Garcinia Cambogia Vs Raspberry Ketone, Which Is The Best?
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Garcinia Cambogia Vs Raspberry Ketone

Garcinia cambogia and raspberry ketone are both natural weight loss supplements that are claimed to be able to help you burn fat, curb food cravings and ultimately enable you to lose that unwanted extra weight. But do these substances actually work to aid weight loss and if so which is better?

In this article we will look at the positive and negative aspects of both of these supplements, in order to establish which one works to achieve the best results for you.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcina CambogiaGarcinia cambogia is a plant that can be found in Asian countries. The fruit of the plant looks like small, green pumpkins and has been used for many years in Asian cooking to add flavour to dishes due to their sourness. Garcinia cambogia contains a substance called hydroxycitric acid and this acid can be found in the skin of the fruit. Hydroxycitric acid is the active ingredient within the garcinia cambogia, which is believed to cause the weight loss effects that the fruit is claimed to have.

The optimum dosage is said to be around 400mg of the substance taken 30 to 60 minutes before a meal, three times a day, as this is thought to achieve the best results. When taken alongside a healthy, balanced diet and a good exercise regime, users of garcinia cambogia should notice these results faster.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Help Weight Loss?

It is thanks to garcinia cambogia’s active ingredient that the substance is thought to aid weight loss. Hydroxycitric acid, also known as HCA, is a derivative of citric acid and is believed to have the potential for modulation of lipid metabolism, blocking fat storage and suppressing appetite. When we consume foods rich in carbohydrates, various enzymes either convert the carbohydrates in to energy or store them in the body as fat. Hydroxycitric acid is able to prevent carbohydrates being stored as fats and instead allows them to be released into the blood stream where they can be burned in order to provide the body with energy.

appetite suppressantIn terms of its ability to suppress appetite, there have been many customer reviews that state that garcinia cambogia stopped them from experiencing uncomfortable hunger pangs and encouraged them to eat less, leaving them less likely to overeat. While it is important that we eat a balanced diet and consume enough food to provide our bodies with energy, overeating can result in a larger amount of fat being stored in our bodies and can ultimately result in weight gain and obesity.

Have There Been Any Clinical Studies Carried out on Garcinia Cambogia?

There have been several clinical studies carried out on the safety and effectiveness of garcinia cambogia on both animals and humans, which gives a good indication as to how well the substance will work.

In a 12 week, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study, 40 patients were treated with a supplement containing 50mg of garcinia cambogia as well as a 1200 calorie diet per day. Two capsules of the supplement were taken by mouth 3 times a day after meals. The group taking the supplement achieved a 3.5kg weight loss as opposed to the 1.2kg achieved by the placebo group, they also attained a more than 85% reduction in fat loss in body composition measurements. It is also noted that the majority of the active group participants did not follow the strict diet regime, suggesting that garcinia cambogia is able to work well to achieve weight loss.

clinical trial studiesOne study conducted in 2000 used 89 mildly overweight females as subjects in a 12 week long, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study. Subjects in the active group were given 400mg garcinia cambogia capsules 30 to 60 minutes before each meal with a total dose of 2.4g of garcinia cambogia per day, with 1.2g of this being hydroxycitric acid. 47 other subjects ingested matched placebos. Food intake and appetite variables were assessed at the beginning of the trial and then each month. The study showed that both groups lost body weight, however the active group showed a significantly larger reduction. There were no effects of hydroxycitric acid observed on appetite variables in the active group and so the study does not support a satiety effect of hydroxycitric acid.

In another four week, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study, 150 obese patients were given a dietary supplement containing 55mg of garcinia cambogia together with a weight reduction regime. Those who took the supplement showed statistically significant reductions in weight, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

What are the Side Effects of Garcinia Cambogia?

While garcinia cambogia is a natural weight loss supplement meaning that it is made up of natural substances, it is a common misconception that natural supplements carry no side effects. It is believed that when taken for 12 weeks or less garcinia cambogia is safe to use in adults, however the long term safety of the substance is currently unknown.

This being said, there are some known side effects that may accompany garcinia cambogia and these effects include nausea, digestive tract discomfort and headaches. However, customer reviews on online retail websites such as Amazon highlight other side effects such as bloating, vomiting, changes in bowel movement including diarrhoea, dizziness, dry mouth and feeling lightheaded. It is worth remembering that some of these side effects may be due to the artificial fillers and binders that are often included in some products. For this reason it is important that you get a product from a certified lab and read the list of ingredients before you take the supplement.

As there has been no clinical testing on the use of garcinia cambogia within pregnant and breastfeeding women, these women are advised not to use the substance as without this evidence it is difficult to know whether or not it is safe. People who suffer from diabetes or hypoglycaemia should also take caution when considering this supplement as it is believed that garcinia cambogia can lower blood sugar levels, for this reason they should speak with their doctor before using the supplement, as should those who are taking any medication or other supplements that effect their blood sugar levels. Finally, those who suffer from any pre existing medical conditions should also speak with their doctor before taking garcinia cambogia in case of any reactions. People with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia types should avoid using the substance altogether as it is believed that the substance can significantly worsen their condition.

What is Raspberry Ketone?

raspberry ketonesRaspberry ketone is the molecule found within red raspberries native to Europe, Northern Africa and Central Asia that gives the fruit its distinct flavour and aroma. However it is not only red raspberries that the compound is present in, with cranberries and blackberries also carrying it. This aromatic compound has been used for many years in the food industry to add flavour to foods but now it is finding itself in the spotlight for another reason. Thanks to the publicity from health gurus like Dr Oz, raspberry ketone is becoming known for its supposed ability to aid in weight loss.

When found naturally the amount of raspberry ketone is only very small and so you would have to consume a large quantity of berries before it positively affected your weight. For this reason the raspberry ketone that is present in weight loss supplements is produced in a lab, as is that used in foods.

What are the Health Benefits of Raspberry Ketone?

To achieve results from raspberry ketone, the substance should be ingested in relatively large amounts. When consumed in larger amounts, raspberry ketone is thought to increase the body’s production of a substance called adiponectin. This protein hormone modulates a number of metabolic processes within the body including glucose regulation and fatty acid oxidation. It is also thought to enhance your muscle’s ability to use carbohydrates in order to provide energy, boost metabolism, increase the rate in which the body breaks down fat and also suppress appetite – for these reasons raspberry ketone is seen as having potential to prevent obesity.

The benefits that accompany taking raspberry ketone do not stop at weight loss, but rather there has been some research to suggest that the use of the substance in humans can improve skin elasticity when raspberry ketone is applied directly to the skin and improve hair growth, even in people who suffer from alopecia. This research can only be considered as preliminary at this point as the studies were only small scale and more testing is needed before these ideas can be clinically proven.

Have There Been Any Clinical Studies Carried out on Raspberry Ketone?

No clinical studies have been carried out to determine the effects that raspberry ketone has on humans, but studies have been carried out on animals and in test tubes, however there are very few of these studies.

Tests have been carried out in test tubes in order to establish how raspberry ketone is able to aid weight loss. These studies showed that raspberry ketone indirectly causes the breakdown of fats by stimulating the increased production of the protein hormone adiponectin. However, this test does not assess the safety of the substance in terms of human health as it is very likely that the amount of raspberry ketone used in these experiments are unsafe for humans to ingest.

In 2004 a study was conducted using mice as subjects to test the effectiveness of raspberry ketone on weight loss. Mice were given a high fat diet including 0.5, 1 or 2% of raspberry ketone for 10 weeks. A second group of mice were given a high fat diet for 6 weeks and then were fed the same high fat diet containing 1% raspberry ketone for the next 5 weeks. The study found that raspberry ketone was able to prevent the elevations that a high fat diet should have induced in body weight and the weights of the liver and visceral adipose tissues in the mice. These effects are thought to have stemmed from the raspberry ketone altering the lipid metabolism of the rodents.

A final clinical study focused not on the weight loss abilities of the substance but on its other health benefits. This study found that raspberry ketone is able to improve facial skin elasticity and increase hair growth in both mice and humans, even those suffering from alopecia by increasing dermal insulin-like growth production by activating sensory neurons.

Are There Any Side Effects of Raspberry Ketone?

When taking weight loss supplements containing raspberry ketone it is important to keep in mind that the raspberry ketone that is found in these products is produced in laboratories and so will be in much larger amounts than that found in food. Because of this users may experience exaggerated or possibly different side effects to those that accompany consuming foods rich in raspberry ketone. Many websites that sell raspberry ketone products claim that since the substance is made from natural ingredients it does not have any side effects. This statement is very untrue as simply because a substance is natural does not mean that it is side effect free.

It is worth remembering that the chemical structure of raspberry ketone is very similar to that of the substance synephrine, which is known to have unpleasant side effects. With the two substances being so similar, it is likely that they may have similar side effects, which may include jitteriness, rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure. Many raspberry ketone health supplements also contain caffeine in order to help boost your metabolism and provide your body with extra energy meaning that you are able to exercise for longer and burn more fat. The inclusion of caffeine in these products may produce some uncomfortable side effects in some users.

There are hundreds of first hand customer reviews on the internet, with many people commenting on their experiences with raspberry ketone and underlining any side effects that they have experienced while using the substance. Some users claims to have experienced a large variety of effects such as headaches, increased bowel movements, abdominal cramps, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and energy loss, vomiting, feeling lightheaded and sleeping issues. Although it should be considered that the usual inclusion of caffeine in raspberry ketone supplements may contribute to the presence of side effects, the side effects that have been noted by users appear to be from raspberry ketone itself. These reports raise some concern over the potential dangers that may arise from taking large amounts of raspberry ketone or from taking the substance for long periods of time. Some of the effects that users have highlighted are worrying as they could prove to be extremely serious, especially those that effect blood pressure and the heart. Because of this, raspberry ketone could worsen any pre existing medical conditions and have serious impacts.

Garcinia Cambogia Vs Raspberry Ketone: The Verdict

There has been and still is much debate over the effectiveness of both garcinia cambogia and raspberry ketone in weight loss, and the small number of clinical studies on both substances does not help their respective cases. However, looking at the clinical data that has been collected, it appears that garcinia cambogia is more likely to aid weight loss due to the hydroxycitric acid it contains.

When determining which substance is better, we must also take into account the potential side effects of each. Garcinia cambogia carries some mild side effects but some of these are thought to be due to the artificial binders and fillers that many manufacturers add to the product during production. If you carefully choose a garcinia cambogia product with less of these artificial ingredients, some of these unwanted side effects can be avoided. Those from raspberry ketone appear to be more unpleasant than those from garcinia cambogia, and as the substance’s chemical structure is so similar to that of the substance synephrine, it is likely that raspberry ketone will carry similar –and potentially dangerous – side effects, including rapid heart rate. There have also been several customer reviews published online with users claiming to have been forced to stop taking raspberry ketone for health reasons.

To conclude, clinical testing suggests that garcinia cambogia is more likely to be able to help you lose weight thanks to its fat burning and appetite suppressing qualities. The substance also carries less side effects and unlike, raspberry ketone; its safety can be assured as it has been tested on humans.


Thom E. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a new weight-reducing agent of natural origin. J Int Med Res . 2000;28(5):229-233.

Mattes RD, Bormann L. Effects of (-)-hydroxycitric acid on appetitive variables. Physiol Behav . 2000;71(1-2):87-94.

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