Dr. Oz and Raspberry Ketone

Occasionally I get spam emails, and by occasionally I mean very very often.  I usually ignore them, most of them get caught by my spam filter but occasionally one gets through like the email that sent me this link:

This page is talking about the fat loss effects of raspberry ketone.  It is full of grandiose claims and comments by “users” which sound exactly like the way people in an infomercial are paid to talk about a product.  The link to the video of Dr. Oz speaking about it on the page is broken but I did manage to find a link to the same spot on his show from YouTube.  I suggest watching it.  

Dr. Oz, despite his credentials, has a habit of promoting quack medicine, and I’m hardly the first to speak about it.  A lot of people watch him and trust his advice so it is disappointing that he promotes unproven treatments without really any reservations.  He gives everyone a neat little demonstration where he puts some balloons in liquid nitrogen and they shrivel up while he tells us that raspberry ketone does the same thing to fat cells, because apparently an analogy equals proof in T.V. world.

To be fair, he does let his viewers know that they should not use this by itself and should instead use it only as part of a larger weight loss treatment plan, but he is totally positive in his review of effectiveness of the pill.  He never once mentions that there have been no medical trials done with humans showing positive effects for raspberry ketone.  Even his own site says ketone works best “when paired with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet of healthy and whole foods.”  You know, those things that have a proven effect on weight loss all by themselves.

I did manage to find one study done with rats published back in May.  It seemed to have some promise, but unless I am misunderstanding the study it only showed promise in preventing weight gain.  The study was not designed to test ketone as a treatment to undo past weight gain.  Further, there are no studies done on humans that I found, nor did he mention any.  So to state without the slightest reservation that this product works is a huge stretch.  This is further compounded by the fact that weight loss supplements come out all the time and they never deliver on their claims.  This is not to say they are all useless, some do have limited effects, but they have never lived up to the hype.  What are the chances that this will be the one that does?

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