By now you may have heard the buzz that Dr. Oz created on his television show regarding the use of Green Coffee Beans and weight loss. Amazingly, participants in a small study (16 people: 8 men and 8 women) were able to lose up to 17 pounds in 22 weeks without exercise or altering their caloric intake. What? That sounds impossible.
Truth is, this is a small study and the results would need to be repeated on a much large scale to truly place this little green pill on the miracle weight loss supplement shelf.
So how does green coffee bean actually work?
We don’t really know but we have some ideas…
- Altered intestinal absorption of glucose (sugar)
- Decreased fat absorption
- Increased fat metabolism in the liver
The active ingredient is Chlorogenic Acid. The study participants were given tablets containing 350 mg of green coffee bean extract with 45.9% chlorogenic acid levels either two or three times per day.1 This was taken approximately 20 minutes prior to eating a meal.
Study participants ate an average of 2,400 calories per day, did not change their level of activity and lost an average of 17 pounds.1 There is also some evidence the chlorogenic acid may lower blood pressure and fasting glucose levels as cited in other studies.
A word of warning not mentioned by Dr. Oz. Green Coffee Bean extract can raise Homocysteine levels by 12% in the short term and 4% in the long term. Homocysteine is an inflammatory marker. Increases in homocysteine levels cause cardiovascular damage and can damage the medial temporal lobe (hippocampus); an area responsible for converting short into long term memories.2
Should you run out and get this supplement?
Not just yet. The old adage if it sounds to good to be true…..probably applies here. Give it some time and wait for further studies on this one.
1. Joe A Vinson, Bryan R Burnham, Mysore V Nagendran, Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the
efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 2012:5 21–27
2. T. den Heijer, S. E Vermeer, R. Clarke, M. Oudkerk, P. J. Koudstaal, A. Hofman1 and M. M. B. Breteler, Homocysteine and brain atrophy on MRI of non-demented elderly. Brain (2003), 126, 170±175