Go Green for Weight Loss

Often touted as a super food that can help burn body fat, green tea tops the shopping lists of many health-conscious people. Recent studies have shown that going "green" may indeed help enhance weight loss. However, it is not green tea that generates An extract pulled from unroasted coffee beans or green coffee appears to have a better effect on glucose levels and metabolism of fat.

A study conducted through the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania examined 16 overweight or obese individuals. One group of subjects took a high dose (1050 mg) of green coffee bean extract, another group consumed a lower dose (700 mg), and a third group took a placebo. The extracts or placebos were consumed 30 minutes prior to each meal over a period of 22 weeks.

While the participants did not alter eating or exercise habits throughout the study, those taking the green coffee bean extract lost an average of 17 pounds, which amounted to roughly 10 percent of body weight. Equally promising is the fact that participants experienced a 16 percent decrease in total body fat on average. In looking at calorie levels and exercise, the participants took in roughly 2,400 calories per day and burned about 400 calories with exercise. Therefore, exercise alone could not account for the weight loss.

Rather than the caffeine in green coffee beans, experts believe that an ingredient called chlorogenic acid is responsible for the weight loss and reduction in body fat experienced when taking green coffee bean extract. Chlorogenic acids are a family of compounds that naturally occur in fruits like apples, cherries, and plums and in certain vegetables. Large amounts are found in green coffee beans, however because the roasting process destroys the acids, they are not found in regular coffee beans. As such, many weight loss supplements are now made up of green coffee beans to aid in natural weight loss.

Additional Study

The medical team from the Dr. Oz television show completed their own study involving green coffee bean extract, which ran over a period of two weeks and included 100 women. In a blind study, half of the women took the coffee bean extract, and half took a placebo three times per day, 30 minutes before each meal. In addition, the women did not change their eating habits or their daily exercise routine, but they were required to keep a food journal of all food consumed.

Overall, the group of women lost 123 pounds over the two-week period, with the women in the green extract group losing most of the weight, at 81.5 pounds. While the other half only received a placebo, they still lost 41.5 pounds as a group over the two weeks. The weight lost in this group might be due to placebo effects or the result of keeping a food journal, which holds people accountable for what they are eating. Although green coffee bean extract has no reported side effects, the long-term safety of this product is unknown. Researchers also have not examined whether this product is safe for people who are suffering from heart disease or other health problems. Therefore, it is a good idea to take simple precautions when adding green coffee bean extract to a daily routine.

  • Always check with a health care provider, especially if one is experiencing health issues or is on prescribed medication.
  • Purchase a reputable brand that lists at least 45 percent chlorogenic acid on the label.
  • Avoid brands that contain a lot of fillers and artificial ingredients.
  • The standard recommended dosage is 400 mg, three times daily, prior to each meal.
  • Individuals with an allergy or sensitivity to coffee or caffeine should not take this product.
  • Consume a nutritional diet, and exercise to ensure healthy weight loss. A food journal is a great weight loss tool, and is now available as a smartphone app.


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