You’ve probably heard about the long-standing health debate on drinking coffee. Researchers go 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. Some believe these compounds have antioxidant effects, help lower blood pressure, and help you lose weight.
Roasting coffee reduces chlorogenic acid content. This is why drinking coffee isn’t thought to have the same weight loss effects as 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 milligrams per day.
Does green coffee extract actually promote weight loss? There haven’t been a lot of studies on chlorogenic acids and their effectiveness as weight loss supplements. A review of human studies did show that green coffee extract may have the potential to help with weight loss. But the documented effects on weight loss were small, and the studies weren’t long term. The studies were also poorly designed. So, there isn’t enough evidence to say that the supplements are effective or safe. More research is needed.
Negative side effects for green coffee extract are the same as regular coffee since the extract still contains caffeine. Common side effects of caffeine are:
- upset stomach
- increased heart rate
- frequent urination
- trouble sleeping
Since green coffee beans became popular, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued at least one company for false marketing and making unrealistic claims about weight loss. Senators on Capitol Hill questioned Dr. Oz for promoting green coffee beans 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. Scientific research should back dietary supplement claims. 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. But dietary supplements don’t require FDA approval 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 bean 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. Make sure they aren’t being accused of fraud or contaminating their products with unlisted ingredients. It’s also important to discuss any supplements with your doctor, especially if you have other conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, or are taking medications.
How to lose weight
Long-term weight loss is about adopting a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it. Green coffee bean extract may 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) recommends 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.
There needs to be research more research on the effectiveness of green coffee bean extract in aiding weight loss. Be an educated and skeptical consumer and do research before trying this, or any, supplement.
Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements. They can help you decide whether you should add supplements to your diet, and offer tips on how to properly lose weight.