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Maybe you've heard the claim that raspberry ketone supplements can melt away fat and prevent weight gain -- even if your diet is high in fat. But what are they, and can they really do that?

Raspberry ketones are natural chemicals that give raspberries their enticing aroma. When ketones are taken from raspberries, they can be used to add fragrance and flavor to things such as colas, ice cream, and cosmetics.

Experts say that investing in a bottle of raspberry ketone supplements amounts to little more than wishful thinking. And it may or may not be harmful.

What the Science Says

In one small study, people who took 200 milligrams of raspberry ketones combined with 1,200 mg of vitamin C daily for 4 weeks lost weight and body fat. But the study did not follow good scientific methods. It doesn't show whether any benefit was from either the vitamin C or the raspberry ketones or from the combination. Until more is known, experts say you're better off holding onto your money. Instead, stick to a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Both of those have been shown to be effective ways to manage weight.

Side Effects Unknown

Raspberry ketones in food and cosmetics are generally considered safe. But no one knows what short- or long-term effect raspberry ketone supplements could have on your overall health. No study has been done to document potential side effects. There are also no studies that look at potential drug or food interactions.

The fact that raspberry ketones chemically resemble other stimulants suggests the potential for certain side effects. And there are anecdotal reports of jitteriness, increased blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat among people taking raspberry ketone supplements. Without scientific evidence, no one can say what dosage of raspberry ketone supplements, if any, might be safe to take.

Talk to your doctor about any supplements you're thinking about taking, and any concerns you have about your weight or weight loss.

WebMD Medical Reference

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