Raspberry ketones for healthy skin? You heard it here first
It seems the supplement world is abuzz after Dr. Oz touted the benefits of raspberry ketone, so I have to claim precedence here and point out that I blogged on this 2 years ago! OK, Oz has a bigger following but the question here is whether the science justifies all the hype. There is some evidence from human studies that raspberry ketone promotes healthy skin, but no proof that it works as a weight loss supplement. Here’s what we know from scientific studies:
In an interesting study from Nagoya University in Japan, topical application of raspberry ketone stimulated release of dermal growth factors resulting in increased skin elasticity. An additional effect was hair growth, even in cases of alopecia. It's a fascinating new area of research, as the raspberry ketone works the same way as capsaicin, an extract of hot peppers. Look for raspberry ketone to appear in skin care products in the near future.
What Oz seemed to be excited about, and what prompted a run on raspberry ketone supplements at health food stores, was the potential for weight loss. There is surprisingly little in the scientific literature on this, and the only article I was able to find was based on a study of fat cells in tissue culture. The effect of adding raspberry ketones to the culture was increased fat metabolism and a decrease in lipid accumulation. The researchers concluded that “These findings suggest that RK holds great promise as an herbal medicine since its biological activities alter lipid metabolism.” Note the word “suggest” here because no studies have been done on humans and so these are very preliminary findings.