Raspberry Ketones (Is that the sweet smell of EXTREME PUMP?)

I have to admit, I am a sucker for common names. Why would you grab a bottle of mercury (II) chloride when you could get some "corrosive sublimate"? 3-methylindole? No thanks, give me skatole (named for its smell!). Methyl tert-butyl ketone? Pinacolone (which, sadly, smells like mint). 1,8-bis(dimethylamino)naphthalene? Proton sponge! (R)-2-(4-methylcyclohex-3-enyl)propane-2-thiol? Grapefruit Mercaptan!

Common names make what we do feel more like making potions, and sometimes I'm all for that.


Raspberry ketone is in that vein - it has the above systematic name. Of course, it smells like raspberries and occurs naturally in the fruit.

Oddly, some people have suggested it could be useful in fat loss. Some bodybuilders, being willing to take anything for an edge, regardless of toxicity, have taken to using this molecule as a supplement. It is somewhat discongruous to see a bottle that evokes the aesthetic sense of a tub of "MEGA MASS 2000" that says "raspberry."


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FWIW, I'm not particularly sanguine about this particular molecule's ability to exert any magical fat loss effects, but your post makes it sound as if bodybuilders somehow grabbed the idea out of thin air. While I don't approve of supplement companies cranking out new products everytime a rat or cell culture study is published, there is at least some tentative evidence that raspberry ketone does have some anti-obesity effects. See:


By Elissa Lowe (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

I seem to recall that GHB started out as a body-building supplement, too. Apparently, it was (is?) believed to release human growth hormone or something.

I can't imagine taking a powerful hypnotic would be very good for one's workout ethic, though. Weird...

By Vince Noir (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

The problem with names is that they are often far from universial. When I first got into overclocking I had much confusion talking about this mysterious 'ethylene glycol' - a name used only in the US, and which sounds systematic. And was, under the old system. But in the one used when I was taught chemistry, its ethan-1,2-diol. Both of which are solved by its two common names: To non-car-experts, its antifreeze. A very usful classification in cars, but its not specific enough for overclockers - because while all ethan-1,2-diol is antifreeze, not all antifreeze is ethan-1,2-diol. Thus is name to car enthusiasts and overclockers: 'blue antifreeze' to distinguish it from the 'red antifreeze' which has an extra carbon and will eat through your coolent lines until they burst open. Then there are the sugary antifreezes that are supposed to be less toxic, but which no overclocker trusts because there isn't enough experience to say what they will do in a system where the coolent is in contact with copper, brass, aluminium and four or five different types of plastic.

Thats one chemical. The worst of them all, I think, has to be drugs. Those usually have multible generic names that vary by region, multible trademarked brand names for different regions, and multible systematic names depending which system is used - together with an assortment of development, testing and regulatory code-numbers. All to refer to one substance.