe that two studies are enough for people to be convinced by a product? It seems that when there is a choice between looking directly at what you are eating, how much exercise you are taking and how that is affecting your weight, many people would rather chance their overall health with a pill. As Mary Hartley, a registered dietician and clinical nutritionist in Brooklyn, N.Y. said, “People are willing to take chances. It’s amazing how many people look for a miracle instead of looking at what they’re eating and how much they’re moving and fixing whatever is broken.”
There have been other products that work in a similar way to the ketones however, in the UK there is a registered product called Alli which provides the same kind of fat burning assistance as the raspberry one. Also available is Biobind which works to stop fats being absorbed into the body, using compounds that are medically proven to bind dietary fats within the body, such as Nopal and Chitosan. So there are compounds out there that do have these properties, and at least with the raspberry ketone product you could say they are a natural product. We’ll wait until we see some proper evidence I think!