Ever heard of Green Coffee Extract? Ever heard it may help you to shift a few extra pounds? Or is this just another recent band wagon that all your dieters are jumping on?

This article will look at the benefits of using Green Coffee Extract (the most popular weight loss supplement) for losing weight, as well as the pit falls of using this.

As the name suggests, this supplement is extracted from green coffee beans and it contains a compound, called Chlorogenic Acid, which is thought to be the substance responsible in this extract that helps people lose weight. This supplement has received a lot of press and exposure, mainly in America by the diet guru Dr Oz.

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Even though this product is endorsed by this doctor, which would imply it works, many other weight loss supplements actually fail to deliver, so let’s look at the science behind it all so we can weigh up the arguments for both sides.

Most of us probably think coffee beans are naturally brown. We may have heard that coffee beans contain antioxidants and pharmacological compounds, namely caffeine and chlorogenic acid, but would we know coffee beans are in fact green and this chlorogenic acid only exists when the bean is in its natural untouched state?

Your average coffee bean that you see in Starbucks has in fact already been tampered with when roasted, which makes it the more recognisable colour of brown, meaning it contains zero chlorogenic acid and no fat fighting power. So it is still looking like Green Coffee Extract may have some relevance here.

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Now for the weight loss mechanism behind green coffee extract

Green Coffee Extract contains caffeine as we know, which is thought to speed up metabolism by 3-11%. The main active ingredient is chlorogenic acid, which has been suggested in some human studies that it may reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in the digestive tract, which leads to a reduction in blood sugar levels and thus insulin spikes. If this is the case, this would lead to the body thinking it is on a lower carb kind of diet.

Studies conducted in rats and mice suggest chlorogenic acid may reduce body weight, fat absorbed from the diet & fat stored in the liver, plus increase the activity of the fat burning hormone adiponectin.

Another study, this being a gold standard scientific experiment conducted on humans (randomised controlled trial) contained two groups, where one consumed regular instant coffee and the other consumed instant coffee enriched with 200mg of green coffee bean extract. Neither group changed their diets or exercise programmes.

The group taking the instant coffee with green coffee bean extract lost 11.9 pounds and the group taking just instant coffee lost only 3.7 pounds. Body fat percentage also went down by 3.6% in the green coffee extract group, compared to 0.7% in the other group, which suggests this could work as a supplement.

Several other studies have noted significant weight loss in people consuming green coffee bean extract. However, some of these studies were funded by companies that make a profit from the sale of green coffee beans, so this is an important thing to consider when looking at the validity of the results. This doesn’t always mean the results are unsound, but the source of funding can have a significant influence on the outcome.

Green coffee bean extract does appear to have some use as a weight loss aid. However, the majority of studies conducted are small, short-term and often sponsored by companies producing green coffee beans. The only thing really proven to work long-term is changing your diet. Cutting down carbs and increasing protein seems to the best way, as well as avoiding processed or artificial foods.

After considering all of this green coffee bean extract may be worth a try if you are still feeling curious. It may have a minor effect that lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, but I wouldn’t expect miracles. At the end of the day we all know deep down quick fixes are never the answer in the long term when it comes to weight loss!

Article written by Claire Ward.

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