A small amount of research performed on lab rats suggests that raspberry ketones may increase the breakdown of fat deposits in the body, notes Authority Nutrition. There is no conclusive evidence that raspberry ketones have this effect in humans as of 2015, notes WebMD.
Raspberry ketone is a chemical compound that gives raspberries their distinct flavour and smell. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a colorant and flavoring agent in some packaged foods and cosmetics, however it has not been evaluated for use as a health supplement, notes Healthline.
In one study, researchers applied raspberry ketones to isolated fat cells taken from rats, as detailed on Auhority Nutrition. In this instance, the ketones increased the breakdown of fat by making the fat cells more sensitive to the hormone norepinephrine. It also caused the fat cells to release more adiponectin, a hormone that may play a role in regulating blood sugar levels.
In a later study, two groups of lab mice were fed a fattening diet. One group of lab mice was also given raspberry ketones. A control group of mice was fed a normal diet. After five weeks, the mice given the raspberry ketones gained less weight than the mice fed a fattening diet without ketones; however, both groups still gained more than the control group, according to Authority Nutrition. The dosage of ketones given to the mice in this study was also exponentially higher than the recommended dose for humans.