A spoonful of hype helps just about anything go down, especially when what’s ladled out is being touted as a fat burning “miracle in a bottle.” And it certainly adds to the hype when the man behind it is Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Harvard-educated, Oprah-made, cardiothoracic surgeon turned television star.
In a recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show, Oz raves about a supplement, raspberry ketone, and how it remarkably “tricks your body into thinking that it’s thin.” He introduces us to the protein hormone adiponectin, whose main role it is to breakdown fat cells. Thinner people, explains Oz, have increased amounts of this in their system, so it’s far easier for their bodies to use stored-up fat. What raspberry ketone supplements do is encourage your body to produce and circulate more adiponectin, making it easier and faster for you to “burn off” fat.
He continues explaining that they’re 100 percent safe because raspberry ketones are all natural. The statement does ring true, as these ketones occur naturally in raspberries, giving them their sweet, delicate aroma.
But are the supplements safe for everyone?
Since the episode aired, bottles have flown off the shelves just as fast as posts have entered the web-o-sphere warning people to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”… er, television.
In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Yoni Freedhoff, medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa and an expert on obesity and nutrition issues, explains that most of the clinical testing done concerning the substance has been conducted on mice or rats only. And these animal studies alone are not sufficient enough to support the supplement’s efficacy and safety for human use.
In the same article, Arya Sharma, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network, warns that taking raspberry ketones could possibly lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well.
Still, it’s a tempting pill to swallow as approximately three out of four individuals do experience weight loss — even in the first week — and new evidence continues to highlight the importance of adiponectin in our bodies. If you do decide to give it a try, here are three important things to consider first.
1. Always consult your doctor before taking any new supplement. Even if you’re not predisposed to an existing blood pressure issue you never know how this supplement may interact with other medications that you’re currently on.
2. The best way to achieve weight-loss is through diet and exercise. At the end of the segment the good doctor said it himself: this supplement alone won’t help you achieve all your weight-loss goals. Following a daily exercise regime complemented by smart food choices is the best way to look and feel great.
3. Make sure you’re taking pure raspberry ketones. Dr. Oz mentioned that they cost around $12 a bottle. There are many companies selling them for that low price, but if you check the ingredients you’ll see they’re chock-full of stimulants like green tea, caffeine and even ephedrine. So be prepared to spend between $20-$40 for a bottle of the pure extract.
Have you tried these, or any other, weight loss supplements?
Get more health info from Dr. Oz here.