Doctor Warns of New Weight Loss Craze Side Effects

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CLEVELAND – A physician at MetroHealth Medical Center is warning people about the unknown side effects of raspberry ketones.

The popular weight loss supplement has been in demand since it was endorsed several months ago by Dr. Oz, but Dr. Christine Alexander worries about the lack of testing on the pills. 

“I’m not saying that this couldn’t be helpful - it may be helpful in the long run - we just don’t know,” said Dr. Alexander.

Ketones are a compound in the berry that make it smell and has provided the scent used in perfumes and air fresheners.  It is now being extracted and reproduced in a pill form and sold as a weight loss supplement.

According to Dr. Alexander and various research, each pill is the equivalent of eating approximately 90-pounds of raspberries daily.  “Somewhere along the line, someone had the idea to ingest this and by ingesting it, the suggestion was, that maybe it broke down fat cells,” said Dr. Alexander.

“I’d be afraid to take ‘em,” said Marleen Taylor from Cleveland.  “I mean, you’re losing weight but what else is it doing?  It doesn’t say the side effects it has on your kidneys, your liver, you don’t know!”  She has been working out regularly for a few years but she admits it’s not easy to lose weight.

“For some patients that have certain health conditions, perhaps like diabetes and heart failure, this may not be a safe substance for them at all,” said Dr. Alexander, who also warns about consumers ingesting chemically reproduced raspberry ketones that aren’t ‘all natural.’

“The only supplements I take are just vitamins and protein from time to time,” said Ken Bray from Cleveland.  “A lot of people don't like to hear it, but I honestly believe that the best way to get in shape, stay in shape, is unfortunately the hard route, just to do it!”

While some health food stores and markets sell raspberry ketones, others in Northeast Ohio are opting out of the craze over concerns about a lack of testing and regulation.