Raspberry Ketones, Garcinia Cambogia and Glucommanan – also known as the Konjac Root – have all been hailed as magic ingredients to combat the bulge over the last couple of years. Costing next to nothing to produce, they have been championed by affiliate networks thanks to their profit potential. But do these Holy Grail ingredients actually do anything?
Let’s start with Raspberry Ketones
These are one of the most popular weight loss supplements. Hailed as a wonder ingredient thanks to their natural attributes and potentially offering less side effects than other weight loss tablets, they have become a mainstay in people’s cupboards all over the world. Raspberry Ketones are the natural chemicals that give raspberries their delicious aroma. And when these are taken from raspberries, they are used to add fragrance and flavour to food and drink, including ice cream and coke, as well as and cosmetics.
When it comes to diet, the claims made by the companies manufacturing Raspberry Ketones as a weight loss supplement suggest they can melt away fat while also preventing weight gain – even if your diet is high in fat. However the evidence suggests they may not be as effective as “experts” claim them to be. Health and diet experts say that investing in a bottle of raspberry ketone supplements and taking them as directed leads to no evidence of weight loss and is actually nothing more than wishful thinking. It’s also worth noting that as they are relatively new to the diet market, there hasn’t been enough research to determine whether or not they offer any side effects.
What about Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia Cambogia is gaining in popularity thanks to its loyal followers pioneering the tropical fruit as a weight-loss supplement. Also known as the Malabar Tamarind, the fruit is said to block the body’s ability to make fat while also halting appetite. It is also said to help keep both blood sugar and cholesterol levels under control, too. The up and coming product is usually sold in bottles mixed with other ingredients often found in diet products – which may help the product to be effective.
The active ingredient in the fruit's rind, hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, appears to block an enzyme known as citrate lyase. The body uses this to make fat while also raising the levels of serotonin, which may make you feel less hungry. Despite this scientific evidence, the actual weight loss results aren't impressive for those taking the supplement. A review published in the Journal of Obesity found that people who took Garcinia Cambogia lost an average of two pounds more than people who didn't, and the reviewers couldn't say for certain that the weight loss was due to the supplement as it could have been from the lower-calorie diet and exercise programs the people in the studies followed. Therefore, a lot more research is needed to determine whether HCA actually helps people lose weight – and crucially – keep it off.
What effect will Glucomannan (Konjac Root) have?
The third wonder supplement, Glucomannan, is a soluble fibre sugar made from the root of the Konjac plant (Amorphophallus konjac), which is then used as medicine in a number of forms, including powder, tablets and capsules. Typically the substance has been used to treat constipation, aid weight loss in both adults and children, help to control type 2 diabetes, blood sugar and cholesterol.
Glucomannan is also used as a thickener and gelling agent, so may work in the stomach and intestines by absorbing water in order to form a bulky fibre which treats constipation. It can also help to slow the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from the gut, which in turn, helps to control sugar levels in diabetes and reduce levels of cholesterol.
While it appears Glucomannan can offer some support with weight loss, the reports are inconsistent. According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition Glucomannan did help a small number of obese participants lose more weight and fat than a group taking a placebo, but a review study published in 2014 in the same journal reported the opposite, stating that the weight-loss supplement in fact did not help people lose more weight than a placebo group. Again, more research is needed to determine authorised results.
The fact of the matter is, there is no evidence to suggest that these ‘quick fix’ supplements are any more effective than simply undertaking a healthy, balanced diet and incorporating exercise at all. In fact, as mentioned above, because these are relatively new to the market, advertised as weight loss supplements, not enough research has been carried out to determine side effects. It is also thought should these actually be effective, people would have to consume kilos of the products in order for them to make a significant difference.
Have you tried any of the above – what did you think to them?