Green Coffee may aid Weight Loss

Unroasted green coffee beans appear associated with greater weight loss

March 29, 2012 / Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

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(dailyRx News) While roasted, brewed coffee can pick up your energy levels, there's new evidence that green, unroasted coffee beans can offer a pick-me-up for your weight loss goals.

New research from a small study has revealed that extract from unroasted coffee beans may help people lose weight when paired with regular exercise and a good diet. The study was funded by a company which manufactures green coffee extract supplements.

"Always talk with your doctor before starting a supplement."

Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, and colleagues studied the data from a small study from India, conducted by Mysore Nagendran, of the Health Sciences Clinic in Bangalore, India, that involved 16 overweight people between the ages of 22 and 26.

The participants had a body mass index of 25 to 30 and ate a 2400-calorie diet. They also did not have any underlying disease conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

The study was conducted in six-week increments across 22 weeks total. Each person was studied while following the regimen for each of three scenarios so that their weight loss could be compared across the six-week time frames.

During one six-week period, a participant took a capsule with 700mg of the coffee extract once daily. During a different six-week period, the same person took a 1,050mg capsule of the extract. And during the third period, the person took a placebo capsule.

During the full study period, the exercise and calorie consumption of the participants was tracked. According to Vinson, the participants' activity level and intake of calories, carbohydrates, fats and protein did not change over the 22 weeks.

By the end of the study, the participants has lost an average of 10.5 percent of their overall body weight - averaging 17 pounds for the group - and about 16 percent of their body fat.

"You saw the largest weight loss with the high dose and a significant weight loss with the low dose," Vinson told dailyRx. "There was no significant weight loss for the placebo." He said greater weight loss may have occurred had the participants taken the high dose capsule during the entire study period.

The study results could not, however, conclusively establish that the green coffee extract caused or sped up the weight loss, especially for such a small group.

Vinson said no side effects were reported, and the participants did not change their diet during the course of the study, though he did say they ate a typical diet for an Indian person, not a typical American diet.

An additional benefit observed during the study, Vinson told dailyRx, was that the participants had a drop in their resting heart rate, which typically only occurs with a significant increase in regular exercise.

"That's a wonderful thing to have happen to a normal person," Vinson said. He said the resting heart rate dropped an average of two beats per minute across the participant group.

Although this study was fairly small, Vinson said there are plans to do a larger study.

Green coffee bean extract can be purchased over the counter in a variety of mg doses and is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A package of 30 capsules of 500 mg of green coffee bean extract costs approximately $12 to $15.

The research, which was funded by green coffee antioxidant manufacturer Applied Food Sciences, was presented March 27 at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in San Diego. The paper is available to the public in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.