A raspberry ketone is a chemical within the fruit that gives it a unique smell. These chemicals have been used in the past by food and perfume industries to create flavors and scents. More recently the compounds have been promoted as a weight loss supplement. Studies backing the claims to date have been conducted with laboratory animals (mostly mice) and there doesn’t appear to be sufficient scientific evidence that this product produces weight loss in humans. The lab mice studies indicate changes in metabolism through alteration of a specific hormone known as adiponectin. However, translating these results to people and determining an effective and safe dosage for consumption are going to be the biggest hurdles for manufacturers of the compound. It’s best to keep in mind at this point that supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and using them may interfere with medications you’re currently taking or existing medical conditions (FDA, 2006). So, before you decide to begin any supplement regime, it’s a great idea to talk with your doctor.
However, if you’re in the market for a sure fire way to get your metabolism revved up, here are a couple of tips:
Eat Breakfast: Many studies show that breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight. It makes sense when you think about it because if you skip your morning meal, you’re more likely to compensate for the calories later in the day.
Get Active: This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym everyday but with a little regular physical activity, you’ll find it easier to control weight and reduce hunger while decreasing your risk of chronic disease.
Rest Up: Metabolic rates are affected by sleep patterns. A lack of sleep can decrease your body’s ability to burn calories effectively making it much more difficult to not only lose weight, but keep it off. So it’s best to aim for plenty of rest each night to keep your metabolism humming.
Morimoto C et al. Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone; Life Sci. 2005 May 27;77(2):194-204. Epub 2005 Feb 25.
Park KS. Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Planta Med 2010;76:1654-8.