Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raspberry Ketones: Another Industrial Food Quasi-Scam?

Raspberry ketones are the newest miracle-food fad, and the industrial food world is gearing up to make millions by hawking it to you. 

The question is: are raspberry ketones just another health food quasi-scam, or is it really "the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat" per Dr. Mehmet Oz?

The Rise and Fall of Acai Berry
Remember acai berry, the ultra-hyped extract of a violet-hued berry from a Brazilian palm species? Marketers claimed that acai's antioxidants provided a near-endless plethora of wellness benefits including: 
  • weight loss
  • anti-aging properties
  • lowered cholesterol and triglycerides
  • killing cancer cells
  • possible reversal of diabetes  
On TV, Dr. Oz flogged acai berry as "one of my most favorite superfoods of all time," adding "Among acai’s many antioxidants is one particular powerhouse called anthocyanin, which is suspected to be the driving force behind acai’s free-radical and age-fighting powers." 
The acai fad caught fire with Americans. ABC News reported in 2009:
"Today billion-dollar beverage giants, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch, are adding the fruit to their beverage lineups, according to The Wall Street Journal. It's also found in products from Stonyfield Farm and Haagen-Dazs. Procter & Gamble recently infused acai into its Herbal Essence shampoos and conditioners... Acai products are distributed through such stores as Whole Foods, Wild Oats and Jamba Juice... "
A hipster website purred that "MonaVie's exceptional wellness and weight management products and business opportunities are changing lives around the world." 

In my neighborhood, several friends and the woman next door made extra household money by selling MonaVie, an acai berry juice concoction in elegant wine bottles. A local shop was devoted to selling acai-fortified frozen yogurt.


But alas, the acai-berry house of cards imploded starting in 2008, when the Center for Science in the Public Interest fielded thousands of complaints about credit card fraud. The Center was already investigating the credibility of health benefit claims made by acai-berry sellers, particularly by Utah-based multi-level marketing company MonaVie. Per Wikipedia:
Newsweek and several newspapers "commented on the use of misleading promotional testimonials by MonaVie distributors in which the product was said to prevent and treat a variety of medical conditions." Newsweek "noted that the FDA warned MonaVie about medicinal claims on its Web site in reference to the Food and Drug Administration's action against MonaVie distributor Kevin Vokes in July 2007...Vokes had promoted MonaVie as a drug... by claiming that it was effective for treating inflammation, high cholesterol, and muscle and joint pain."
In 2009, the Illinois Attorney General filed against local acai berry supplement sellers, and Oprah and Dr. Oz sued more than 50 internet sellers of acai berry products. In 2010, the FTC sued  an acai berry pill maker for false claims of weight loss and cancer prevention. 

Today, it's widely acknowledged that "there are no scientifically controlled studies providing proof of any health benefits from consuming açaí. No açaí products have been evaluated (in the United States) by the FDA, and their efficacy is doubtful. Specifically, there is no scientific evidence that açaí consumption affects body weight, promotes weight loss or has any positive health effect.

Are Raspberry Ketones the New Acai Berry?

Raspberry ketone is defined as "natural phenolic compound that is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries. It is used in perfumery, in cosmetics, and as a food additive to impart a fruity odor."

The question is: are raspberry ketones just another industrial food industry quasi-scam, or is it really the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat? Judge for yourself the claims and the known facts.

The claims:

  • "Japanese researchers reported in 2005 that raspberry ketone 'prevents and improves obesity and fatty liver,' by boosting the breakup of fat cells." (ABC News)
  • "Korean researchers reported in 2010 that raspberry ketone increased fat cells' secretion of a hormone called adiponectin that regulates the processing of sugars and fats in the blood." (ABC News)
  • "Raspberry ketone accelerates weight loss by eliminating the absorption of fat, increasing your metabolism, and by removing fat from the body cells to be burned. This allows your body to burn and melt away fat much faster than you other wise would." (RaspberryKetoneBenefits.org)
  • "Pure Raspberry Ketones controls your appetite, boosts metabolism and burns fat without the side effects associated with most diet pills."  (NutraBio.com)
The facts:
"When given to mice in very high doses (up to 2% of body weight), raspberry ketone has been shown to prevent high-fat-diet-induced elevations in body weight. However, no effects on body weight were observed with doses up to 200 times greater than the estimated intake in humans. The high dose effect is reported to stem from the alteration of lipid metabolism, increasing norepinephrine-induced lipolysis. Although products containing this compound are marketed for weight loss, there is no clinical evidence for this effect in humans." (Wikipedia)
Best advice: 

Eat real food, not fake food or fake food supplements. If you want the health benefits of raspberries, eat raspberries, fresh or frozen. 

Why buy over-priced, over-hyped, real food-substitutes when the real deal... in this case, raspberries... are freely available? Unless, of course, your goal is to fatten the coffers of the modern industrial food industry.


39 comments:

  1. It's Snake oil all over again. It does not work.

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  2. I've been using it for a couple weeks, and unfortunately fell for the Dr. Oz endorsement (but he also backed Acai Berry, which was a scam). I haven't seen any benefits. I altered my diet slightly, and have continued my workout regimen. Nothing. It is a bummer, as I was excited for this product.

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  3. Have to wonder, does Dr. Oz have a stake in the companies products he is promoting?

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  4. As soon as I saw Dr. Oz hook up with Dr. Hyman I knew he was a scammer!

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    1. It's only after buying the product that I understood that Dr.OZ is really fattening his wallet!!!!!! I AM SO SORRY I'VE WENT AGAINST ALL MY USUALLY GOOD LOGIC AND GOOD SENSES I have about those things, but just wanted to give it a try. DR. OZ IS A SCAMMER !!!! No matter how hard my husband tried to dissuade me..."A MARKETING DIRECTOR", he is!!! I guess that I still want to believe that there are still GOOD, DECENT, PEOPLE, out there...NOT!!!!!

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  5. It's a SCAM. One I admit I fell for. Took it for a month and a half and noticed ZERO difference. Save your $.

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  6. Finally a web site that gives the honest truth. FACT>>> There is no better way to lose weight and get healthy than a sensible diet of moderation and regular exercise, to get us fit and to make the fat stay away.

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  7. Want to lose weight fast? Lose two pounds in two weeks! PUT DOWN THE FORK.

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    1. Seriously thats the only thing that really works!! I've been fat, skinny and in between and the only remedy to weight loss for me is one true meal a day and small bites of snacks to hold me over! Smoking medical marijuana helps too, believe it or not. If you smoke when you're hungry it takes the hunger pains away...its like you forget you're hungry!! LOL

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  8. Hallo! You get rid of weight only if you EAT less than you NEED to live. Elsewise, you store it.. It becomes fat, cellulite, whatever.. Endessly hard to remore.

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  9. Write down everything u eat and keep control...exercise a little harder each week..push yourself to beat your personal best and record what exercise u do and for how long..also try to drink a glass of water before each meal ..it stops you eating as much and its good for you at the same time and also keeps you hydrated.....only you can do it...forget the pills ..thats a cowards way to cheat...satisfaction from your own actions is more REWARDING...!! Good luck folkes..x

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    1. It's not even a cheat, all of these 'miracle weight loss' products are just scams. We all did physics at school? the only way to lose weight is to take in less energy (calories) than you burn.

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  10. I Finally figured out a way to continually lose weight, without going on a diet, AND eating 5x more than I used to! It sounds really hard to do, but its not.
    I went VEGAN! I now eat no meat, no meat by products, no dairy, and nothing processed. (unless it contains all organic ingredients and no meat or dairy). In the last 15 weeks I have lost 18 pounds. And I eat constantly. Like every 2 hours.
    : )

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    1. You might have a point. I've never met a fat Vegan, only formerly fat Vegans. Eating every 2 hours sounds good to me. Do they have Vegan cook books on Kindle?

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    2. It could be that lack of meat is not the real reason for the the weightloss. That approach is low card and cuts out processed foods and sugars. I've lost 15 pounds staying low carb with meats and vegetables, no sugars and especially no artificial sweeteners. I do use Stevia in my tea, but it's natural. I also try to use organic as much as possible. I believe the chemicals they add to foods for various reasons including preservatives, keep the liver too busy and it's needed for reducing fat. I did add a lot of walking and stairs, so don't ignore the exercise.

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    3. You can be fat on about any diet. I do know some fat vegans. If you love food, you love food.

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  11. Nick I've never met a 80 yr old vegan...just saying. humans are omnivores....

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  12. Hey, i have met an 80 yr old vegan! Actually she is 82.Her health is excellent. The reason though, that you don't meet many is cultural rather than vegans not being long lived.

    My partners mom (the 82 y/o vegan in question) is an unusual person. Vegetarianism and veganism was just not part of the culture in the time when octegenarians were young.

    I admire vegans..wish I could be so principled.

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  13. Good Lord! It took me the better part of an hour to google this site. Page after page after page of hucksters selling this rasberry crap. I swear, I nearly fell for it. I did the green coffee bean thing, thanks to the quack Dr. Oz. He needs to be ashamed of himself, but money does weird things to people. Anyway, thanks for the info. Vegan sounds like a good bet.

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  14. The first I found out about this raspberry thing was when I woke up to a text message from a friend asking me about it. I had no idea what she was talking about. She said I posted something about Raspberry Ultra on my Facebook. I checked and apparently while I was sleeping a post went up about Raspberry Ultra claiming that I had been using it for two weeks and lost 18 pounds. Unless I've been sleep-dieting, this is a complete scam.

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  15. Its not a scam ive been taking it for a months on ive lost 10lbs i don't understand people these maybe were all different.

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    1. @annymous Nov 5...If it is not a scam why are you posting anomymously..hmmmm

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  16. Lol soo funny, was thinking about getting the raspberry ketone tablets, when I remembered the hype over acai berry, so typed in whats the difference between the two- thankfully this site came up :)
    Tried acai berry with healthy diet &exercise and I found it was a waste of time as a weight loss thing. Best diet I've found so far is a low GI diet. Felt fuller for longer cos of the fibre etc.
    Stopped doing it cos I got complacent about my weight (and i was going out loads-it takes forward planning to diet so you don't snack on whatever happens to be in the house lol).
    Suffice to say I'll be back to it so I'm looking good for crimbo.

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  17. Yeah, I ordered an Ascii Berry sample, by the time I got the sample they had already sent me a 1 months supply, I called but couldn't get anyone who spoke english. I called Visa to stop this madness, by the time I got it stopped, I had to pay 280.00. Visa stood by them because, I had not cancelled the order the proper way. I will not order the rasberry ketones, but if I did order, I would get them thru ebay. my 2 c

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  18. It's these knock-offs that are putting the cost of cozaar and other legit drugs in jeopardy. Take them down!

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  19. I was kinda hesitant on this slimming pills and meds, that's why I ask some online doctor prescriptions about it and they told me that we should be careful with the brands especially.

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  20. I just hope online pharmacy sites don't sell that bit. I'd rather go and eat whole-wheat bread than go for a pill that doesn't work.

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  21. Yeah. So my boss is a rather large lady. She's been popping these "raspberry" pills for a month now. She's counting calories, says her, and still eats out twice a day while at work. Guess what?! She hasn't lost anything except for the money spent on the Raspberry stuff....and the $20 a day fast food habit. News Flash: If you are trying to lose weight cut calories folks! I quit eating cheese, mayo, whole milk, and started eating lofat yogurt, whole grains, granola, and started eating my meals off a small snack plate instead of a dinner plate. No counting or anything. I've lost 75 pounds in 2 years.

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  22. I started using RK after my doctor sent me an email indicating that this is probably a good thing and I am at a point where it would be fairly easy for me to lose weight given my current weight.I have been taking the RK for about a month now and have gained 3 pounds. I called my doctor and he said that he never sent that message and the message, itself, was a scam. So shame on Dr. Oz, shame on the organizations who are after a quick dollar and shame on the false reports from researchers who have been paid off for their give-the-right-answer research.

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  23. Everyone seems to be forgetting that Dr Oz (the wizard of?) also touted the GREEN COFFEE BEEN EXTRACT AS A MIRACLE WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT!

    NOT!

    Moderate exercise (each person should know his or her limit) and sensible eating. More greens, less beans. One diet that does work, however, especially for losing that gut is the SOUTH BEACH DIET. I just got tired of eating all day and having to do so much shopping and cooking or creating.

    BUT IT WORKS.

    So far I just can't conjure up the will to stay with it.

    James Durrah

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  24. Amanda Ashmore,just read all ur comments,thank god I didn't order them,I spend my money in the gym, x x x

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  25. I knew a boxer, 6'2", 223lbs., all muscle. He was a vegan. So , still, know your goal and nutritional values and work it.

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  26. I came through this topic while I am in Google Search. Very Interesting Topic to read. The points given are completely new. Thanks...

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  27. Me too. Thanks alot you have saved me a few pounds and alot of dissapointment!!!

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  28. The same Dr Oz who did a 180 on GMOs? The guy's a tool

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  29. I have read lots of people what says about Rapsberry Keaton! So many, just like "Oh, yeah I lost 10kg - 12kg - 20kg!" Much of them says also: "I do sports and I try to eat less and quality food also every day, but I use this capsule!" So this is just a simple placebo effect! They use this crap, but next to that also try to be healthy life style and also in their mind always they thinking about : "I lost more kg, I lost from this more..." Than works!
    But I want to ask where can find this miracle product? in the RAPSBERRY! So why not just eat every day 100g or 250g or 500g or 1000g Raspberry and that's it? If that so wonderful? I saw their web advertisement and lots of photo is not real! I mean real pictures, but they write under: "I lost 11 kg within 4 weeks" and on the before picture stay a women round 70 kg than after picture same face with round 45-50 kg! Lots of more of that type pictures you can find! They just use many pictures from other compagnies but with new text, only this text doesn't say 25-30 kg like before! Funny!
    I tried a lots of things by myself! But in my last 18 weeks I lost 18 kg with 4-5 days in a week between 15-30 km bicycle and for breakfast just one piece bread with something on, lunch just a half board hot meal and diner also 1 piece bread with something! Between eating times sometimes I eat 1 piece of fruit! I have spinal hernia, so I can't so much doing I waiting now for my surgery 'cause my leg almost paralyzed! But after operation I want 4 times in a week swimming and if I can start 2-3 times fitness! Than sure I can more kg lose! (I'm now 89 kg, but for me the best between 75-80)

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  30. Well I took raspberry ketone for a month and kept eating all the same stuff I normally do, mashed potatoes and gravy, wheat rolls, mac and cheese, bacon wrapped fried stuffed jalapenos, and cream cheese filled french toast with strawberry syrup drizzled over the top with whip cream, oh and cake, lots of it and I lost 243 pounds in just one month. Not sure what you guy's problem is, but this stuff really works!

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  31. Dr. OZ is a huckster for anything that will fatten his wallet. Many of the companies hawking these miracle supplements are part of the Kyle Ventures criminal enterprise, which Dr. Oz seems to be playing a prominent role. Their web sites are designed to suck you in to giving them your credit card info then slapping you with a maximum charge which cannot be reversed. You will end up having to cancel your credit card to keep them from trying to hit you with additional charges. Dr. Oz and Oprah should be ashamed of themselves for hooking up with these criminals.

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  32. Raspberry ketones didn't work a slight bit for me. After a awhile, I lost appetite and pleasure for regular meals. It seemed unnatural and dangerous, for the body not to signal hunger and a need for nutrition . Eat natural

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