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The Raspberry Ketone Diet

Raspberry ketone 4-4-Hydroxyphenyl butan-2-one

Raspberry ketone – 4-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)butan-2-one

The Raspberry Ketone Diet is another relatively new fad diet based on a slither of science with a healthy dollop of marketing piled on top. So, what is it and how does it claim to work?

All the marketing messages online tend to start along the lines of “research has shown that raspberry ketone aids weight loss“. However, it has taken us a while to locate this research and get to the bottom of these claims!

What Is Raspberry Ketone?

Raspberry ketone is a natural phenolic compound (as shown in the picture above) found in raspberries. This compound gives the fruit its unique aroma (smell). As well as raspberries it is also found in cranberries and blackberries. It is not unique to raspberries!


It takes around 1 kg of raspberries to extract 1.5 mg of raspberry ketone. This means that there is no way raspberry ketone can be naturally harvested to supply the health industry. So instead it is made in chemical laboratories using a process that produces the compound from acetone and sodium hydroxide.

General Uses Of Raspberry Ketone

Before the weight loss claims came about raspberry ketone were used mainly in perfumes and cosmetics, as well as a food additive. It is one of the most expensive natural food additives due to its very low yield, but man-made raspberry ketone is very cheap, costing around $5 for a kilo (about $2 for 1 lb).

Weight Loss Effects of Raspberry Ketone

The Claims

It is claimed that raspberry ketone aids weight loss by activating adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism. Raspberry ketone helps your body to break fat down quicker and more efficiently as a result. The product sold as a weight loss aid provides 100 mg a day of raspberry ketone, which is the equivalent of eating 66 kg (145 pounds) of raspberries every day. Does this sound sensible?

The Science Behind The Claims

Two main studies were carried out on rodents. The first study gave mice, which were fed a high fat diet, a daily raspberry ketone dosage equivalent of 2% of their bodyweight. It was found that these mice lost weight.


In the second study, which was on rats, there was no weight loss at all. The dosage given to the rats was 200 times higher than the dosage given to a human.

If a human was to consume 2% of their bodyweight in raspberry ketone, a 80 kg person (176 pounds) would have to consume 1.6 kg (1,600,000 mg), which is 16,000 times higher than the dosage provided in a 100 mg supplement. So even if the studies on mice and rodents proved that the compound worked at those levels, there is no evidence that it could work at significantly lower levels.

No Medical Evidence

There is currently no medical evidence that raspberry ketone works as a weight loss aid. In addition to the lack of any scientific evidence, little is known about the possible long-term side-effects of taking raspberry ketone.

Why Did It Become So Popular

Dr Oz, an American television presenter, endorsed the compound on The Dr Oz Show. Dr Oz stated on television that raspberry ketone “regulates adiponectin, a hormone that causes your body too boost metabolism“.

In addition to Dr. Oz, Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian also said that they were taking it. The result was that thousands of people started buying it.

Nobody knows what effects it may really have on the human body. Nobody is losing weight solely due to taking the product.

MotleyHealth’s Opinion On The Raspberry Ketone Diet

As there is no real science to back up the claims that raspberry ketone aids weight loss, and nothing is known of the side-effects of taking the chemical compound, there seems to be no justifiable reason to take it (unless you are an overweight mouse, but even then that is debatable).

Even if raspberry ketone did aid weight loss in humans at the relatively small dosages provided in the supplements, without a change in diet and lifestyle, weight loss would still be unlikely. It seems that once again the weight loss industry has developed a new product that has not been proved to work on humans, and humans are lapping it up.


Although some celebrities believe that it has worked for them, we cannot dismiss the power of the placebo effect. You decide you wish to lose weight > you purchase a new product > you start working out harder and eating more sensibly > you lose weight. Believe in yourself, not in the product!

Remember the cost of making it? Well, by comparison, raspberry ketone pills sell for around $30 for 0.03 kg (based on prices seen on One kilogram in pill form would cost you $1000.00, which is 200 times more than it costs to produce. Suddenly it becomes clear why people are selling this product.

While we cannot say that this is a total scam as future scientific research on humans may yield positive results, at the moment it seems to be nothing more than wishful thinking that a raspberry ketone supplement can melt away your fat.

There are no miracle cures and nothing burns fat quite like healthy eating and exercise.

References and Further Reading

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  11 comments for “The Raspberry Ketone Diet

  1. Jordan L. Hicks
    May 6, 2013 at 4:31 am

    What Doctors Says: The leading Raspberry ketone supplement Raspberry Ketone plus helps you to lose weight naturally and effectively along with lots of health benefits.

    You won’t have to purchase different products while using this amazing formula, because it not only helps you to lose weight but it also:

    • Prevents wrinkles
    • Fight against cancer
    • Promote your thyroid health
    • Maintains your body’s sugar level
    • Keeps your eyesight sharp
    • Promotes a healthy digestive system
    • Increases energy level of body
    • Keeps your heart healthy

    This supplement doesn’t cause any nasty side effects. When consumed, the natural ingredients in it start fighting against obesity and give you other health benefits too.

  2. MotleyHealth
    May 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Jordan, I would love to see some scientific evidence to back up these claims.

    this supplement doesn’t cause any nasty side effects” – how do you know? It is relative new; were there human trials?

    Fight against cancer …. wrinkles …. eyesight ….” – Yeah, sure it does.

    Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it is. And if it fought against cancer don’t you think it would have made the news by now?

  3. Evan Ferguson
    May 11, 2013 at 6:49 am

    It is better to use natural substance like raspberry ketones than using synthetic weight loss pills.

  4. MotleyHealth
    May 11, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Evan, please explain what is natural about eating a compound biosynthesized from coumaroyl-CoA, and provide evidence that it is better than other synthetic weight loss pills.

  5. Emerson Hampton
    May 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

    There’s just one little problem: Raspberry ketone shows absolutely no efficacy for weight loss, and there isn’t even one tiny little study demonstrating that anybody ever lost weight taking raspberry ketone.

  6. MotleyHealth
    May 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Yes Emerson, that is what we said.

  7. Ruben Ford
    June 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    (Removed your link – MotleyHealth). Our comments added in line.

    As our main ingredient, Raspberry Ketone, is a wonderful product that has been shown to have significant weight management properties. (No it has not – MotleyHealth).

    If you missed Raspberry Ketone Dr. Oz show, his guest mentioned that it has been a trick for a while to help people stick with eating less calories but eating a handful of raspberries with every meal. (The ketones in raspberries is a tiny fraction of that which was used in the experiments in mice. – MotleyHealth)

    Raspberries are delicious and have high fiber content so they make you feel full faster. To get the full properties of Raspberry Ketone, however, you would need to eat a ridiculous amount of raspberries, which is why we offer it in simple supplement form.
    (So you agree that Dr. Oz was wrong? – MotleyHealth)

    Raspberry Ketone is a natural substance that has many beneficial properties (Not natural when it is made in a laboratory and sold in pill form – MotleyHealth).

    With proper motivation Raspberry Ketone can help you keep on track with your weight loss or weight management goals by boosting your metabolism. (Maybe, but then again, so can eggs. – MotleyHealth)

  8. Heriberto Valdez
    August 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

    There are so much different between the organic raspberry ketone weight loss supplement and chemical based supplements. There are so many side effects that may occur when you use chemical based supplements. It may help reduce those fats, but at the same time you may face a new health problem such as headache, constipation and in worst cases even death. So why must you choose chemical based supplement when there is the raspberry ketone weight loss organic supplement.

  9. MotleyHealth
    August 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Heriberto, are you sure such a supplement can be organic? It is made in a laboratory, not on a farm. Also, I am not aware of any deaths caused by raspberry ketone supplements. Please reference these facts. The main issue is of course that raspberry ketone pills do nothing, it’s a placebo, and an expensive one at that.

  10. Katy Price
    August 7, 2013 at 6:51 am

    What Should I Eat For Best Results While Taking Raspberry Ketone Pills? You do not have to change your diet in order to see results while on the Raspberry Ketone Diet. To get increased weightloss while taking Raspberry Ketone Pills it is best to maintain a healthy diet although this is not necessary.

  11. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Katy Price, you just quoted that from Anyway, Raspberry Ketones are a total scam. It’s just snakeoil. Until there is some scientific evidence that they help humans to lose weight then they should be avoided.

    As for not changing your diet – this is DANGEROUS advice. Many people have unhealthy diets that will increase their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and strokes. To tell them that they should not change their diet is like telling a drug addict they can still take drugs. That advice is stupid and irresponsible.

    Oh, I removed the link to your website.

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