Raspberry Ketone Supplements vs. Eating Raspberries
Since the American doctor, Dr. Oz, graced the TV with his bursts of weight loss advice, the majority of people, not only those in America, have cottoned on and bent over backwards in order to follow all of his guidance concerning various weight loss supplements and super foods. In the last few months, he has recommended a number of different food based weight loss aids but one that has certainly taken off in the diet pill industry is Raspberry Ketones.
In this article, we will be comparing the benefits of raspberry ketones with eating raspberries.
What is a Ketone?
It is easy for someone to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ when supplements such as this receive a lot of media attention, but the thing that most people will not have looked into before committing to Ketones for weight loss, is what they actually are and how they work best. By this we are referring to whether the substance found in Raspberries is best when taken in its original form, as the fruit, or whether taking a synthetic supplement is a better idea, with regards to how effective it can be for weight loss and how it can affect the body more generally.
So what actually is a Ketone and how is it supposed to work? A Raspberry Ketone is, as is obvious from its name, a compound that is naturally found in Raspberries and it is this substance that gives the fruit its distinctive smell. It is claimed to be helpful for weight loss because it is said to have the ability to increase the amount of a certain protein that the body produces. This particular protein is called Adiponectin.
How do Ketones cause weight loss?
Adiponectin is thought to be beneficial for weight loss for a number of reasons. It helps to regulate a number of various different metabolic processes that happen inside of the body, but the most important of these in terms of weight loss is the fact that the protein has the ability to regulate the amount of glucose in the bloodstream and, in combination with this, the role it plays in the oxidation of fatty acids. The protein is secreted from adipose tissue in the body into the blood stream and it is here in which it does its work.
The compound regulates the amount of glucose in the body and hence our blood sugar levels via its ability to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. This increased sensitivity means that blood sugar levels can be decreased and sustained over a longer period of time with the result that the body needs less food to maintain the amounts of sugar needed in the blood. This increased insulin sensitivity is believed to be due to the protein’s effects concerning triacylglycerides which decrease insulin sensitivity when the body contains them in large amounts. The Adiponectin stimulates the metabolism of Triacylglycerides, which in turn lowers their presence within the body and thus enables it to use insulin more effectively resulting in lower blood sugar levels.
As stated above, Adiponectin also plays a role in the breakdown of fatty acids and it is this particular function that is most associated with its weight loss results. It does this by stimulating a compound called AMP activated Kinase. This in turn also regulates metabolic processes in the body but in particular those that then lead to the stimulation of fatty acid oxidation. This is called catabolism and means that it helps to increase the rate in which fatty acids can be broken down.
As well as this, the stimulation of the production of Kinase by the Adiponectin can also work in the hypothalamus part of the brain. This is also claimed to be beneficial for weight loss as this section of the brain in particular has been associated with the regulation of our appetite and thus our food intake.
It can be seen from the explanations given above that Ketones are claimed to be able to work in a number of positive ways for weight loss. Being found naturally in raspberries would also imply that it is quite safe to use for this purpose and so it is no wonder that many people have followed the craze. A quick search of ‘Raspberry Ketone’ on the internet will pull up an extensive number of diet supplement websites all claiming that to get the effects described above, an individual would have to eat an extremely excessive amount of raspberries totalling 90 lbs per day. As a result of this, the manufacturers of diet supplements have produced the Ketones synthetically in scientific labs in order to pack more of them into a diet pill allegedly making them preferable over eating the real thing. We will see whether this is actually the case later in this article but for now, it will suffice to say that this is how the recent Raspberry Ketone diet fad has come about.
For more information, we recommend you read our The Raspberry Ketone diet article.
Advantages and Disadvantages of consuming synthetic Ketones
To begin with, we will start by looking at how numerous diet pill manufactures claim that taking their supplements will be more effective for weight loss than simply adding more raspberries to your diet. The first of these points has actually been touched on above and it relates to the sheer amount of raspberries that you would have to be consuming in order to get the same effects as one man made diet pill. It would seem from this first argument that taking a supplement would simply be a lot more convenient for most people as opposed to eating the fruit. Following from this, when you work out the costs involved in eating 90 lbs of raspberries per day, a diet product seems to be a lot cheaper.
The second point that is usually raised in favour of a supplement based Ketone, is that people would not want to eat that many raspberries even if it was possible. As well the point on convenience, there is no doubt that most people would be sick of the taste of them after eating so many and this large of a quantity would be very hard to fit into your regular diet.
Having said this, there are strong rebuttals that have been advanced in favour of consuming the natural Ketones and the first is exactly that – they are natural. The Ketones found in diet pills are synthetic and there are presently no such supplements that have undergone clinical testing. This may cause doubts over how the manmade Ketones are created, maybe they contain something harmful to the human body when used over long periods of time? Unfortunately, human research just does not exist on this point and so it is something that we cannot answer accurately. This enables us to arrive at the first draw back concerning the supplements; they may not be safe. There are no doubt many individuals who would rather be safe than sorry when dealing with substances that can affect the body and those are the people that prefer the natural fruit.
Secondly, the research concerning the amount of raspberries that you are claimed to have to eat for the alleged weight loss effects to materialise is rather sketchy. In fact, there are no solid credible resources that can actually prove this. Most diet pill websites do give this figure though so it has to come from somewhere and its origin is argued to also have come from the advice of Dr. Oz. As reliable and educated as he may be, it is still doubtful as to whether this should be relied upon given the fact that no research has been done concerning this point. This leads us to the next argument in favour of the natural Ketones: we might not have to eat so many to get results. Even the addition of a few raspberries into the diet can have benefits; these may not be as significant for weight loss but the overall health benefits of the fruit as a whole is something that is obviously lacking in the synthetic supplements.
For more information related to the advise from Dr Oz, we recommend you read our Dr Oz should we trust his opinion article.
Raspberries, in their natural fruit form, are said to have many healthy attributes including the fact that they are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for being good for your skin, preventing certain health conditions and fighting infections. As well as this, raspberries can help to increase your fibre intake resulting in an improved regulation of the digestive system and they are also a brilliant source of a numerous amount of the vitamins which the body uses to maintain its overall health. The worst case scenario when using natural raspberries for weight loss is that you do not lose weight but your overall health is improved or maintained. The worst case scenario after having consumed raspberry ketone diet supplements however is unlikely to be as good.
The next argument in favour of staying natural and eating the fruit is that many diet pills (not just those relating to raspberry ketones) include a number of different ingredients such as fillers, binders, maybe even other weight loss ingredients, that can have side effects which would be very rare for you to experience as a result of eating too many actual raspberries. This is mainly because the concentration in just one pill is so high compared to the fruit itself (remember the 90 lbs). Although taking supplements high in Ketones may result in convenience, this is not necessarily a good thing as the ability to consume such a large amount of ketones and all of the other ingredients that may come with them may result in unpleasant side effects.
The side effects that have been associated with ketone pills have included those such as nausea, headaches and abdominal discomfort at the least. The synthetic ketone supplements have also been associated with thyroid problems and these types of products have also been claimed to have more contingent links with some types of cancers.
For more information on the side effects, we recommend you read our Raspberry Ketone Side Effects article.
With regards to filling and binding ingredients which are often used to ‘fill out’ the pills, they too tend to be viewed in a negative light. Some of them are made from petrochemicals and can be quite damaging to overall health and the most common side effects associated with most of these types of ingredients include those such as constipation and other gastric discomforts.
Despite this, some people still argue that if you want to lose weight you should not rely on the ordinary raspberry. Their reasons for this include the fact that by eating the whole berry you are also taking in extra calories and consuming all of the sugars contained in it, which would defeat the objective of weight loss. Whilst this may be true to some extent, the amount of calories etc. that make up the nutritional value of a raspberry are very low and are extremely unlikely to cause a gain of weight. In contrast, you will recall from above that the nutritional make up of raspberries is actually extremely beneficial to general health. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 100g cup of raspberries contains the following nutritional values:
– 53 calories
– 0.6g of fat
– 151mg of Potassium
– 6g of dietary fibre
– 4.4g of sugar
– 1.2g of protein
– 43% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin C
– 3% of the daily recommended dose of Iron
– 2% of the daily recommended dose of Calcium
– 5% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin B6
– 5% of the daily recommended dose of Magnesium.
It is definitely not likely that these values will damage your health or weight in any significant manner.
In our experts’ opinion, the next point that is frequently raised by those who favour the natural ketone alternative is certainly the strongest: there are no scientific studies or clinical evidence whatsoever as far as human subjects are concerned (and also even in terms of animal studies) that attributes the weight loss effects of raspberries to the ketone alone. It is therefore clearly more advantageous to eat the whole berry because you may actually end up purchasing a supplement that, when more concrete research has been carried out, is proven to be ineffective.
Also concerning the amount of studies that are available at the present time, there seems to be only 2 which concern the effects of raspberry ketone on rodent subjects, namely rats and mice. These are of extremely limited help in terms of how much they prove but one thing we can determine from them is clear. In both studies, the natural raspberry ketones and not the synthetic supplement kind were used. This means that even if they were to give us some sort of prediction concerning the ingredient’s effectiveness in terms of human weight loss, this would be attributed to the natural fruit and NOT the man made ketones, which may differ in their effects for all we know in terms of the published research that is available at the present time.
To see what clinical studies have been done see our Raspberry Ketone Clinical Studies article.
Closely linked to this is the fact that ketone diet supplements and the information that their manufacturers provide on their websites often include some sort of disclaimer that will read along the lines of ‘the information stated above has not yet been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration’. This means that none of these supplements has undergone any of the strict testing needed. This includes the rigorous double blind trials that are a requirement before any product can be ranked as either safe and effective or potentially dangerous for the treatment of any condition or disease.
Having just said this there is one last advantage that has been suggested for taking the synthetically made ketones rather than the natural fruit version. The fact that they are made in a laboratory is actually advantageous to the extent that those who are normally allergic to raspberries may now be able to get the benefits of the ketones since they will not have to consume the whole berry, which is often the cause of the allergy. This is of limited value however seeing, as there is no actual proof that any benefits will be conferred but the option is there all the same.
As well as all of the above points relating mostly to the effectiveness and safety of each of the alternatives, there are also practical issues that may need to be considered for you to make a decision relating to which one you would prefer to use. It is common knowledge that most diet products can now be found on the internet and a large amount of websites have been dedicated to raspberry ketones in particular. They are so popular that they can also be found in main, high street, pharmaceutical retailers such as Boots and Holland and Barrett. Getting hold of them then may be as easy as buying raspberries from your local supermarket but there are other issues such as how easy it is to stop purchasing them that may cause problems.
Obviously, this is not an issue if you are buying them from a shop but if you tend to do your shopping online there are a few things to watch out for when buying the synthetic ketones. Some websites (that are not well-known or branded retailers) will involve you signing up to an auto shipment or recurring billing system, which usually have strict conditions concerning their cancellation policies. Such a system will make it harder for you to cater the amount of raspberry ketones you buy to your own needs and may result in complicated phone calls and refunds etc. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the overall effectiveness of the product but is worth a mention so that as a consumer you are able to make the most informed decision possible.
For more information, we recommend you read our Raspberry Ketone: Free Trial scams article.
The final point with regards to why eating natural raspberries may be more favourable is that you do not have to stick to a strict routine or daily dosage which comes with the consumption of diet products. With the natural fruit you are free to eat whenever and with whatever you like and you can eat as many of them as you want to. This is clearly not true for the ketone pills which will have strict instructions relating to how many you should take, when you should take them, what you should take them with and whether they should be taken on an empty stomach etc. If it is flexibility you want then natural raspberries are definitely the way to go.
Supporters of the opposite view usually finish their arguments by discussing the psychological effects that taking the ketones as a supplement rather than as a normal food can have on those using them both generally and also in terms of their weight loss efforts. To present this argument in more common terms, the advocates of this view say that the pills themselves may have some type of ‘placebo effect’ on the individuals that consume them. This is certainly not a way of saying that the synthetic ketones will not be effective but they add this as a reply to those who argue that there is not enough research to prove these claims. At the core of this point is the fact that individuals are likely to take their weight loss efforts much more seriously if they are taking a product in the form of a pill, which contains directions of use. It is thought that the pills resemblance to a type of medicine along with the routine by which they must be taken will affect the minds of users much more powerfully to change their lifestyle habits than just adding more raspberries into their diet. It is alleged that people will be more likely to just stop eating the raspberries and their weight loss efforts than discontinuing the use of the synthetic pills, as they will feel more obliged to take them. This, it is claimed, will result in a much more motivated individual who will make more of an effort to achieve their weight goals. This is not the strongest argument but the placebo effect has definitely been proven in terms of other medicines.
So which is best option?
Of course, there is no definitive answer to this question as it is up to each individual to make up their own mind when choosing how to go about weight loss but the view that will be advanced here is that eating natural raspberries, for now at least, seems to be the safest alternative.
Having said this there is no evidence that would suggest that the synthetic ketones would cause any life threatening effects in general. However, our experts’ opinion is that when a product such as this has not undergone any testing on top of the fact that there is no significantly relevant clinical evidence available, then it is far better to be safe than sorry.
In terms of the most damaging argument to this conclusion which has been put forward earlier in this article i.e. that you would never be able to eat the amount of raspberries needed to cause weight loss, our experts see no difference in this and the fact that the ‘amount needed’ has not actually been proven.
The other main point on which our experts believe that this conclusion is justified is the fact that while the synthetic ketones may result in side effects later on, eating an increased amount of raspberries has various health benefits. From this comparison, it seems that there are definitely less health risks involved in eating raspberries than taking various pills.
That said, it is true that raspberries only contain an extremely small amount of ketones and it is questionable as to whether any weight loss results should be expected, but, in the light of all the information that has been set out above, this seems to be offset by the argument that consuming ketones in this way may be safer and irrespective of this, eating raspberries has definitely been more adequately researched.
For these reasons, our experts would recommend that if you are considering using raspberry ketones for weight loss, that you stick to eating the fruit until more research has been done. Or, if you are still considering using the synthetic supplements, that you at least inform yourself fully concerning the reputation and any other ingredients used in the particular product you wish to try.
See the links below for some of our reviews on diet pills that contain raspberry ketones.
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