Blame it on a man named Oz – and we don’t mean the Wizard of Emerald City. Since celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz sang its praises on his nationally syndicated TV show, green coffee bean extract has grabbed the headlines as the latest, greatest “miracle” weight loss substance.
The bottom line: this hype may hold substance and green coffee bean extract just might help you lose weight.
So, what’s a green coffee bean? It’s simply a coffee bean that has not been roasted. The food scientists have learned that when coffee beans are roasted their chlorogenic acid breaks down and loses its ability to limit the body’s absorption of glucose. This process is believed to help us reduce our weight.
According to a heavily cited press release that’s touting one particular brand of green coffee bean extract: “Chlorogenic acid helps speed up metabolism so that the body is able to break down fatty acids more efficiently. It is also known to slow down release of sugar into the bloodstream which reduces fat accumulation. Furthermore, it is known to suppress appetite too.”
Lofty claims indeed.
A surf of the web uncovered a study presented at the American Chemical Society in San Diego. Researchers reported that “16 overweight men and women lost an average of 17 pounds in 22 weeks when taking green coffee beans in supplement form.”
NOTE: This study was funded by the makers of a green coffee supplement, Applied Food Sciences.
But then along came Dr. Oz, a man who for a long stretch of time couldn’t be named without mentioning his connection to talk show legend Oprah Winfrey. Oz apparently conducted his own study and found that dieters could lose an average of two pounds per week when taking green coffee bean extract. Those who dieted without green coffee bean extract did lose weight, but only about one pound a week on average, Oz discovered.
Oz doesn’t appear to be endorsing any particular line of green coffee bean extract. But according to published reports, he is urging users to seek out green coffee beans extract with a minimum of 45% chlorogenic acid. You should be aware that this chlorogenic acid is sometimes listed as GCA, which stands for green coffee antioxidant. At times it will also appear as “Svetol.”
Writing for TODAY Health, Elisa Zied, R.D., noted that since Dr. Oz hosted a show on the green coffee bean extract the product “has become one of the most searched terms online. It's mostly available in pill form, but earlier this summer Starbucks added it as part of a new line of low-calorie drinks, which are being promoted as a ‘boost of natural energy.’”
Zied revealed that green coffee bean extract does contains caffeine, which has long been a stimulant linked to weight loss.
eDiets Chief Nutritionist Susan Burke noted, “Caffeine, when taken in excess, has negative side effects including anxiety, restlessness and sleep disorders. Consumers need to consider their usual intake of caffeine from morning (and afternoon!) coffee and tea, plus the more than 400mg they’ll be getting in this green coffee bean extract.”
Zied concludes that this product is not worth the money because “the results are insignificant and the long term risks are unknown.”
Zied also stated, “While the extract appears safe, ingesting too much chlorogenic acid may raise heart disease risk since it elevates levels of the amino acid, homocysteine. In general, it's recommended that adult coffee drinkers stick to a moderate amount a day, about 3 or 4 cups, or 300-400 mgs.”
WARNING: The experts believe this extract should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
eDiets Chief Editor John McGran has an extensive background in online dieting and tabloid news. He covers the celebrity beat for eDiets.