AN OPEN LETTER TO MEHMET OZ….Spoonfuls of Vinegar and Raspberry Ketones do not a Healthy Person Make!

Dear Dr. Oz,

You have made some ridiculous statements regarding nutrition in the past, most recently claiming that 4 tsp of vinegar/day could prevent or reverse diabetes (that was last week), but Monday’s  information touting the use of a supplement called raspberry ketones as a “miracle fat burner in a bottle” takes the proverbial cake.

I have much to do these days, Mehmet.   I am working with thousands of people who have metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, people who are honestly struggling with weight loss and the co-morbidities caused by excess weight….Every few days I have to stop valid work to set the record straight on some outlandish pronouncement you’ve made.  So please, let this be the last time I have to correct any damage you have done by passing along false information.  You are in the national spotlight and people want to trust what you say.  Please stop the use of sensationalism as you make statements that are not proven, factual, or that may prove harmful. 

And so….my response to Dr. Oz’s raspberry ketone “miracle fat burner in a bottle.” 

We’ll start with a factual, understandable and scientific explanation of ketones.

Ketones are organic molecules that are produced when the body breaks down its own fat for energy.  Ketones are an end-product of fat tissue burn.  The level of ketones in the blood increases when there is not enough insulin present to allow glucose to enter the cells for energy.  If a person is on a low carb diet taking in a minimal amount of carbohydrate and has used up liver and muscle sugar stores, the resultant low insulin levels in the blood will prompt the body to begin to break down its own fat.  If a low carb dieter tested his your urine for ketones…and they are present…he would know that he is in a fat burning mode. ( Excess ketones in the blood exit the body in the urine).  Ketones are acidic in nature and change the pH of the blood to become more acidic.  It is recommended that a dieter in a fat burning mode drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and clear the ketones out of the blood and into the urine.

Aside from being on a low carb diet, if a person is in a state of starvation or on a very low calorie diet, his body will break down fat (and muscle) for energy.  Long periods of physical activity can also cause the formation of ketones as the body moves to fat burning for energy.   In addition, prolonged and intense stress can also trigger excess production of ketones.   During prolonged stress,  stress hormones rise and trigger the production of ketones as fat breaks down to create energy for a prolonged anticipated “fight or flight.”

If dangerously excessive amounts of ketones are present,  it is indicative that the body might not be producing the hormone insulin.  Insulin is a fat gain hormone and the total absence of insulin will cause rapid fat burning.  This occurs at the onset of type 1 diabetes…you’ve probably heard stories of people who lost a large amount of weight without dieting right before they were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  In the same regard,  if a person diagnosed with type 1 diabetes fails to take insulin or takes inadequate insulin for his/her blood sugar,  ketones and blood sugar will quickly rise to very dangerous levels.  When dangerous levels of ketones are present in the blood, the blood becomes very acidic and a potentially harmful or even fatal condition called ketoacidosis occurs

The treatment for someone with type 1 diabetes experiencing very high levels of ketones is to inject insulin that will immediately lower blood sugar and stop further fat burning (ketone formation). 

Ketoacidosis and ketosis are not the same thing!  When a person is in a fat burning mode (following a low carb diet) they are experiencing ketosis; not ketoacidosis

So….now that you understand what ketones are…and they ARE the end product of breaking down your own fat tissue…..does a supplement of raspberry ketones make any sense?

First of all, ketones are not really found in food, they are the by- product of fat burning in the body prompted by low or absent insulin, prolonged physical activity,  or stress reaction.

How can a supplement called raspberry ketones possibly be a “miracle fat burner?”  It turns out that a substance in raspberries that gives them their unique fragrance and contributes to their flavor is called “raspberry ketones.”  Raspberry ketones have been used for years in the perfume and food  industry to impart fragrance and flavor to soft drinks, ice creams, sweets, and perfumes.

 The wacky diet craze involving raspberry ketones is playing on the idea that people have heard that ketones are present when they are burning fat, so it “must be the addition of ketones TO the blood that will speed fat loss”.  Reality?  Ketones are present in the blood from FAT YOU HAVE ALREADY BURNED.

I don’t think I need to go much further with explaining the ridiculousness of this gimmick except that… here is what Dr. Sarah G. Khan (PharmD) says about the possible safety issues that can arise from this supplement. 

 “I would not recommend this product to diabetics without speaking to their doctor because of the risk of blood sugar fluctuations,” she says. “People who have heart issues or high blood pressure would also not be good candidates for raspberry ketones because norepinephrine can have effects on blood pressure and heart rate. This may also have an effect on people who have COPD or asthma conditions and may make their conditions worse.”

Dr. Khan also notes that there’s not much data around what happens to people after they stop taking the supplements, or how long it’s safe to take them.


So there you have it.   Mehmet Oz….please give me a break.  It is very time consuming to have to set the record straight on statements and pronouncements that are not medically sound, proven, and can be potentially dangerous to the health and well-being of people who put their trust in you.  Sensationalism may enhance your viewership but at what price?  Not only are you potentially damaging people’s health…but also your own credibility.


About Diane Kress

Author of The New York Times Bestseller; The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, and The Diabetes Miracle. and The Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition. Owner, developer, and administrator of The Metabolism Miracle's support site: Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Email:
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36 Responses to AN OPEN LETTER TO MEHMET OZ….Spoonfuls of Vinegar and Raspberry Ketones do not a Healthy Person Make!

  1. Pingback: AN OPEN LETTER TO MEHMET OZ….Spoonfuls of Vinegar and … | You Can Reverse Diabetes

  2. Bev M. says:

    Googled and found this:

    How do raspberry ketones burn fat?

    Not Medical Advice: Raspberry ketones regulate the body’s release of norepinephrine, which in turn causes a spike in body temperature and an increase in metabolism. They also increase adiponetin, a hormone that lowers glucose levels. Physicians caution those with diabetes, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, COPD, and asthma to speak to an MD before taking the supplement. Norepinephrine may disrupt thyroid functions, cause blood sugar to fluctuate, and increase heart rate and blood pressure.

    Read more

  3. primaltim says:

    Thank’s Diane for posting this. This man should not be allowed on TV. He knows first hand how a low carb Primal/Paleo type diet will all but reverse/cure diabetes but he is paid by Big Ag/Pharm to push his stupid products and advice to the masses to keep people sick. I will be sharing your post here on my page on facebook!!

  4. Coryann says:

    Ok, this clears things up for me a bit. I work retail and had someone ask for the raspberry ketones. Being familiar with the ketogenic diet and ketosis, I was a little perplexed as to what ketones one would consume were.

  5. Dana says:

    Or, wait, I should have finished the piece first. Sorry about that.

    Dr. Oz is a piece of work anyway. He’s an MD, right? He must really suck as a doctor if he’s got to seek out that much attention just to make a living. That, or he got greedy.

  6. jackie says:

    i knew it was something about the pills, when i first start takin the pills my appettite change i always wonted sweets and i have gain off these pills! Before i start taking the pills i was losing weight on my own now im back to step 1 again. i thought the pills was gone help me but they didnt so i will no longer be taking the pills anymore!!!

  7. suzanne theoret says:

    Thank you for posting this letter. It has probably saved my life. I have been taking rasberry ketones. I felt sick and decided to do some added research and came across your open letter. I am diabetic and have high blood pressure. I find it unethical that he would say they have no side effects. Surely as a doctor he must know that an overabundance of ketones affects insulin in the body as your letter states. I will no lonoger watch this charlatan and thank you so muchfor setting the record istraight. I will be here tomorrow to enjoy my new grandson.
    Oz SHAME ON YOU!!!! You don’t deserve the title Dr. let alone Mr.

  8. Teena L. says:

    I too, am thankful. First of all, to God for the fact that there are still some people who really care. I am a type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure & an asmatic. I was SERIOUSLY concidering taking raspberry ketones to aid in weight loss. I did all the online research i could, and found NOTHING that made me believe that i shouldn’t take them, till now. This open letter changed my mind. I am an STNA, and graduate from school in June. I also have a family that i need to be around for. Sticking to a good diet, excercise, and plenty of H2O truly is the ONLY remedy for weight loss. Dr. Oz, you need Jesus!!!!! Shame on you is the right statment.

  9. Paleo diet says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I really believe this amazing site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!

  10. Debra Rangel-Rivera says:

    Thank You. I bought raspberry ketones yesterday. I am type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure felt a little dizzy this evening and checked my blood sugar over 200. I will stop ketones immediately. I dont even want to look at my blood pressure. I should know better. Thank You.

    • dianekress says:

      You are so very welcome. What a shame for an MD to support such a sham. And a sham that can cause medical problems, no less. I’m glad you stopped when you did. Diane

  11. how fat loss says:

    You’re so awesome! I don’t think I’ve read through something like this before. So great to discover someone with original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  12. Joy Wood says:

    Thanks for the info. I was thinking about buying ‘Raspberry Ketones’ but have decided against it. I have already had one problem with a supplement and it took my Liver 3 years to recover from, I don’t need another. Thanks again Diane. :)))

  13. Anon says:

    I took raspberry ketones a few times during one week and stopped because I noticed I was getting heartburn and breaking out. I wasn’t sure that was the problem but I stopped taking it for a while and my skin cleared up. I tried again for a few days and my acne flaired up again. I am guessing this is because it raised the acidic value in my system. I stopped taking them, so we shall see if my face stops breaking out again. I tried to to some research on the side effects but there is very little information available! Thanks for this post!

    • Rainy says:

      Wow I am so glad you posted about the side effects you were experiencing. I have been taking raspberry ketones for about 2 weeks now and my face is breaking out in acne alot. At first I thought it was my facial cleanser so I switched and the acne got worse. I now know that it is the raspberry ketones and will not be taking anymore! I wish Dr. Oz had thoroughly researched the side effects because acne (severe) is one of them along with dizziness. Also, when you research the internet there’s not much info on any side effects because they are too busy trying to sell the product. I’m hoping my face clears up fast, now I hate I even tried this product! Thanks for the info…

  14. Dave Martell says:

    I have hupertendion. Started rasp ketones. Bp quickly up to 16//100 at kaiser, put.on meds. Stopped ketones 1 week back to 125/85 my norm. Really screwed w me. Did not realize norepinepherine would affect mr so much. Liked article…Dave

  15. charlie b. says:

    I think the major problem is people want to believe they can just take a few pills, sit on the couch with a twelve pack of soda and a bag of chips and lose weight. its not gonna…ever. i’m not a fan of dr. oz but he does always say to check with your dr. before adding any supplement to your diet. i’ve found the best way for me to stay at a healthy weight is to exercise. i hate running but it seems to work the best for me. dont be mad at dr. oz because most people are too lazy to walk,jog,run or swim.

    • Diane Kress says:

      I am concerned that a number of supplements and diet recommendations that are either ineffective or dangerous are being touted as “miracle pills” or “solutions” for various health conditions (including obesity/diabetes) by a physician on a medical program. “America’s Doctor” took the hippocratic oath…”Do no harm” and some of the supplements and solutions that are touted as “miracles”… can do harm. I will always delve into the latest “fad/gimmick/snake oil” and report the FACTS. The decision is always up to the consumer…but it is very important to know the entire story before fooling with your most precious asset, your health.

  16. weight loss says:

    This is the right web site for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that’s been discussed for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    • Diane Kress says:

      Thanks for the post. This topic touched very close to home 30 years ago….it is the main reason I originally became an RD. (I was studying finance and business prior to changes in my body that did not match my very healthy lifestyle). By the time I was SURE something was majorly amiss with the traditional program, I was already an RD CDE and was on 5 medications: type 2 diabetes (2), hypertension, high cholesterol, depression….as I was living and teaching the “perfect” diet and exercising daily.

      It was difficult to “admit” that what I had learned, believed in, lived, taught….was flawed. I took what is known about the physiology of the human body as it relates to digestion/absorption/nutrient processing and storage/useage/metabolism and studied it inside out. All updated scientific information this time around…not what has been written in physiology texts since the 60’s. Next, I took the traditional diet and exercise program….the information still being taught to patients in hospitals and to students in colleges, future MD’s in medicat schools even today. I disassembled this diet. And I made the program match the metabolism of a person on the road to (or who has already progressed all the way )
      ….metabolic syndrome—>overweight/obesity—>pre diabetes—->type 2 diabetes.

      The diet I was living and teaching to thousands was FLAWED…majorly flawed. It became my mission to develop a program that “matches” the metabolism of the majority of overweight people who were slowly but surely getting fatter and sicker despite their attempts to “do the right thing” and “follow Dr.’s orders” regarding diet and exercise.

      I lived this new program, taught it to 3000 people (patients at my private practice in medical nutrition; physicians sent patients to me to learn this program) over a period of years as I refined, tweaked, fine-tuned the program, collected data…and finally The Metabolism Miracle was not only available at my private practice, it would be available in a book for the world to share. The major medical associations obtained copies of the book, and promised to release their “opinion” on the program after they “took it apart under a microscope.” i knew they would find no flaws. Now…over 3 years later, JAMA published an article on a study that found the “low glycemic index/low glycemic load” program (that’s my program; The Metabolism Miracle) is superior to the traditional low calorie/low fat diet for long term weight loss. Did this make headlines? No. And I ask why?

      I no longer take medication. It is not because I am opposed to medication if it is warranted…it is no longer warranted in my case. 5 prescriptions are no longer needed, and lab data is normal….14+ years after I used a pill box with 5 pills/day. I have lost 30 pounds. I am very happy with how I look and how I feel. Inside and outside, I am a different person. I have now personally taught the program (and collected data) on over 6000 patients, the book is a New York Times Bestseller, licensed for publication in 7 languages, and followed bypeople around the world.

      It’s time for this program to be acknowledged and presented to the people as a “redo” of diet for those with metabolic syndrome, pre diabetes, type 2 diabetes, PCOS, hormonally related cancers: breast, prostate, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, thyroid, skin as well as reproductive infertility, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis/osteopenia, obesity, overweight that won’t respond to traditional diet.

      Until that time comes…and it will happen….go to or and read/live The Metabolism Miracle or The Diabetes Miracle. Take your health in your hands. Then….let the scale, your blood pressure, and your lab work show your results….to the medical community.

  17. dermcoder says:

    I started taking Raspberry Ketones because of Dr. Oz. My blood pressure went sky high and I was seeing floaties and I was so jittery I couldn’t sleep. I never thought it could be because of the ketones. So glad I saw this post, throwing them away and hoping my bp goes back down fast. I have had hashimotos thyroiditis and had radioactive iodine done and it took me a year to get my levels right. I hope this stuff hasn’t messed with that too!

  18. Debi says:

    Thank you so much for setting the record straight as to Raspberry Ketones not only failing to help with weight loss, but the manner in which they can actually be harmful. I’m so glad to have read this information. I recently ordered this supplement online and have taken it for 3 days. I don’t have any negative symptoms at this time, but will be throwing the supplement into the trash. I researched this product before purchasing it, but didn’t find reports of negative side affects. I don’t have diabetes, but for the past year, have been experiencing weight gain, increase fat around the midsection, and a significant increase in hot flashes (I’m 56; had a full hysterectomy at age 49; been consistent with food intake and exercise; never been overweight). Since I hadn’t started bad habits that would cause weight and fat gain, I thought I’d try this supplement. It’s the first weight-control substance I’ve ever tried in my life. For some odd reason, I thought it would be okay to trust this medical doctor. However, I went to a seminar this morning that was talking about dietary and hydration issues for athletes, etc., and referred to a condition called, “ketosis” caused by excess ketones. I’m thinking, did I hear that right? Isn’t that the stuff I’m intentionally ingesting every morning? I came home and found your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to clarify Mr. Oz’s misinformation.

  19. Antoinette says:

    I used to love Dr Oz I would tell everyone to turn it on an watch . now I’m not so sure. I bought two different raspberry Ketone products. So I am not losing weight. I think I gained more weight instead. Also having less energy now. Not sure if I has to do with it. But not feeling product is helping and will be throwing them out. I feel like dr oz keeps saying there are miracle weight loss pill since I tried this one. Not trying any more.

  20. Great web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  21. You’re so interesting! I don’t suppose I have read a single thing like this before. So nice to discover someone with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  22. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up plus the rest of the site is extremely good.

  23. tammie says:

    Hi I have been taking rasberry Ketones for about 4 months now, and I noticed that I have had alot of energy, but I noticed after the second month I had problems falling asleep and I feel nauseas and Yes I do feel like somebody is chasing me. I am a very energetic person, but it seemed like my energy level was too high,. I always felt like I had anxiety. The only thing I did different in my diet was rasberry ketones. I juice, I eat organic food and drink a liter of water per day so I was getting very worried. My throat felt like it was closing up and felt like acid reflux, I decidede to do some research but I couldn’t find much; However I came upon two sites that had testimonials from people who had the same negative side effects. I have decided to toss the Ketones away… I think they are dangerous and I am a advocate for natural product, but I stress Beware!!!!! just work out and eat right

  24. A motivating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you ought to write more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people do not talk about these topics. To the next! Many thanks!!

  25. Good day! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you’ve got right here on this post. I’ll be returning to your website for more soon.

  26. You are so interesting! I do not believe I have read through something like that before. So wonderful to discover someone with some original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    • Diane Kress says:

      Thanks. I have been in the field of Nutrition and medical nutrition therapy for over 30 years. So much that is presented as fact is merely money making schemes. I have a problem with this and a very big problem with those who put money/profit ahead of another’s health and well-being. I will always tell it like it is.

  27. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. Nevertheless imagine if
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  28. You’ve made some good points there. I checked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  29. BRIGITTE Mc Gill says:

    I took the first 800mg of Raspberry ketones yesterday
    Find myself very dizzy and sick to my stomach this morning, almost fell , getting out of my bed.
    I am happy to find this site to be able to make myself smart befor i take more.

    By the way i am type 2 Diabetes

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