The nutrition and weight loss community is all a-buzz with talk about a new (well, sort of new) product called “green coffee extract” and its awesome potential to make you lose weight and burn copious amounts of fat. But is all the hype legitimate? What is real about this new product and what is just part of unwarranted excitement about another weight loss pill?
This “magical” new weight-loss supplement’s origins are in fact not some magical bean bush that sprouted up overnight in Columbia, Peru, Costa Rica, and the other countries where it is cultivated. In fact, in essence, it is the same thing we’ve been using in our coffee for years! HOWEVER, there is an enormous difference between this green coffee extract and regular brown coffee, which is the key to understanding its potential.
The coffee we drink does not come from raw coffee beans; after being harvested, and processed ( here’s a great “How it’s Made” video on coffee) they are roasted at 350-400°F to bring out the boldest flavors and turn that delectable brown-black color we love to see in our morning cup-o-joe. While the roasting process brings out rich, decadent flavors, it does something detrimental in terms of nutrition profile of the coffee. The roasting process (depending on the exact temperature and time it’s roasted for) eliminates up to 70% of the naturally occurring chlorogenic acid within the bean. Chlorogenic acid is a polyphenol and functions as an antioxidant in the body, eliminating dangerous free-radicals from reeking havoc on your cells.
So the key is chlorogenic acid. There have been multiple studies done proving chlorogenic acid’s positive effects on weight loss. The linked study looked at obese mice who were being fed a diet made up of 37% calories from fat. The mice were fed a 0.02% (wt/wt) dose of chlorogenic acid or Caffeic acid (an antioxidant known to have cancer-fighting properties). The results showed that both acids were successful in lowering triglyceride and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, but interestingly the study also showed Chlorogenic acid to be more potent for weight loss and lipid metabolism reduction than Caffeic acid.
It’s a great feeling when products come out that make great promises involving weight loss, but I am still a little skeptical. If you want to try it, I recommend buying from an extremely reputable source and the most organic, pure version of the extract you can. There’s no need for added gums and mystery fillers; go pure or go home when it comes to green coffee extract.
More research is definitely needed as this is a relatively new supplement, but for now, if you’re interested, try it out and see how it works for you. If you’re maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program already, though, you should know that it will be harder for you to see results than for someone who is extremely overweight.
Now it’s your turn: Have you tried green coffee extract? Did it work for you? Leave a comment below.