That was certainly the case with raspberry ketones, which were referenced recently by Dr. Oz in a segment called “Fat Busting Metabolism Boosters”, which focused on individuals over 40 who were seeing a decrease in their metabolism.
On the show, one of Dr. Oz’s guests talked about how well raspberry ketones worked for her, despite “trying anything else” in an attempt to lose weight.
So let’s talk about raspberry ketones.
First of all, what are they?
Raspberry ketones are a phenolic compound (a class of natural compounds found in plants) derived from red raspberries and commonly used as a fragrance and/or for food flavoring.
As the feature on Dr. Oz suggests, these raspberry compounds (including the patented Razberi-K™ version) are finding their way into more and more weight loss supplements, based on preliminary evidence suggesting it has weight loss and fat burning characteristics.
To date however, any supportive clinical evidence has been animal based (see also here). One unpublished human study on Razberi-K™ showed it enhanced post exercise fat oxidation, but results were not significant enough to be statistically significant.
So where does that leave raspberry ketones?
Clinically, on pretty precarious ground. A couple of animal studies and one not “particularly dramatic” unpublished human trial is hardly indicative of a weight loss miracle.
And what about the fact that they were featured on the Dr. Oz show?
Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the available clinical data. And in this case, the supportive evidence for raspberry ketones is almost entirely anecdotal.
Testimonials, regardless of how well-meaning they may be, are always anecdotal. They are not evidence—and as a doctor, Oz knows this very well himself.
There are dozens of reasons why raspberry ketones may have “worked” for Lisa Lynn’s clients that have nothing to do with their fat burning effectiveness; they may have been more successful in sticking to a calorie-reduced diet, they may have exercised more, or they may have experienced a powerful placebo effect.
Yes, Dr. Oz’s guest Lisa Lynn apparently found them incredibly helpful for her own clients, but neglects to mention she sells her own brand own brand of weight loss products that contain raspberry ketones (and possibly other ingredients—I couldn’t find details of the formula on her web site), which means she has a financial conflict of interest.
Her own clients also appear to have been exercising and possibly dieting, which makes it extremely difficult to accurately attribute their success to raspberry ketones alone.
And, if her own products contain raspberry ketones along with other ingredients, it may be the other ingredients, or the combination of them, that is causing the effect, not the ketones themselves.
Now we realize that even after reading this article, you may still wish to experiment with raspberry ketones, regardless of the lack of positive clinical data. If you do, you should do so with realistic expectations as there is nothing in the existing clinical evidence that suggests this supplement provides anything but the mildest of effects.
At the same time, experimenting is relatively inexpensive; we found this product from Healthy Origins at iHerb.com, which costs just under $6 for a month’s supply. At this price, go ahead and try them if you want.
If you want to spend a little more, we’d probably recommend Isatori’s Curvelle for women. It contains Razberi-K in its formulation, and is backed by a 100% “satisfaction or your money back guarantee” if purchased direct. The feedback we’ve received—while anecdotal, is largely positive.