The ever increasing list of fad diets welcomes our newest member: Raspberry ketones. HCG, you are barely hanging on by a thread.
Raspberry ketones are a natural phenolic compound that are responsible for the heavenly aroma of red raspberries. They (allegedly) increased both the expression and secretion of adiponectin. Higher adiponectin equals lower levels of body fat. What has brought them out into the public conscience recently is the recent endorsement of them by the one and only Dr. Oz. These are usually taken in pill form, twice per day at a cost of roughly $50-70 per month. 
A website that sells this product quotes Wikipedia: (according to Wikipedia, “prevent high-fat-diet-induced elevations in body weight.”) What it leaves out is the following statement: However, no effects on body weight were observed with doses up to 200 times greater than the estimated intake in humans. Although products containing this compound are marketed for weight loss, there is no clinical evidence for this effect in humans.
This is an unbelievably hard to resist product. First, although these ketones have been known for more than 40 years, they are exciting and new in the world of weight loss. Not only that, but most products that sell them put delicious looking raspberries on their packaging, making it look enticing. Combine that with Dr. Oz’s blessing and you may have trouble even finding this product on the shelves.
The website also has this required statement: “Caution: Do not exceed the recommended dose. Pregnant or nursing mothers, children under 18 and individuals with a known medical condition should consult a physician before using this or any dietary supplement. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use if the inner seal is damaged or broken. Store in a cool, dry place. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.”
What about eating actual raspberries? Or better yet, eat all different kinds of berries everyday. Are they expensive? Maybe a little pricey, especially when out of season, but they can be purchased frozen all year. Raspberries are high in fiber and the whole raspberries are an antioxidant powerhouse and worth much more per ounce than a pill could ever be worth and without the “warnings” on the label.

With that said, if you struggle with weight loss and want to give this a try just to see if it will help you, go for it. Despite the required “Caution” statement, it is likely not going to harm you. Maybe it will work. But remember, as every single pill ever sold has in the fine print: “Take in combination with a healthy diet and exercise program.” Duh!

• Ahwatukee resident Michael Murphy is a registered dietitian with the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona. Reach him at (480) 829-6100 or visit

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