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Green Coffee Bean: Weight Loss Fact or Fiction?

What is green coffee bean extract?

Highlights

  1. Green coffee beans are unroasted coffee beans. Many people claim that taking green coffee bean extract can help with weight loss.
  2. More research needs to be done on the effectiveness of this extract in helping with weight loss.
  3. The most effective way to lose weight is to reduce your calorie intake and to exercise.

You’ve probably heard about the longstanding health debate on drinking coffee. Researchers have gone back and forth on whether the popular brew is good for you. There is also controversy about the use of green coffee beans. They became well known as a weight loss supplement after being featured on “The Dr. Oz Show.”

Green coffee bean extract comes from coffee beans that haven’t been roasted. Coffee beans contain compounds known as chlorogenic acids. These compounds are believed to have antioxidant activities, help lower blood pressure, and help you lose weight. When coffee is roasted, its chlorogenic acid content is greatly reduced. This is why drinking coffee is not thought to have the same weight-loss effects produced by the unroasted beans.

The extract is sold as a pill and can be found online or in health food stores. A typical dose is between 60 to 185 mg a day.

Uses

Chlorogenic acids haven’t been widely studied as a weight loss supplement for people. This study shows that green coffee extract may have the potential to help with weight loss. However, the documented effects on weight loss were small and the studies weren’t long term. There isn’t enough evidence to say that the supplement is effective or safe.

Negative side effects for green coffee extract haven’t been reported, but the extract does contain caffeine. Common side effects of caffeine are:

  • upset stomach
  • increased heart rate
  • frequent urination
  • trouble sleeping
  • restlessness
  • anxiety

What should I look out for?

Since green coffee beans became popular, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued at least one company for false marketing and making unrealistic claims about weight loss. Dr. Oz himself has been questioned by senators on Capitol Hill for promoting this and other “miracle” weight-loss products without adequate scientific support.

Both the FTC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend doing research and using caution when it comes to supplements. Dietary supplement claims should be based on scientific research, and you should be skeptical of products that claim to help you drop weight fast without changing your habits.

The FTC is responsible for making sure companies don’t use misleading language to confuse and deceive consumers, and the FDA regulates ingredients and product labels. However, dietary supplements don’t have to be approved by the FDA before they go on the market. Private companies are responsible for doing their own research and testing. The FDA may not get involved until reports of false claims or dangerous side effects surface.

Like many other supplements, green coffee beans may be marketed as a natural solution to weight loss. The term “natural” is common in the supplement industry, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a product is safe. In fact, there is no legal definition of “natural.” Many plants that grow in nature can be deadly, and natural supplements can still have added, unnatural ingredients.

If you’re thinking about trying green coffee beans as part of your weight loss plan, check the company you’re buying from on the FTC’s website to make sure they aren’t being accused of fraud or being contaminated with other unlisted ingredients. It’s also important to discuss any supplements with your doctor, especially if you have other conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or are taking medications.

What else can I do to lose weight?

Long-term weight loss is about adopting a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it. Green coffee bean extract may have some potential to help, but many experts agree that there is no substitute for maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend cutting your daily calorie intake by 500 to 1000 calories and getting 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

Outlook

More research needs to be done on the effectiveness of green coffee bean extract on aiding weight loss. Be an educated and skeptical consumer and do research before trying this, or any, supplement. As always, talk to your doctor before taking supplements. They can help you decide whether you should add them to your diet, and they can offer tips on how to properly lose weight. 

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