AUSTIN -- It's a weight loss fad that's really been getting attention the last few months, the Raspberry Ketone Diet.
At the hike and bike trails in Downtown Austin. It shouldn't come as a surprise that most of the exercise-conscious Central Texans we talked to are well aware of the Raspberry Ketone Diet.
"I've just heard that raspberry is one of the natural fat burning foods that you can have," said Alissa Leenher.
"Everybody is looking for some help in losing weight, especially belly fat, and that's what it's supposed to be focusing on," said Thomas Figulski.
Raspberry Ketone is the natural compound that produces the sweet smell of raspberries. But lately Raspberry Ketone has become better known as a potent fat burner. Studies show Raspberry Ketone increases Adiponectin, a protein hormone, that has a correlation with body fat percentage.
"Adiponectin is our friend and we want that to be as high as possible," explained Dr. George Rodgers, a cardiologist with Seton Heart Institute. He says fat cells tend to produce more Adiponectin and that's a good thing. "Unfortunately as we gain weight, as our fat cells become fatter so to speak or plumper, Adiponectin levels go down."
Rodgers says the more we can boost Adiponectin, the better we are, and the most effective way to do that is by losing weight. Raspberry Ketones may be able to help accomplish that goal.
"It seems to help in terms of enhancing our body to burn that fuel that's trapped within our fat cells and enhance that," said Dr. Rodgers.
But Rodgers cautions Raspberry Ketones by themselves are not enought.
"If you think by taking it daily (and then) drinking beers and eating Buffalo wings in front of the television is going to make you lose weight, you are mistaken," he said.
Charlie Hartwig, the owner of Total Nutrition, says he drives that point home by asking questions of his customers who are looking for weight loss products.
"People coming in, they expect this magic pill or powder, and that's just not the realistic part of it. You've got to include the exercise. You've got to include the diet to see the results," said Hartwig. "We ask them what their goal is. We ask them what expectations they have. Are they working out, are they dieting, are they exercising? These things will actually contribute to us making a plan for them rather than just walking them over to raspberry ketones and tell them to get this product today."
Doctors and nutrition experts say when choosing a Raspberry Ketone product be sure to consider whether the extract is 100% pure with no extra ingredients, fillers or binders. Does it have the right dose per serving? Is the Raspberry Ketone extract real or synthetic?
Back at the hike and bike trails, we ran into people who were considering trying Raspberry Ketones, as well as those who've been on the diet for weeks, even months. Opinions varied as to whether the product is all that it claims or if it's more hype than help.
"You still have to watch your diet and exercise anyway. You are not going to lose it just because of a pill," said Figulski.
"I've seen some results to it," said James Prestegard. "I've lost a couple of pounds and it's just something you have to keep at plus your working out and your food intake so I think it does help out.
"I feel like I've lost a little bit of the belly fat," said Dallas Heenan. "The weight is still there, but this is going down."
That difference of opinion may be due to the fact that doctors we spoke to say there's been no research involving humans and the effectiveness of the Raspberry Ketone Diet.