Coffee lovers, rejoice. Well, almost. Scientists are now reporting that the quest for weight loss could be found in green coffee beans. So much so, that people who took a daily dose of the bean’s extract lost 10% of their body weight on average. Is that just too good to be true though? Let’s find out.
Presented at the American Chemical Society, researchers analyzed 16 overweight people with Body Mass Indexes between 25 to 30 who were 22 to 46 years old for 22 weeks. During that time, they were given a low dose 700 mg green coffee extract tablet, a high dose 1,050 mg extract tablet and a placebo.
Participants were told to take three of the capsules each day (not knowing which ones were the low dose, high dose or placebo), 30 minutes before each meal. In addition, participants maintained a diet of 2,400 calories a day and had a reported calorie expenditure of 400 calories–not even close to requirement that someone would need to lose a substantial amount of weight.
After the 22 weeks, participants lost an average of 17 pounds, which equated to a 10.5% decrease in overall body weight and a 16% decrease in body fat.
All from taking a pill that included green coffee extract? Yes, according to researcher, Joe Vinson, Ph.D:
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.
In addition, Vinson said there were no side effects–unlike other weight-loss supplements we’ve encountered in the past.
So what gives? Apparently a substance called chlorogenic acid that is found in these beans when they’re unroasted.
Unfortunately, that weight-loss benefit goes away when coffee beans are roasted, so your daily cup of joe won’t give you the same effect. Although, prior studies have shown that coffee can help reduce depression, Alzheimer’s and even cancer.
Aside from the potential benefits, there are two major problems with this study. First, it only included 16 participants. In order to draw conclusions that green coffee can help someone lose 10% of their body weight, a larger study is in order. Second, it’s a supplement. Getting people to depend on any type of weight-loss supplement is dangerous because they may not be as likely to make other changes so they can live a healthier lifestyle–namely, diet and exercise.
So for now, we say stick with the tried and true methods of weight loss. And enjoy that cup of coffee if you want.