It was about two years ago when raspberry ketones made their debut. Of course, popularized by none other than Dr. Oz himself, I ignored them as I did everything that had the slightest connection with Dr. Oz labeling it in my mind as fad and nothing more than a marketing tactic.
Tonight, as I looked up the health benefits of raspberries, I was of course bombarded by websites touting the benefits of this compound, and so I dug.
Raspberry ketone is a natural phenolic compound found in raspberries as well as other plants. Phenols, if you remember from organic chemistry are “aromatic/scent” compounds. It is also known to scientists as rheosmin. Since 1965, rheosmin has been included on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list as an approved food additive -primarily for aroma and flavor.
The research supporting the use of rheosmin for fat loss is -although new and very few- promising! Animal Studies have shown this compound to increase fat metabolism and oxidation. One human study looking at a combination of weight-loss aids found a significant reduction in fat loss among individuals who consumed the weight-loss aid (also containing caffeine, capsaisin, and garlic & ginger) in combination with a diet and exercise program as compared to those in the placebo group. With caffeine and capsaisin also having similar effects as rheosmin, it’s hard to come to any conclusions regarding rheosmin’s benefits. Therefore…
Due to the lack of proper double-blind controlled human studies, it is impossible to draw any conclusions other than the potential benefits that the animal studies have demonstrated. Regardless, it is never advisable to depend on any product for fat loss! But if you’re on a weight-loss journey and can use the potential aid that raspberry ketones may offer, eat your locally grown, bush ripened, freshly picked raspberries to your hearts delight. They also offer the following benefits:
1 cup of Raspberries Provide…
- 54% of your vitamin C needs
- 12% of vitamin K,
- 6% of folate,
- 5% of vitamin E, iron, and potassium, and
- 41% of manganese needs for the day
- as well as lesser amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, calcium,magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper.
Raspberries are also a powerful source of polyphenols such as anthocyanin, flavonols and ellagitannins, which decrease oxidative damage from free radicals and have shown potential in animal and human studies for preventing or reducing risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Note: did you know that the riper the berries, the higher their antioxidant content? Why not visit your local farm/farmer’s market and stock up! Support your local farmers while gaining the health benefits of eating locally and seasonally. 🙂