My first assumption when I heard about it was that it must have something to do with ketone bodies. These are what are made when there is not enough sugar in your blood and your body begins to use fat for fuel rather than sugar.
But it isn't. Raspberry Ketones are found, surprisingly enough in raspberries. They have a greater thermic effect than foods that don't contain ketones (cranberries and kiwi's also contain them), which means you burn more calories digesting them. So the theory is, eats lots of these and you will burn more calories.
Eat more food to burn calories! Is it only me that see's the floor in that theory?
Anyway this 'increase in metabolism' can also be found in spicy food like chillies, due to capsaicin. If two people ate the same curry everyday for a year, the only difference is one is mild and the other vindaloo hot, the person with the sore tongue and burning bum may burn an extra pound or two of fat than the other. So the difference is minimal and this is the same for raspberry ketones.
I have tried to find some studies that have looked at the effect of Raspberry Ketones on humans, but my search was fruitless, which makes me think that one hasn't been done. So there is no science to back up the claims.
However I did come across a study done on rats. 2 groups were put on a fattening diet and one group was supplemented with the ketones. To be more specific the group taking the ketones were given 100 times, yes 100 times the recommended dosage. Now I hope you don't need me to tell you that its' probably not a good idea to take that much. At the end of the test the rats taking ketones gained 10% less weight than the other group. I wasn't impressed either.
No magic pill here then, just a short cut to a lighter wallet.
This begs the question:
"Why do people lose weight taking these pills if they don't actually work?"
Great question, because I don't believe all the success stories are made up, some of them will be real.
When people spend a decent amount of money on fat loss pills they desperately want them to work. So as well as knocking back the tablets they will probably look to improve their diet, maybe cut out the chocolate and sweets and increase exercise to give themselves the best chance.
Now what do you think worked the most?
Magic beans or better diet and exercise?
I was talking to a lady recently who had been taking some pill to help with her weight loss, apparently stopped her absorbing fat. Now we already know that fat doesn't make you fat, but this lady had lost close to a stone over the last 3 months so something was working.
She told me that you weren't allowed to eat high fat foods whilst taking the tablets as it gave you terrible gut ache and frequent trips to the bathroom. Nice.
So I asked her what foods she had stopped eating, to which she replied "pasties, pies, cakes, that sort of thing"
Ah! So you cut out calorie laden, carbohydrate packed food and lost weight? Interesting.
If anybody claims to have lost weight by doing nothing different than taking magic beans I would happily bet Joanne's dog that they're lying, it just doesn't happen. The only way to lose a substantial amount of weight is a good, clean diet and some exercise thrown in for good measure.
So save your money, or if you are intent on giving it away then find a good charity to donate to.