The amount of questions that came pouring in to my pharmacy about raspberry ketones just hours after Dr. Oz’s episode about them makes me think I need to start DVRing the show. Being in the health care field I feel it is my responsibility to stay current with the latest drug and supplement information. Dr. Oz has a tremendous influence on his audience and I feel it’s important to dig a little deeper and not just take his word for it.
Raspberry ketones work in two ways for a possible weight loss effect. They increase the metabolism by increasing the release of a hormone called norepinephrine. When I think of norepinephrine I think what would happen to me if I were being chased by a bear. My heart rate speeds up and I may even have some palpitations, there’s a good chance I’ll be running the fastest I ever have. My body is going to release some glucose into my blood to give me more energy so I can outrun this bear. I’m sure that I will feel nervous, hot and that I’ll be panting for air even after I stop running. I would imagine that at this point I would not be hankering for food because my focus is to stay alive causing my appetite to be suppressed. My vision may become blurry and I may feel the need to throw up or even feel nauseous. I may also have difficulty falling asleep after my run-in with the bear.
Now, imagine this is going on all day long – that could be you on raspberry ketones. The dose can of course be adjusted starting with 100 mg at breakfast and increasing to up to 300 mg. Although you may avoid or lessen the side effects with a lower dose you may not get the results you are looking for.
The other mechanism here is involving a protein that is found on fat cells called adiponectin. Adiponectin decreases glucose levels and has been found to be very successful in lab tests with mice regarding weight loss. Adiponectin has some ties to genetic makeup so if obesity runs in your family, lack of adiponectin might be to blame.
February is national thyroid health month and I think it’s important to think about the possible effects of a drug that increases your metabolism. This is the function that is normally controlled by the thyroid and any medication that causes an increase in this hormone could cause the thyroid to malfunction. This could lead to hypothyroidism, also known as an under-active thyroid and result in being put on prescription medication to control it. Drugs that increase metabolism that are prescription, like phentermine, are only recommended for a short time period, which is about three months. It’s hard to speculate without studies being conducted, but I would not be surprised if long-term use of raspberry ketones could have an effect on thyroid function.
With any supplement I say go in it with a grain of salt. Know that there probably will be side effects and you may not see results. Chances are you’re more likely to experience the side effects than the results.
February 11th, 2012