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The Lowdown on the Green Coffee Bean

It’s one of the most common ingredients used in modern day diet pills and by now most people in the health and fitness industry have heard of it. But what exactly is it and what can it do for you?

green coffee beans in wooden bowl

In this investigation we will dig deeper and see if it really is as good as some people say, what did the clinical trials show and what effect does it have on your body? These are only a few of the questions that will be answered.

What exactly is Green Coffee Bean?

Green coffee bean is basically unroasted coffee beans in their raw form. Not roasting the coffee beans means that the inner structure of the bean is affected.

They have been processed by wet or dry methods for removing the outer pulp and mucilage, leaving a wax layer on the surface. When they are roasted it reduces the chemical chlorogenic acid, which is said to help with weight loss.

In was only in the mid 2000s that green coffee extract was sold as a nutritional supplement.

Does it work?

Lots of people claim that it has helped them to lose weight but the evidence to suggest this doesn’t carry a lot of weight.

Some companies use artificial fillers and binders in the pills to save money so you must go for a supplement that contains at least 45% Chlorogenic Acid (GCA -Green Coffee Antioxidant) to get an effective dosage and avoid side effects that come from fillers.

Have there been any clinical trials?

In 2012, a study published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, showed that obese test subjects lost an average of 18 pounds in just 12 weeks. It was done on 8 men and 8 women. They were given a high dose, a low dose and a placebo, in 3 separate 6-week-long experiments.

“It has a significant weight loss” associated with it, according to Dr. Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and lead author of the study.

Nutrition and obesity experts are concerned over the validity of this study. They did not like that it was a short study and that it had an odd and unconventional design. The test subjects continued to lose weight with the placebo so the green coffee bean might not have been responsible.

“Clearly there’s nothing special about it,” said Dr. Arya Sharma, a professor of medicine and chair of obesity research and management at the university of Alberta.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Dr. Oz also did a test conducted on a hundred test subjects who were told to use a food journal and to not change their regular diet in any way. The results were a loss of a pound per week, twice the weight loss for those only using the food journal.

The Federal Trade Commission fined the guest on the show, Lindsey Duncan, $9 million for making deceptive and unsubstantiated claims related to green coffee products. His companies consisted of Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc. He claimed that his supplement could help consumers lose 17 pounds in 12 weeks without diet or exercise.

Lindsey Duncan and his companies made millions by falsely claiming that green coffee bean supplements cause significant and rapid weight loss.

-Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

This case shows that the Federal Trade Commission will continue to fight deceptive marketers’ attempts to prey on consumers trying to improve their health.

Source: Federal Trade Commission

Something both studies had in common was that there were no side effects reported amongst the participants, which seems a bit far-fetched.

Is it safe?

A serving of green coffee contains 20mg of caffeine so it is seen as being safe at that dosage as it is unlikely to cause side effects.

There is no standardization when it comes to supplements, so manufacturers don’t need to follow a specific formula. Some will be more concentrated which could cause more side effects than others.

What are the benefits?

The chlorogenic acid in green coffee beans is thought to have health benefits for heart disease, diabetes, weight loss and more. It also contains antioxidants that may help against premature aging, as well as cancer, coronary heart disease and altitude sickness.

It could enhance and boost overall metabolic rate of the human body. It ideally speeds up metabolism by altering the means in which glucose in blood is absorbed into the body. It seems that it gets rid of the urge to eat between meals, allowing the body to burn excess fat and eliminate the stored up fatty acids and calories in the system.

What about side effects?

No side effects were reported in the studies, which seemed off, but a further investigation showed us that it could be true.

WebMD said that it:

is possibly safe based on the limited research that has been done in people so far. In clinical research, no serious side effects were reported when green coffee or green coffee extract was taken by mouth at appropriate doses.

Source: WebMD

It could cause caffeine related side effects as it does contain caffeine like the regular coffee. Side effects include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased heart and breathing rate

Large amounts of caffeine can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Irregular heartbeats

There are special warnings given out to certain types of people to do with these ingredients. They say for pregnant and breast-feeding women to avoid using this to stay on the safe side.

Some research suggests that the caffeine in it could change the way people with diabetes process sugar. It can cause increases and decreases in blood sugar, so use with caution and always monitor blood sugar levels carefully.

Caffeine can worsen diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome if taken in large amounts.

When taken in high doses over a short period of time it can increase the levels of an amino acid, homocysteine, in the body, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Other components of green coffee, diterpenes, have been associated with increased cholesterol levels which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

The caffeine in green coffee could increase blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure but is less likely in those who consume caffeine regularly. It could also increase the amount of calcium flushed out in the urine which will affect people with osteoporosis. Caffeine should be limited to 300mg per day, which is approximately 2-3 cups.

Source: WebMD

Products that contain Green Coffee Bean?

Svetol is a product that was first marketed in 2002 as a dietary supplement once it was developed by a French phytochemical and plant extract company called Berkem. It contains at least 45% chlorogenic acid and in 2013 EuroPharma added it to its line. It became an active ingredient in CoffeeSlender, a weight-loss product in Norway and was launched in the UK in 2006. In 2013 Svetol became the number one ingredient in the U.S. once it was brought over by Naturex and is used in 100 products.

We’ve reviewed quite a few products that contain green coffee bean, such as:

Take a look and decide for yourselves whether Green Coffee Bean is worth all the hype.

Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.



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