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Raspberry Ketone

What is it?

Raspberry ketone is a chemical from red raspberries, as well as kiwifruit, peaches, grapes, apples, other berries, vegetables such as rhubarb, and the bark of yew, maple, and pine trees.

People take raspberry ketone by mouth for obesity. It became popular for this after it was mentioned on the Dr. Oz television show during a segment called "Raspberry ketone: Miracle fat-burner in a bottle" in February 2012. But there is no good scientific evidence to support its use for this or any other purpose.

People apply raspberry ketone to the skin for hair loss.

Raspberry ketone is also used in foods, cosmetics, and other manufacturing as a fragrance or flavoring agent.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for RASPBERRY KETONE are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...

  • Patchy hair loss (alopecia areata). Early research shows that applying a raspberry ketone solution to the scalp might increase hair growth in people with patchy hair loss.
  • Male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Early research shows that applying a raspberry ketone solution to the scalp might increase hair growth in people with male pattern baldness
  • Obesity. Early research suggests that taking raspberry ketone plus vitamin C might decrease weight and body fat in healthy people. Other research suggests that taking a specific product (Prograde Metabolism, Ultimate Wellness Systems) containing raspberry ketone (Razberi K, Integrity Nutraceuticals) and other ingredients twice daily for 8 weeks reduces body weight, body fat, and waist and hip measurements when used with dieting, compared to dieting alone in overweight people. The effects of taking raspberry ketone alone are not clear.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate raspberry ketone for these uses.

How does it work?

Raspberry ketone is a chemical from red raspberries that is thought to help with obesity. Some research in animals or in test tubes shows that raspberry ketone might increase metabolism, increase the rate at which the body burns fat, and reduce appetite. But there is no reliable scientific evidence that raspberry ketone improves weight loss in humans.

Are there safety concerns?

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if raspberry ketone is safe. There are some concerns about its safety because it is chemically related to a stimulant called synephrine. Therefore, it is possible that raspberry ketone might cause feelings of jitteriness, and might increase blood pressure and heart rate. In one report, someone who took raspberry ketone described feelings of being shaky and having a pounding heart (palpitations).

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if raspberry ketone is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Raspberry ketone might affect blood sugar levels. In theory, raspberry ketone might make it more difficult to control blood sugar in people taking medicines for diabetes.

Are there interactions with medications?

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Stimulant drugs
Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. By speeding up the nervous system, stimulant medications can make you feel jittery and speed up your heartbeat. Raspberry ketone might also speed up the nervous system. Taking raspberry ketone along with stimulant drugs might cause serious problems including increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Avoid taking stimulant drugs along with raspberry ketone.

Some stimulant drugs include amphetamine, caffeine, diethylpropion (Tenuate), methylphenidate, phentermine (Ionamin), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, others), and many others.
Warfarin (Coumadin)
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to thin the blood and prevent blood clots. There has been one report of a person taking warfarin who also took raspberry ketone. In this person warfarin did not work as well after raspberry ketone was taken. The dose of warfarin had to be increased in order to maintain its effect and prevent blood clots. If you take warfarin, talk with your health provider before taking raspberry ketone.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements with stimulant properties
Raspberry ketone might have stimulant effects. Combining raspberry ketone with other herbs and supplements with stimulant properties might increase the chance of stimulant-related side effects such as rapid heart-beat and high blood pressure.

Some of herbs and supplements with stimulant properties include ephedra, bitter orange, caffeine, and caffeine-containing supplements such as coffee, cola nut, guarana, and mate.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The appropriate dose of raspberry ketone depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for raspberry ketone. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Other names

4-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one, Cetona de Frambuesa, Cétone de Framboise, Frambinone, Raspberry Ketones, Red Raspberry Ketone, RK.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

References

  1. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21, Chapter 1, Subchapter B, Part 172: food additives permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption. Available at: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=59189f37d05de4dda57b07856d8d56f8&mc=true&node=pt21.3.172&rgn=div5#se21.3.172_1515
  2. Mir TM, Ma G, Ali Z, Khan IA, Ashfaq MK. Effect of Raspberry Ketone on Normal, Obese and Health-Compromised Obese Mice: A Preliminary Study. J Diet Suppl 2019 Oct 11:1-16. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2019.1674996. [Epub ahead of print]. View abstract.
  3. Kshatriya D, Li X, Giunta GM, et al. Phenolic-enriched raspberry fruit extract (Rubus idaeus) resulted in lower weight gain, increased ambulatory activity, and elevated hepatic lipoprotein lipase and heme oxygenase-1 expression in male mice fed a high-fat diet. Nutr Res 2019;68:19-33. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2019.05.005. View abstract.
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  6. Lin, C. H., Ding, H. Y., Kuo, S. Y., Chin, L. W., Wu, J. Y., and Chang, T. S. Evaluation of in Vitro and in Vivo Depigmenting Activity of Raspberry Ketone from Rheum officinale. Int.J Mol.Sci. 2011;12:4819-4835. View abstract.
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  9. Feron, G., Mauvais, G., Martin, F., Semon, E., and Blin-Perrin, C. Microbial production of 4-hydroxybenzylidene acetone, the direct precursor of raspberry ketone. Lett.Appl.Microbiol. 2007;45:29-35. View abstract.
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  12. Wang L, Meng X, Zhang F. Raspberry ketone protects rats fed high-fat diets against nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. J Med Food 2012;15:495-503. View abstract.
  13. Ushiki M, Ikemoto T, Sato Y. Anti-obese activities of raspberry ketone. Aroma Research 2002;3:361.
  14. Adverse Event Report. Raspberry Ketone. Natural MedWatch, September 18, 2011.
  15. Adverse Event Report. Raspberry Ketone. Natural MedWatch, April 27, 2012.
  16. Beekwilder J, van der Meer IM, Sibbesen O, et al. Microbial production of natural raspberry ketone. Biotechnol J 2007;2:1270-9. View abstract.
  17. Park KS. Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Planta Med 2010;76:1654-8. View abstract.
  18. Harada N, Okajima K, Narimatsu N, et al. Effect of topical application of raspberry ketone on dermal production of insulin-like growth factor-I in mice and on hair growth and skin elasticity in humans. Growth Horm IGF Res 2008;18:335-44. View abstract.
  19. Ogawa Y, Akamatsu M, Hotta Y, et al. Effect of essential oils, such as raspberry ketone and its derivatives, on antiandrogenic activity based on in vitro reporter gene assay. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2010;20:2111-4. View abstract.
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Last reviewed - 05/04/2020