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Raspberry Ketone is Much More Than a Belly Fat Busting Supplement, Says Study

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Today, the reported benefits of raspberry ketone as a belly fat busting supplement was aired on TV for the second time in as many months. While the value of raspberry ketone as a belly fat busting supplement is a shared interest of many who want to lose weight, what is not mentioned is that one study reports that raspberry ketone may have additional benefits in improving the elasticity of skin and in treating baldness.

Raspberry ketones are aromatic compounds from the red raspberry that are typically used in food flavorings and scent additives. Chemically, raspberry ketones are very similar to the capsaicin in chili pepper plants. Capsaicins are believed to have fat burning properties. And, it is because of this property and its chemical similarity to raspberry ketones that researchers have hypothesized whether raspberry ketones can be used as a supplement for weight loss.

The eventual and subsequent promotion of raspberry ketone supplements as a belly fat busting supplement originates from a study by Japanese researchers who determined that when laboratory animals are fed a high fat diet with a raspberry ketone supplement that they are protected from obesity by their fatty diet. In science-speak, the researchers state that raspberry ketones significantly increase norepinephrine-induced lipolysis associated with the translocation of hormone-sensitive lipase from the cytosol to lipid droplets in white fat cells. Translated, this means that raspberry ketones induce cells to burn stored fat.

A more recent study, however, reports that raspberry ketone may play a role in increasing skin elasticity and in inducing the growth of new hair in people with alopecia.

The study is by another Japanese research group that formed a similarly based hypothesis to the one that originated the aforementioned obesity study. Since raspberry ketone is chemically similar to capsaicins, and since previous research has shown that capsaicins increase the expression of a dermal (skin) insulin-like growth factor that increases skin elasticity and promotes hair growth, the researchers hypothesized whether raspberry ketones could have the same effect.

In a randomized controlled clinical study, the researchers applied a topical cream containing a raspberry ketone extract as the active ingredient on the skin of mice and on the facial skin and scalp of humans with alopecia. Alopecia in its broadest sense is baldness; however, forms of alopecia such as alopecia areata is a disease that affects the hair follicles and causes hair to fall out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease of which there is no current cure.

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What the researchers found was that in mice the raspberry ketone cream increased the expression of an insulin growth factor called “IGF-1” in the hair follicles and promoted hair re-growth in mice 4 weeks after application. In the human test subjects, the raspberry ketone extract resulted in hair growth in 50% of the test subjects with alopecia after 5 months; and, it also increased their cheek skin elasticity.

The researchers concluded that their results strongly suggests that raspberry ketone might be exerting its observed effect on hair and skin by increasing insulin growth factor-1 production via sensory nerve action. Therefore, it is possible that raspberry ketone is much more than belly fat busting supplement and has the potential for use in treating aging skin and in preventing or curing baldness in some people.

To learn more about what science has to say about raspberry ketones in fighting fat follow this link to an article about fat burning raspberry ketone claims.

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile


“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 Hormone & IGF Research 2008, 18(4), pp. 335-44; N. Harada, K Okajima, N. Narimatsu, H Kurihara and N Nakagata.

“Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone” Life Sciences 77(2), 194-204; Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, & Okuda H.

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Obesity is not just all about gaining weight. It can lead to various kinds of health complications like cardiovascular diseases, renal failure, dementia, migraine, arthritis, diabetes, hepatic disorders, and so forth.