A craze for green coffee bean extract has hit the weight loss supplement world all due to a compound contained in green coffee beans called chlorogenic acid which seems to have beneficial effects on metabolism for weight loss. Dr. Oz publicized green coffee bean extract when he featured it on his show and called it "a miracle pill" that "can burn fat fast for anyone who wants to lose weight." Of course you cannot believe everything you hear and see in the media, but there are several scientific studies backing this claim.
What the Studies Say
There are multiple studies showing positive effects of the chlorogenic acid on metabolism and weight loss efforts but perhaps the most popular study used to market green coffee bean extract is published in 2012 in the scholarly journal "Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy".
This study involved human subjects who consumed a high dose of green coffee bean extract supplement (1050mg) for two weeks, a low dose green coffee bean supplement (700mg) for two weeks, and a placebo for two weeks. There were two-week periods in between when the subjects did not take any of the three supplements. The study showed the green coffee bean extract supplementation resulted in decreases in body weight, body mass index, body fat percent, and even small decreases in heart rate. There were no significant changes in the diet or exercise of the subjects and the changes happened when the subjects were taking green coffee bean extract.
The possible weight-loss factor behind green coffee bean extract and the chlorogenic acid it contains may have to do with chlorogenic acid effects on sugar absorption from starch and on fat synthesis in the body. In a study published in 2007 in "The Journal of International Medical Research", researchers found that when human subjects consumed instant coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid, they lost weight due to decreased absorption of glucose sugar. There are many studies on mice or rats, such as the study published in "Biochemical Pharmacology" in 2013, showing that chlorogenic acid decreases fat synthesis and improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Potential Additional Benefits
Scientists are also studying other possible benefits of chlorogenic acid - it may also improve your mood. In the journal "Psychopharmacology", a study was published in 2012 suggesting caffeinated coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid and decaffeinated coffee enriched with a high amount of chlorogenic acid positively affected the mood and cognition of healthy elderly people although, decaffeinated coffee enriched with a regular amount of chlorogenic acid did not have significant effects.
Should You Take a Green Coffee Bean Extract?
Many green coffee bean extract products have been proven to contain amounts of green coffee bean extract differing from what is on the label. If you decide to try a green coffee bean extract supplement, it is a good idea to research different products. Talk to reliable sources such as people you know who have tried green coffee bean products or your local vitamin and supplement store employees. Discuss it with a health care professional as well.
Take note that the supplements used in the widely popular human study first mentioned, contained 45.9 percent chlorogenic acid. At least 700mg of the green coffee bean extract supplement was taken daily. So a good starting point is to look for a product that contains at least 45.9 percent chlorogenic acid and a daily dose of at least 700mg.
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Jamie Yacoub, M.P.H., R.D. is a clinical dietitian with a Master's of Public Health in Nutrition, and expected Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.) fall 2013. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in clinical nutrition from UC Davis after four years, during which time she participated in internships in several different nutrition environments including Kaiser Permanente and Women, Infants, & Children (W.I.C.). After graduating from UC Davis, she went on to study public health nutrition at Loma Linda University where she obtained her Master's of Public Health in Nutrition. Jamie completed the community nutrition portion of her dietetic internship as an intern for a Certified Specialist in Sports Nutrition. She completed both the food service and clinical portions of her dietetic internship at a top 100 hospital in the nation, where she was hired as the only clinical dietitian shortly after. Jamie now works as an outpatient clinical dietitian and is an expert in Medical Nutrition Therapy (M.N.T.) using the Nutrition Care Process (N.C.P.) including past medical history and current laboratory values as a basis of nutrition assessment.