New research shows that extracts from unroasted green coffee beans, taken in supplement form, can cause people to lose more than 10 percent of their body weight -- without dieting or added exercise.
University of Scranton scientists revealed their surprising results in the Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity Journal after studying subjects who took the supplement.
The study, which drew wide attention after it was highlighted by popular TV host and Newsmax Health contributor Dr. Mehmet Oz, concluded “GCA may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight in pre-obese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults.”
Heather Hausenblas, of the University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance, says the Scranton study is only the latest research to point up the benefits of green coffee extracts contained in products like GCA and Svetol, another supplement marketed as ReBody Green Coffee Bean Extract Chews.
“Green coffee bean extract offers a clinically proven way to help support metabolism, help control appetite, and help support healthy blood sugar levels,” Hausenblas tells Newsmax. “What is so exciting is the science behind GCB showing its weight-loss effects. The number of weight-loss supplements available is daunting -- and most weight loss supplements do not have clinical research supporting their claims. GCB is clinically proven to support healthy weight management.”
For the Scranton study, presented last year at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, researchers gave 1,050-milligram doses of green coffee extract to 16 overweight adults and tracked their diet, exercise habits, weight, heart rate, and blood pressure for 22 weeks. The results showed the study participants lost an average of 17 pounds --10.5 percent of their body weight -- without making dramatic changes in their diets or exercise routines. No harmful side effects were noted.
Joe Vinson, a chemist at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania who helped conduct the study, suggested the team’s findings echo other research that has found green coffee can safely and effectively help shed pounds, when taken as part of a healthy diet by active individuals.
“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,” said Vinson in a statement.
Green coffee beans -- the raw, unroasted seeds (beans) of Coffea fruits -- are believed to work by blocking fat production and raising metabolism. Green coffee beans are typically cleaned, roasted, ground, and brewed to produce coffee. But the Scranton researchers, among others, have found a chemical in the unroasted beans -- called chlorogenic acid -- appears to be the culprit in driving weight loss, although other studies have suggested caffeine may also be a factor.
Chlorogenic acid has been shown to prevent blood sugar (glucose) from reaching the bloodstream, which can limit fat production. Chlorogenic acid not only metabolizes sugar and fat, but it also helps combat disease-causing free radicals in the bloodstream, which may account for coffee’s many health benefits.
“Chlorogenic acid has specifically been shown to inhibit an enzyme, glucose-6-phosphatase, that promotes the formation of glucose (sugar) in the liver,” notes Hausenblas. “Various studies have suggested that chlorogenic acid slows absorption of fat from food intake and also activates metabolism of extra fat.”
The Scranton study isn’t the only research to find chlorogenic acid promotes weight loss.
A small study by Norwegian researchers, published in the Journal of International Medical Research, found coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid blocked fat absorption and helped 12 people shed pounds. “We conclude that chlorogenic acid ... appears to have a significant effect on the absorption and utilization of glucose from the diet. This effect ... may result in reduced mass and body fat.”
Another study, by French researchers who examined the effects of Svetol on 15 women trying to slim down, also found that it effectively promotes weight loss. “These preliminary results suggest that Svetol is able to modulate glucose metabolism and that this modulation could have an effect on weight management,” the researchers concluded.
Last year, the medical unit for The Dr. Oz Show also conducted a study of green coffee bean extract, under the guidance of consultants Caroline Apovian, M.D., and registered dietician Kristin Kirkpatrick. The study enlisted 100 overweight women to take either the green coffee bean extract (400 milligrams, three times a day) or an inactive placebo. After two weeks, the women who took the green coffee bean extract lost, on average, two pounds -- twice as much as the women who took the placebo.
Hausenblas and other experts note that conventionally brewed coffee doesn’t confer the same weight-loss benefits as green coffee extract because roasting beans removes the chlorogenic acid. But they also point out that many studies have found coffee contains other compounds, some of which may be good for you, including caffeine -- which can raise energy levels, blood pressure, metabolism, heart rate, and breathing.
“Coffee contains hundreds of components, each of which may have potential and independent pharmacological effects,” Hausenblas explains. “Coffee is a notable source of caffeine. However, coffee’s effects on glycemic control and weight loss have been attributed to its other components, including chlorogenic acid, quinides, lignans, and trigonelline, all of which have been shown to improve glucose metabolism in animal studies.”
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