Let’s face it, the world is getting fatter. Rather than facing the reality that eating healthy 5-6 days per week, reducing alcohol intake and doing a bit of exercise is the answer to help combat fatness (usually using the excuse ‘I don’t have enough time’) people will spend hours surfing the internet looking for a no effort, quick fix solution. After all, if the internet says so then it must be true! It kind of reminds me of the scene from the movie The Full Monty where the overweight guy is sitting in his shed with cling-film wrapped around his waist because someone told him that it would help him loose fat off of his stomach and then he starts eating a chocolate bar.
What I find fascinating is that the more good nutrition and information about it that people have easy access to, the more they choose the junky processed alternatives that ultimately lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes (to name but a few).
However that doesn’t necessarily say that there are not any good nutritional supplements out there to sensibly aid in a person’s fitness revolution when they are already following a nutrition and training plan.
I’m looking at one of the classic ‘weight loss miracle’ tablets otherwise known as ketones (or raspberry ketones you may have heard them called). The idea is that they supposedly trick your body slim. I’m not entirely sure what that means so I thought it would be interesting to take a look.
Your body produces ketones naturally. A low intake of carbs, calories and nutrients and or when it’s running low on insulin, the liver breaks down fatty-acids producing ketones to be used as energy.
High levels of ketones in the body is not a good thing, they can be quite toxic and are closely linked to diabetes.
So far aside from all the hear-say, there have been some scientific studies measuring the effects of ketones on body fat. However these tests have only been performed in test tubes and on mice and there haven’t (to date) been any actual measured human trials. One of my favourite quotes relating to this is from Dr Freedholf (who has been referred to as one of Canada’s obesity experts). He says “Mice are not simply little people”. Thanks Dr Freedholf for clearing that up… To be fair he then goes on to say that “Using them as models does a great disservice because the translation of information to humans is miniscule at best.”
Ok, so no human trials as yet so it’s difficult to say what the real benefits may be. However, without human trials what are the potential side effects?
There have been reports of jitteriness, increase to blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat among people taking raspberry ketone supplements. Without any real scientific evidence, dosage of this supplements is pretty much a guess and therefore who knows how effective or safe it actually is!
Supposed Pros (as taken from a supplement description on Amazon)
- Raspberry Ketones are the newest and hottest weight loss sensation that is sweeping the nation
- Aims to trick your body into burning fat at a faster rate through advanced thermogenic activity
- Pharmaceutical Ingredients and GMP manufactured
- Finest quality raspberry ketone
- Dr Oz said “the number one miracle in a bottle to help burn your fat” especially when paired with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet of healthy and whole food
These points make them sound pretty awesome, but what does the small print on the supplement bottle say?
“This information has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nor has it gone through the rigorous double-blind studies required before a particular product can be deemed truly beneficial or potentially dangerous and prescribed in the treatment of any condition or disease.”
So what’s the verdict? Until officially tested with human trials it’s hard to say. Maybe they are the weight loss miracle that Dr Oz says, or maybe Dr Freedholf’s point about just because ketones gave a bunch of mice ripped six packs for summer doesn’t necessarily mean that humans will get the same. If any further studies are ever done regarding the effectiveness of the raspberry ketones supplement I’ll take a look and blog my findings.
Thanks for reading
Giuseppe Di Credico
Revolution Personal Training London