What Is Green Coffee?
Green coffee refers to the beans from Coffea fruits which have not yet been roasted. It can be taken as a supplementary extract. By not having been exposed to high temperatures, green coffee beans maintain much higher concentrations of chlorogenic acid than roasted coffee. Green coffee beans still contain significant amount of caffeine. It has been used not only for weight loss but also to treat a variety of ailments such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The green coffee diet has sparked much research but also equal amounts of controversy and scepticism (1).
Take Home Note:
Green coffee is simply the unroasted version of the coffee beans that most people know very well. Extracts from this bean have been associated with weight loss and other health benefits. Green coffee extract as a dietary supplement is still a topic of controversy.
What Does Scientific Research Say?
Scientific research has determined that green coffee beans are very high in antioxidant components. One study, conducted on mice, monitored levels of triglycerides in the blood whilst taking green coffee extract. The study found that taking green coffee bean extract reduced body weight and visceral fat content. It also reduced the amount of circulating triglycerides (2).
A systematic review which looked at a range of studies found that taking green coffee extract did reduce body weight. The study did note that there was a degree of bias and poor methodological quality in some of the reviewed studies. It concludes that the results of the studies are promising but more conclusive evidence is needed to make a scientific determination about the link between green coffee extract and weight loss (3).
Take Home Note:
There has been scientific research into the topic of whether taking green coffee bean extract does help with weight loss. There is still much debate in scientific literature but the majority of studies seem to find that taking this extract does help weight loss.
How Does Green Coffee Help Weight Loss?
A scientific study determined that when fat cells, called adipocytes, are exposed to chlorogenic acid and caffeine , they release more fatty acids which is a sign of a breakdown of the fats within the cell (4).
The same study reviewed evidence that chlorogenic acid inhibits enzymes involved in the glucose-6-phosphate system. This system is involved with the release of glucose from stores within the body. If this process occurs but is not properly regulated, it can result in a loss of glucose homeostasis, insulin release and subsequent storage of the glucose as fat.
Another study found that green coffee bean extract contains high levels of antioxidants. As mentioned earlier, this is the general consensus of scientific studies. But this study went into more detail and found that the compounds present in green coffee bean extract inhibit the enzyme lipoxygenase. Lipoxygenase produces chemical mediators called leukotrienes. Leukotrienes, in turn, cause inflammation and constriction of the airways that is associated with asthma. Uncontrolled levels of leukotrienes can result in organ damage and cancer. This study therefore found the foundation of the beneficial effects seen when taking green coffee bean extract (5).
Take Home Note:
There are three mechanisms which have been discussed in scientific literature that relate taking green coffee bean extract and fat-burning and weight loss. One mechanism also explains many of the other health benefits that have been seen and associated with taking green coffee bean extract.
How Much Should Be Taken To Help Weight Loss?
One study was conducted using 400 mg of green coffee extract given 30 minutes before each meal. The study concluded that green coffee bean extract helped weight loss and burned fat. Other studies have shown that the same weight loss effect, or an even greater one, can be achieved by taking just 350 mg 3 times a day. If you are considering taking green coffee bean extract, it is important to buy the supplement from a trusted manufacturer that does not provide a dosage that is too high or one that is too low. A good indicator of a trustworthy manufacturer is if they sell a range of health products and if they have many good customer reviews about their products (6).
Take Home Note:
The optimal dosage of green coffee bean extract has not yet been determined by relevant clinical authorities but some studies indicate the optimal dose is between 300 and 400 mg of the extract. When buying supplements, great caution must be taken to choose trustworthy manufacturers.
Are There Any Side Effects To Taking Green Coffee?
The majority of the side effects from taking green coffee bean extract are as a result of the presence of caffeine. Common side effects associated with caffeine are:
- Possible addiction or dependence
- Abnormal blood glucose levels
- Increased bleeding
- Increased levels of homocysteine, which can cause brain degeneration
The side effects of caffeine have been studied for many years. There has been much debate and controversy about taking caffeine. Researchers have determined that if the correct dose of caffeine is taken, it is unlikely for side-effects to manifest. It is important to stop use of any supplement immediately if adverse effects occur (7).
Take Home Note:
There are a few side effects associated with caffeine intake. It is important to make sure that you are not overdosing and that you stop If any adverse signs occur.
There appears to be very little harm in trying to lose weight using a green coffee bean extract supplement. The research is relatively novel, but it does seem to support the fact that taking green coffee bean extract helps weight loss, so the best way to determine if it will work is to try it. In such a case, it is important to do the correct research, take the correct dosage and stop if any major side effects occur. It is well advised to consult a physician before undertaking this commitment and above all, making sure that your holistic health takes preference.