Do Raspberry Ketones Work for Weight Loss?

Do Raspberry Ketones Work for Weight Loss?

When you’re starting a cut, you want to want to make sure you’re approaching it from every possible angle. For the best results, you do your research – and when it comes to supplements Raspberry Ketones is an option that comes up a lot.

It sounds natural, and a lot of fat loss and diet pills use it, but do Raspberry Ketones work for weight loss? And is it really worth adding to your supplement stack?

In this article we let you in on everything you need to know about Raspberry Ketones and what benefits, if any, you can expect from using this nutrient. In this short read you’ll learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What are Raspberry Ketones?
  • What is it claimed to do?
  • How did it get so big in the industry?
  • The Science/Studies behind it?
  • Is it safe?

What are Raspberry Ketones?

Raspberry Ketone (Rheosmin) is a chemical found in many fruits that give foods like red raspberries their smell. They’ve been featured in several other industries before becoming a supplement, and despite the name, they aren’t unique to raspberries.

So why are they called Raspberry Ketones?

One of the main reasons is the smell of the fruit is commonly associated with raspberries. But it actually occurs naturally in several other different fruits such as kiwis, blackberries and cranberries.

Other reasons for the name could be for marketing. Think about the connotations both words have. ‘Raspberry’ obviously implies a natural angle, while ‘Ketones’ sounds similar to the Ketogenic/Keto diet – those high protein, low carbohydrate diets.

Subconsciously you’re already thinking of it as a natural dietary aid, from a marketing point of view it’s ideal – but don’t be fooled, this just a name – the facts tell a different story.

How did it get so big in the supplements industry?

Due to its distinct fruity scent, Raspberry Ketone was first used by the perfume industry. It gave their products that natural, sweet ‘fruity smell’ and improved the overall quality of the product – and it was a huge success.

Demand for Raspberry Ketone grew, but the extraction process was difficult, and expensive.

Natural Raspberry Ketone is difficult to nutrient to extract on a large scale, and to do so is very expensive. For every kilogram of raspberries, you’re lucky to get 1 – 4mg of RK – Essentially a 0.0001 – 0.0004% yield from your source.

It was then discovered that Raspberry Ketone could be produced synthetically in laboratories via Catalytic Hydrogenation at a 99% yield [1] for a fraction of the price.

Meaning most of the Raspberry Ketone you come across today is a cheap, synthetic alternative. [2, 3]

The only thing it has in common with the original nutrient is the chemical structure. With far cheaper production values, it seemed like companies were using Rasberry Ketones  for any purpose they could. It soon reached the food industry as a flavor additive, and is still used today in many processed goods like sodas and candy.

And then it finally hit the supplements industry.

The molecular structure of Raspberry Ketones is similar to both capsaicin (the compound that gives chili it’s heat) and synephrine (a compound in bitter orange extract). As both were already being used in the supplements industry, this left the door open for Raspberry Ketone – and after some carefully-placed television promotions, it soon began appearing.

Although it has a similar structure, this doesn’t mean raspberry ketone has the same effects as the other nutrients it has been likened to.

In a nutshell:

  • Natural Raspberry Ketones are an expensive and difficult nutrient to extract and use
  • Started Used by the perfume industry for scents and were very successful
  • It was too expensive to use on scale
  • Researchers discovered making synthetic Raspberry Ketone was a lot more cost effective
  • Lower costs allowed Raspberry Ketone’s market to expand rapidly into food and drinks
  • Now has expanded into supplements through clever television promotions

What are Raspberry Ketones claimed to do?

The main benefit that Raspberry Ketone is claimed to do is promote fat and weight loss.

The idea is that the nutrient raises your body’s levels of adiponectin, the hormone that moderates fat – which will lower your overall fat levels.

Supplements that use Raspberry Ketone suggest that long-term use of the nutrient will lower fat level and increase your body’s overall metabolism, without the risk of side effects.

But how well it does all this is questionable.

The Science and Studies So Far:

You’ve got to remember. This was a nutrient that was originally intended for perfume. It’d be pretty convenient if it also turned out to be an effective fat burner – and profitable.

There’s a handful of studies in favor of Raspberry Ketone and weight loss, and they’re not promising.

In a study by Morimoto et al.,[4] researchers looked at how daily supplementation of Raspberry Ketone affected rats.

Using three groups of the rats:

  • Group #1: Consumed a fattening, unhealthy diet with Raspberry Ketone
  • Group #2: Consumed a fattening, unhealthy diet
  • Group #3: Consumed a standard diet

The idea was to see if raspberry ketones helped stop weight gain in rats as they took on a huge calorie surplus.

At no point did this study look at weight loss – it only monitored the control of weight gain.

In terms of the results, Raspberry Ketone did help lower the overall amount of weight gained when compared to the other fattening diet group, and weighed 10% less than the other rats at the end of the study.

This is one of the studies supplement companies use to promote Raspberry Ketones for weight loss – but this is why they shouldn’t:

  • This study doesn’t confirm weight loss from RK – It’s seen to help manage weight gain
  • These aren’t human tests – Differences in biology can result in different results
  • The rats were given extra large doses of Raspberry Ketones – You couldn’t scale that up to a supplement

It’s a big leap to say this study promotes weight loss  and the only other evidence that supports Raspberry Ketones is very similar.

A repeat of this study from Wang et al.[5] showed similar results, with the rats seen to have raised adiponectin levels, the hormone that moderates fat.

However this study also has weaknesses that supplement companies gloss over when promoting the benefits:

  • Not a human study – Again, rats and humans are too different to have conclusive results
  • The doses were huge – To have this scale up to a human dose you would need to use at least 20 – 30 times the recommended amount to be in line with this study
  • Another test that doesn’t ensure weight loss – This was another study that concentrated entirely on managing weight gain

There are more studies out there, but there’s still a problem:

Despite Raspberry Ketones becoming a well-known nutrient throughout the industry, there are still no human studies out there regarding weight loss of the nutrient on it’s own.

The only times Raspberry Ketones has appeared in human studies for weight loss, it’s always been used with other nutrients which was shown to have minor effects.

As it stands, there’s no concrete evidence that Raspberry Ketones work as a weight loss aid at all.

The only time Raspberry Ketone has had some effect on humans is when it’s used as a topical ointment. Studies have shown topical use of Raspberry Ketone may provide minor benefits when it comes to promoting hair growth and skin elasticity. [6]

Both are conditions that are irrelevant to weight loss.

Is Raspberry Ketone Safe?

The long-term effects of taking Raspberry Ketones are unknown. It’s only been taken orally for a few years, and from a clinical point of view, there are no studies out there that have monitored the effects.

However, health regulation bodies are already suspicious of it. In 2014, the Food Standards Agency in the UK banned the sales of Raspberry Ketone supplements, and labelled them as an unauthorized ‘novel food’ (however, it is still available as flavoring and in perfumes).

For the same reasons Raspberry Ketones were used in supplements in the first place (their molecular structure) are the same reasons there are concerns about it causing side effects.

As it is structurally similar to synephrine, the thought is that it might cause some of the side effects associated with the stimulant. Jitteriness, increased blood pressure and rapid heartbeat have all been reported from users taking raspberry ketone, albeit anecdotal. Add on to that the lack of human studies, there is no clear indication of what is the ‘safe’ level to take.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Raspberry Ketone hasn’t been around long enough to know if there are any long-term side effects
  • It is already banned as a supplement in the UK
  • There are already reports of it causing jitters, increased blood pressure, and rapid heart rates
  • No safe level has been established

Do Raspberry Ketones work for Weight Loss?

The studies suggest that for humans, Raspberry Ketone doesn’t work for weight loss. It isn’t a nutrient that belongs in the supplement industry.

Technically, it shouldn’t even be in the food industry. Raspberry Ketone appears to be a victim of it’s own success. After doing so well in the perfume industry, and becoming so cheap to produce, it began to expand into other industries – like supplements.

But the science isn’t there to support it.

There are no reliable human studies to support Raspberry Ketones as a weight loss aid, but it may offer minor support with hair loss and skin elasticity.

It has only been seen as effective in rat studies to control weight gain, and the dosages used were unrealistic and far too high than any supplement can offer.

What’s more we don’t know the long-term side effects of using Raspberry Ketone as a supplement – some countries have even banned it as a supplement.

If you’re looking to use Raspberry Ketone as a weight or fat loss solution, the science is not on your side.

What works better?

When it comes to effective fat loss, there are a mixture of natural nutrients out there that deliver solid results without side effects.

Instant Knockout is a premium fat burner that has delivered incredible results for so many people. Currently being used by fighters in the MMA to cut fat in a safe and drug-free way before a fight, our fat burner helps:

  • Effective Fat Loss – Chisel off the fat, and bring out those sculpted abs
  • Increase Energy Levels – Workout harder, for longer
  • Cut down on Cravings – Consume less calories, feel more full
  • Increase Muscle Definition – Get that ‘complete’ physique look



[1] Smith, Leverett R. (1996). “Rheosmin (‘Raspberry Ketone’) and Zingerone, and Their Preparation by Crossed Aldol-Catalytic Hydrogenation Sequences”. The Chemical Educator 1 (3): 1–18. doi:10.1007/s00897960034a
[2] Beekwilder J, van der Meer IM, Sibbesen O, Broekgaarden M, Qvist I, Mikkelsen JD, Hall RD. Microbial production of natural raspberry ketone. Biotechnol J. 2007;2:1270–1279. doi: 10.1002/biot.200700076.
[3] Jun-ichi Tateiwa, Hiroki Horiuchi, Keiji Hashimoto, Takayoshi Yamauchi, and Sakae Uemura, Cation-Exchanged Montmorillonite-Catalyzed Facile Friedel-Crafts Alkylation of Hydroxy and Methoxy Aromatics with 4-Hydroxybutan-2-one To Produce Raspberry Ketone and Some Pharmaceutically Active Compounds, The Journal of Organic Chemistry 1994 59 (20), 5901-5904 DOI: 10.1021/jo00099a017
[4] Morimoto C., Satoh Y., Harab M., Inoue S., Tsujitae T., Okuda H. (2005). Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. 77 194–204. 10.1016/j.lfs.2004.12.029
[5] Wang L, Meng X, Zhang F. Raspberry Ketone Protects Rats Fed High-Fat Diets Against Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2012;15(5):495-503. doi:10.1089/jmf.2011.1717.
[6] Harada N., Okajima K., Narimatsu N., Kurihara H., Nakagata N. Effect of topical application of raspberry ketone on dermal production of insulin-like growth factor-1 in mice and on hair growth and skin elasticity in humans. Effect of topical application of raspberry ketone on dermal production of insulin-like growth factor-1 in mice and on hair growth and skin elasticity in humans. Growth Horm. IGF Res. (2008);18:335–344. doi: 10.1016/j.ghir.2008.01.005.