Rae Metabolism Drops: Why Were They Discontinued?

It wasn't because the product itself was unsafe to use.

There are dozens of stores and companies that market vitamins and supplements for the purpose of boosting different aspects of your health. One such company is Rae Wellness, founded by former Target executives Angela Tebbe and Eric Carl.

Rae sells several products designed to help with mood, digestion, and sleep. At one time, the company sold products geared toward metabolism—which is related to energy and weight changes—but the metabolism drops and capsules have been discontinued.

So, why did they have to pull the product from their site and out of stores? Here's what you need to know.

What Happened to the Rae Wellness Metabolism Drops?

Rae ran into issues with the drops when the company discovered through social media that the metabolism drops were not being used as intended—which they addressed in a February 2020 statement.

"We became concerned when we started to notice a conversation emerge [on TikTok]: teenage girls misusing the product alongside conversation about weight loss, at times using more than the recommended dose," the owners said. "All of our products are formulated for, and marketed to, adult women 18 and older."

They added that they would be pausing the sale of both the metabolism drops and capsules: "We took this action simply because we feel it's the right thing to do as a company. Seeing a groundswell of this kind of conversation was antithetical to our values. The wellbeing [sic] of all women and the promotion of positive body images are essential to the foundation of this brand."

In March 2020, however, the brand made the decision to discontinue the metabolism line of products for good, in an effort "to prioritize [their] focus on innovation and other wellness offerings that support women to shine from the inside out."

What Are Metabolism Supplements Supposed To Do?

According to MedlinePlus, metabolism comes down to the ways that your body uses energy, from breathing to digesting food. The claimed purpose of metabolism supplements, in capsule or liquid form, is to boost bodily energy to the point that a person can burn more calories and lose weight.

The metabolism-boosting claims of the supplements are usually based on their ingredients: In the case of Rae Metabolism Drops, they included caffeine, taurine, and raspberry ketones.

Researchers have noted the connection between caffeine and metabolism—for example, in an August 2020 study published in Nutrition Research. Additionally, a September 2019 Molecular Nutrition & Food Research study stated: "Taurine deficiency may cause a weak energy metabolism and energy metabolism dysfunction," meaning that boosting taurine levels would be helpful for metabolism. However, little evidence is available for the effectiveness of raspberry ketones.

Regardless, the drops seemingly would have improved metabolism since two out of the three ingredients were considered helpful—which likely called its safety into question.

How Safe Were Rae Wellness Metabolism Drops?

According to Rae, "[t]here [was] no risk in taking our Metabolism Drops as directed." In general, that is the case for any type of vitamin or supplement, unless they have contraindications with medications you have been prescribed or may worsen a condition you have. (It's always best to speak with your healthcare provider before pursuing the use of vitamins or supplements.)

Additionally, although none of Rae's wellness products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the company has pointed out that they followed FDA guidelines for making the products on their frequently asked questions page.

"At Rae, we maintain stringent quality standards to ensure that our products meet FDA regulations for identity, purity, strength, and composition, so we can be sure that what's on the label is what's in the supplement," the brand stated. "We thoroughly vet our suppliers through audits and continuous monitoring to ensure they're following the FDA's current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)."

Regardless, the issue wasn't FDA approval or evidence of the effectiveness of Rae's Metabolism Drops (or any of their other products): It was the route to a perceived healthy body and healthy body image that younger individuals were attempting to take.

Are There Ways To Boost Metabolism for Weight Loss?

Per MedlinePlus, you can boost metabolism but only for the short term—and not enough to make a difference in weight loss. For example, exercising will burn calories while you're in motion, but after about an hour or so, your body's metabolic rate will return to its usual level. However, for general weight loss, MedlinePlus recommended the following:

  • Exercise daily
  • Make weight lifting part of your exercise routine
  • Get enough sleep
  • Pay attention to hunger cues
  • Opt for healthy and nutritious foods
  • Watch your food portions

Ultimately, if you find that you're struggling with metabolism or weight loss, your healthcare provider will know what options may work best for you—supplements or not.

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