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I have a bit of an issue when it comes to videos like this, especially on Dr. Oz because so many people watch his show.  I do think he means well, but at the same time a lot of the information he dishes out is not entirely true, nor is it support by scientific research.  Take for example this video on raspberry ketones.

I am sure you have never heard of raspberry ketones, I didn’t before someone showed me this video the other day.  Raspberry ketones supposedly melt fat away (so says our weight loss expert Lisa Lynn) by acting to increase a hormone called adiponectin.  Adiponectin is a released by your fat cells, and carries an inverse relationship with body fat.  That is, as you increase your fat mass you decrease your adiponectin levels.  Adiponectin has a few very important processes in the body: regulates blood glucose levels, and fat catabolism (breakdown).  In fact, individuals who went a calorie restricted diet showed marked improvements in adiponectin levels [2].

What I find interesting is that Dr. Oz and Lisa Lynn make no mention of any scientific studies proving that raspberry ketones actually “slice it [fat] up inside the cell.”  So being the closet scientist that I am I went on a search for the proof that raspberry ketones burn the fat away.  What did I find?  I found three publish scientific articles on raspberry ketones with any relation to weight lose.  In one study they found adminsitration of raspberry ketones to rats increased fat oxidation (burning), decreased fat accumulation, and increased circulating levels of adiponectin [3].  That’s pretty promising stuff for the raspberry ketone case, but not so fast.  First, this is only one study.  Not a whole lot of confounding evidence can come out of just one study.  Second, the study was on rats and not humans.  Yes, rats are used a lot as human models but they don’t provide direct evidence—a human study would need to be deployed. Third, Dr. Oz and Lisa Lynn make no real mention of any other weight loss factors, like caloric intake, or exercise levels, when recommending this product.  In fact, studies show that high-fat intake, and high-glucose intake can actually decrease adiponectin levels [4, 5].  Therein lies the issue—people think they can just take these fat burning pills and they will lose weight when in fact they need to change their dietary habits.  The issue here is your current diet, and not the lack of raspberry ketones.  Studies have shown that eating a low-carbohydrate or a low-glycemic index diet increase long-term weight loss (>12 months), and improve inflammatory markers and increase adiponectin levels [6,1].

My advice to you: don’t waste your time, and money buying a supplement like this.  Dr. Oz and Lisa sent the wrong message here: popping these raspberry ketone pills will not just make the fat disappear.  A bigger, and more beneficial picture comes when you make changes in your dietary habits, increasing your physical activity and improving your overall wellness.

And by the way, placing a balloon in liquid nitrogen makes it shrivel up.  But if you place actual fat in liquid nitrogen it just freezes—but on national T.V. watching fat freeze isn’t as cool I guess.

1.  Neuhouser ML et al.  “A low-glycemic load diet reduces serum C-reactive protein and modestly increases adiponectin in overweight and obese adults.” J Nutr. 2012 Feb;142(2):369-74.

2.  Rolland C et al. “Effect of weight loss on adipokine levels in obese patients.” Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2011;4:315-23.

3.  Park KS. "Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.” Planta Med. 2010 Oct;76(15):1654-8.

4. NADERALI EK et al.  “A fat-enriched, glucose-enriched diet markedly attenuates adiponectin mRNA levels in rat epididymal adipose tissue.” Clinical Science (2003) 105, (403–408)

5. Summer SS et al. “Adiponectin changes in relation to the macronutrient composition of a weight-loss diet.” Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Nov;19(11):2198-204.

6. Brinkworth GD.  “Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):23-32.

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