By Michael A. Smith, MD
What we’re talking about with this study is an extract derived from green coffee beans. These young coffee beans are rich in chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant currently known for helping to tame blood sugar spikes. As it turns out, that same chlorogenic acid may also be able to help you drop some pounds. Pretty convenient, isn’t it?
And that’s a real good thing considering Americans are heavier than ever before in history. As such, anything that shows weight loss properties is quick to catch the interest of researchers and consumers alike.
Let’s take a look at the study.
Green Coffee Bean Extract Weight Loss Study SetupThis was a 22-week crossover study conducted to examine the effectiveness and safety of a commercial green coffee bean extract and its impact on weight loss and body mass. The study enrolled a total of 16 overweight adults.1
The test subjects received a 1050 mg, high-dose coffee extract, a low 700 mg dose or placebo in separate 6-week treatment periods. Each period was followed by a 2-week washout period to reduce any influence of the preceding treatments.
Let’s look at what one person, let’s call him Dan, would have gone through given the methodology laid out in the study (Dan is completely fictional and his numbers reflect the averages for the study subjects):
- Dan is 33 years old and overweight. His BMI is 28. He’s otherwise healthy, with no medical problems. Dan eats 2400 calories a day. He is enrolled into the study and told not to make any changes to his diet.
- Dan is given 1050 mg per day of the coffee extract. He continues to eat about 2400 calories a day. This goes on for 6 weeks. This is labeled “arm 1” of the study.
- Dan stops taking the extract and returns to his “normal” life for 2 weeks. This is the first washout phase.
- Dan is now given 700 mg per day of the coffee extract. Again, he eats about 2400 calories a day. This goes on for another 6 weeks. This is labeled “arm 2” of the study.
- Dan stops taking the extract for another 2 weeks. This the second washout phase.
- Lastly, Dan is given a placebo for 6 weeks. He follows the same diet as previously described. This is labeled “arm 3” of the study.
Green Coffee Extract Leads to Weight LossWith no change in diet, all subjects lost significant weight, experienced a decrease in BMI and dropped their percent body fat. And these positive changes only occurred when taking the green coffee bean extract.1
The authors write, “The results are consistent with human and animal studies and a meta-analysis of the efficacy of green coffee extract in weight loss. The results suggest that green coffee extract may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight loss in pre-obese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults.”
And remember, this is going beyond just the caffeine. This shows that a green coffee extract, rich in chlorogenic acid, can lead to significant weight loss in pre-obese adults. The exact mechanism is unknown but definitely warrants further investigation.
Pretty interesting, isn’t it?
- Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:21-7. Epub 2012 Jan 18.
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