Dr. Oz featured the weight loss supplement raspberry ketone on yesterday’s show, touting it as a “miracle fat burner.” We’re always leery of any diet pill that promises “miracles,” but we’re also willing to find out if it does what it claims.
Weight loss expert Lisa Lynn was a guest on yesterday’s show, and explained that the supplement comes from red raspberries so it has “no side-effects.” She recommends taking 100 to 200 milligrams at breakfast or lunch. Dr. Oz demonstrated the effects of the ketone by showing balloons representing fat cells shrinking in tub of liquid nitrogen. The balloons shrink in the liquid but expand again when they’re taken out.
Dr. Sarah G. Khan, our resident pharmacist, gives a more in-depth explanation of how the supplement affects the body:
“Raspberry ketones appear to increase the body’s release of norepinephrine and this causes a rise in the body’s temperature which helps burns fat and increase metabolism. Raspberry ketones also increase levels of adiponectin, which is a hormone that helps with lowering glucose levels. The less circulating glucose, the less likely it will be converted into a stored energy source like glycogen. Adiponectin is found least frequently in obese people and may have a possible role to play in insulin resistance and diabetes.”
Dr. Khan also notes that that raspberry ketone may not be suitable for people with a number of different health conditions:
“I would not recommend this product to diabetics without speaking to their doctor because of the risk of blood sugar fluctuations. The increase in norepinephrine may cause glucose to be released in the blood while adiponectin would lower it. I would also be hesitant in recommending this to people on antidepressants or anxiety medications as the increase in norepinephrine may possibly make them become anxious or agitated. People who have heart issues or high blood pressure would also not be good candidates for raspberry ketones because norepinephrine can have effects on blood pressure and heart rate. This may also have an effect on people who have COPD or asthma conditions and may make their conditions worse.”
The supplements are about $12.00 per bottle, and are available online and in health food stores. The supplements represent a concentrated source of ketone, the equivalent to 90 pounds of fresh raspberries. Lynn and Dr. Oz make no bones about the fact that the supplement needs to be used in combination with diet and exercise in order to provide results, but add that raspberry ketone can be an aid in the weight loss process by “tricking the body into thinking it’s thin.”
The show made no mention of how long it’s safe to take this supplement, nor did they discuss what happens to the body once you stop taking it. Dr. Khan doubts that the supplement can be used on a long-term basis. “Like other diet pills that have an effect on body temperature and metabolism I would think that these products would only be effective for a short period of time and would eventually have to be discontinued. If weight loss is achieved weight maintenance would required a healthy diet and exercise.”
February 8th, 2012