Whenever I hear of a miracle weight-loss food my usual reaction is: “Whatever...” Losing weight entails too many variables in our body for just one single food to work the magic. Eating less, eating better and exercising is what usually works when one wants to drop a few pounds.
But, my beliefs can be wrong, as scientists have just reported striking new evidence that green coffee beans can produce a substantial decrease in body weight in a relatively short period of time.
So that might be it? All we need is to chew some green coffee beans and all our fat-related problems will suddenly disappear?
As usual, it’s not that easy, but there might be something going on here.
In a study presented at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in San Diego, California, Joe Vinson (Ph.D.), a chemist at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, described how a group of overweight or obese people who consumed a fraction of an ounce of ground green coffee beans each day lost about 10% of their body weight.
“Based on our results, taking multiple capsules of green coffee extract a day — while eating a low fat, healthful diet and exercising regularly — appears to be a safe, effective, inexpensive way to lose weight,” study author Joe Vinson said in a statement.
Researchers gave up to 1,050 milligrams of green coffee bean extract to 16 overweight adults in their 20s and monitored their diet, exercise regimen, weight, heart rate and blood pressure for 22 weeks. Without changing their diet or exercise, study subjects lost roughly 10.5%, an average of 17 pounds, in overall body weight.
It was a so-called "cross-over" study in which people cycled through the two doses and the placebo, each for six weeks. Such studies have advantages because each person serves as his or her own "control," improving the chances of getting an accurate result.
"Their calories, carbohydrates, fats and protein intake did not change during the study, nor did their exercise regimen change," Vinson said.
However, it’s still not clear how green coffee bean extract contributes to weight loss.
But Prof. Vinson theorizes a chemical in the unroasted bean called chlorogenic acid could be responsible. Other experts suspect the stimulant properties of caffeine could be the culprit.
“I’d be happier if the research included pure caffeine, in the same amount as is contained in the two doses of green coffee bean extract,” said Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian and associate professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “Then you’d know if the effects are due solely to caffeine or to something else in the beans, or to some combination thereof.”
Although green coffee bean extract may be of some benefit for people seeking weight loss, experts say the small study should be interpreted with caution.
“It’s premature to recommend this approach,” said Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center to ABC News. “The effects, if real, are likely to be modest and we don’t know if they last over time.”
“It’s a supplement, not a substitute,” Katz added. “The emphasis will always need to be on overall diet and physical activity.”
Silver lining is that no harmful side effect were noted. If you want to give a shot, green coffee bean extract is sold as a supplement in the United States.
However, I would like to try the green coffee beans. They say they have a little aroma and a slightly bitter taste. I’m gonna buy some pretty soon because I’m just too curious about them.
The Iron You