I am sure you have noticed the rise and rise of Raspberry Ketones as a miracle weight loss compound with some fundamentally staggering claims being made about them, the best being ‘lose a stone a week without dieting’, I kid you not.
So I thought I would have a look in a little more detail at this miracle compound and see what, if any, basis there is for any use as a weight loss agent.
First though a quick note about losing a stone in a week. A pound of fat is 3,500 calories, a stone is 49,000 calories (14 x 3,500). So to lose a stone of fat in a week you need to burn, or be in deficit to the tune of 49,000 calories. This is 7000 calories a day being burned by this miracle product – not even DNP will do this. Hmm, something fishy here.
OK Raspberry Ketones were first mentioned by the ‘esteemed’ American TV doctor Dr Mehmet Oz. THis is the same man that brought us Acai Berry. Remember this stuff? The miracle berry claimed (by Dr Oz) to promote: Weight loss, anti ageing, reversal of diabetes, killing cancer cells – the list of miracles went on and on.
In 2010, the American FTC sued an acai berry pill maker for false claims of weight loss and cancer prevention.
Today, it’s widely acknowledged that “there are no scientifically controlled studies providing proof of any health benefits from consuming açaí. No açaí products have been evaluated (in the United States) by the FDA, and their efficacy is doubtful. Specifically, there is no scientific evidence that açaí consumption affects body weight, promotes weight loss or has any positive health effect.”
So the guy has a track record of bullshit to put it mildly.
Now back to his latest miracle product.
What are Raspberry Ketones?
Raspberry ketone is defined as “a natural phenolic compound that is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries. It is used in perfumery, in cosmetics, and as a food additive to impart a fruity odor.”
So it is the smell of Raspberries. Not looking good already.
What are the claims banded about for RKs?
“Japanese researchers reported in 2005 that raspberry ketone ‘prevents and improves obesity and fatty liver,’ by boosting the breakup of fat cells.” (ABC News)
“Korean researchers reported in 2010 that raspberry ketone increased fat cells’ secretion of a hormone called adiponectin that regulates the processing of sugars and fats in the blood.” (ABC News)
“Raspberry ketone accelerates weight loss by eliminating the absorption of fat, increasing your metabolism, and by removing fat from the body cells to be burned. This allows your body to burn and melt away fat much faster than you other wise would.” ()
“Pure Raspberry Ketones controls your appetite, boosts metabolism and burns fat without the side effects associated with most diet pills.” (NutraBio.com)
and what is the actual state of play?
When given to mice in very high doses (up to 2% of body weight), raspberry ketone has been shown to prevent high-fat-diet-induced elevations in body weight. However, no effects on body weight were observed with doses up to 200 times greater than the estimated intake in humans. The high dose effect is reported to stem from the alteration of lipid metabolism, increasing norepinephrine-induced lipolysis. Although products containing this compound are marketed for weight loss, there is no clinical evidence for this effect in humans. It might also affect a hormone in the body called adiponectin in mice. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is no reliable scientific evidence that it improves weight loss when taken by people.
The NorEpinephrine Transport (NET) response is one that is caused by ECA, Yohimbine, Rauwolscine, DMAA, Acacia Rigidula etc, however these boost metabolism by 3-5%, Clenbuterol by about 10%, Raspberry Ketones claim is a boost of over 400%.
So once again the Dr is pedalling Snake Oil. Never trust anything he is selling. More of these to come soon.
Want me to look at a particular weightloss product and let you know if it will really work, just use the contact page and drop me a message.
Thought some of you guys may find this interesting, particularly as I was prompted to write this following an advert on this very site.
Dumbbell squat – WTF?
OK, I have noticed a lot of videos emerging with people squatting so their butt just about touches an upright dumbbell, or should that be bumbell? Most of the quad hasn’t even reached parallel to the floor. Why are you doing this squat???? I have heard people say they are working their glutes. Well guess what, that is the one muscle group that this exercise will NOT hit.
There is a squat technique called box squats where a box is put beneath the butt, and you come down slowly to this level. The box is always positioned so the upper leg is just below parallel. This technique is used to get people past a sticking point, not as a regular exercise.
So what’s the problem
Well the biomechanics of this movement are all wrong, you are changing the direction of movement at a point when the knee is at its most vulnerable. This could lead to serious damage. Coupled with the fact that people are then loading more weight on the bar as they are not actually ‘squatting’ and you have a recipe for disaster. Knee injuries are not fun, and can put you out of training for months if not years.
So what is the correct form?
We can learn a lot from this little fella, who has the form pretty much nailed.
When squatting you should always go below parallel, ideally as the little guy is showing A2G, or ‘Ass to Grass’, this is a lot less stress on your knees than the partial squat, despite what your brain will be telling you, or that guy in the gym, who is full of bro-science and no actual science.
If you’re not going all the way down you wont be hitting your glutes, so ladies if you want to get that nice round shape that everyone seems to crave, then you need to squat deep.
But I can’t lift as much weight
GOOD! Building muscle is not just about racking up as much weight as you can. Good technique and perfect form are so much more important. Drop the weight you put on, tighten up the form, feel the muscle work during the exercise, and watch the gains come rolling in.
Its not how much you lift, its how you lift it!
Have a great day guys
Background to Rauwolscine
Rauwolscine is an indole alkaloid with stimulant, aphrodisiac and local anaesthetic effects. It is found naturally in plants of the genus Rauwolfia and Pausinystalia, along with several other active alkaloids including Yohimbine. Rauwolscine is a stereoisomer of Yohimbine, that is it is chemically identical, but differs in its 3 dimensional orientation. There are a total of 3 stereoisomers of Yohimbine, the other two being corynanthine and 3-epi-alpha-yohimbine. These two as yet have not found their way into any supplements that I can find, although there is a gathering body of research on them.
Rauwolscine is a relatively new substance in the fatloss world, and as such is not currently found in a great number of products. It is increasing though and so it is becoming easier to find, and is well worth it.
How does it work – more science
Rauwolscine is an alpha-2 antagonist, it blocks the pre- and post-synaptic alpha-2 adrenoceptors. This prevents the release of Norepinephrine from cells. Norepinepherine stimulates both the alpha and beta receptors in a cell. Stimulation of the beta adrenoceptors causes the breakdown of fat, whilst stimulating the alpha-2 adrenoceptors prevents this breakdown of fats. Rauwolscine blocks the alpha feedback mechanism, thus increasing norepinephrine. Additionally in blocking the alpha-2 receptor it blocks the storage of new fat.
Like yohimbine, rauwolscine is an agonist of 5-HT1a/b receptors and induce serotonin-like effects. While yohimbine has more affinity for the receptor, rauwolscine has a lower IC50 value. This means it can saturate more receptors at the same dose, and can be seen as slightly more potent in serotonergic activity.
Additionally blocking the post-synaptic alpha-2 adrenoceptors leads to minor corpora cavernosa smooth muscle relaxation. In fact the majority of adrenoceptors in the corpora cavernosa are alpha-1. These are the properties of Rauwolscine and Yohimbine that mean it is useful in the treatment of erectile disfunction. This may prove useful for those in bodybuilding who are using, or have recently stopped using AASs, as loss of libido and erectile problems are a known side effect of these substances.
Like Ephedrine and Yohimbine it does not act directly on the Beta receptors, and therefore does not need to be cycled in the same way as Clenbuterol does, there is more information on this below.
It should be noted that the the abdominal area in men and the gluto-femoral (butt) area in women contains a higher ratio of alpha-2 receptors, this seems, from personal experience, to make Rauwolscine more effective in these areas. Also blocking the alpha-2 receptors increases blood flow in fatty tissue, which also prevents fat from being deposited in the area.
Unlike ECA and Yohimbine, Rauwolscine does not have the associated anxiety and panic attacks which are prevalent with them, additionally the level of shakes on higher dosages are basically non-existent. Additionally I did not notice the same level of blood pressure increase as I did on ECA and Yohimbine. Also given that Rauwolscine effectively raises the levels of norepinephrine then taking it too late at night can cause insomnia, although from personal experience this seems to be much less extreme than Yohimbine and certainly ECA.
However as with all central nervous stimulants, Rauwolscine should NOT be taken by those people how have any history of, but not limited to, strokes, high blood pressure, heart, liver, kidney, or thyroid disease, diabetes or anaemia, a family history of these or other medical conditions, or if taking any prescription, OTC, and/or other herbal medications. Please consult with a qualified medical practitioner if in doubt.
Rauwolscine was put on the UK controlled list in 2012 just prior to the London Olympics. As such it is a ‘P’ classified substance, and can only be issued by a licensed pharmacist. However due to how our importation rules are structured, it is not illegal to purchase it outside the UK and import it. This is also the case for Ephedrine, which we will look at in another post later this month. If you suffer from any for of anxiety, then please ensure that none of the following compounds are in it:
- Ephedrine / Ephedra
- Synephrine / Bitter Orange extract
- DMAA / Geranium stem
As these all increase anxiety. So please avoid if you have any issues.
This product seems to offer a great alternative to ECA and Yohimbine for those people that suffer from anxiety issues, which would be exacerbated by these products.
For those of you that don’t know him Derek Weider is a social media presence who gives out solid, no nonsense advice on all aspects of training and nutrition. We love his videos here at Meritor Gym.
For those of you that can’t be arsed to work out all your macros and plan meals arounf protein, carbs and fats, and just want to eat and train, this video is gold dust and the advice is solid. Its also funny as hell.
Oh and when Derek speaks about ‘Copenhagen’ in the video as his source of fruit and vegetables – its chewing tobacco!
So throw away any preconceptions about how to plan a diet, and what you can and cant eat or drink, this is how he plans his diet and most people would be very very happy with his physique.
There will be more from Derek along with other people in future posts. But until then just sit back and enjoy this little slice of summer goodness.