Green Coffee Bean Extract Health – Truth Set Straight
For centuries, people have enjoyed a cup of coffee as a morning wake-up or an after dinner treat. For a while, a shadow was cast on the healthiness of coffee. In recent years, however, the health benefits of coffee, and specifically the coffee bean, have been highlighted in various scientific studies. According to these studies, green coffee beans have been shown to promote weight loss and to lower blood pressure.
The Story of Green Coffee Bean Extract
Coffee trees are grown in many different countries located primarily around the equator. The coffee plant produces coffee berries containing seeds which are commonly called coffee beans because they have an appearance similar to beans.
Coffee berries are usually picked by hand, although in a few countries machines are used. The most common method is called strip picking, which removes all of the berries from the branch at once regardless of whether they are a ripe red or unripe green. For higher quality coffee, only the red ripe beans are selectively picked to provide the best taste.
Once picked, the berries are processed to remove the fruit from the seeds. There are two main processing methods. Wet processing uses large amounts of water to sort bad coffee berries from good ones and to strip the fruit from the seed. Dry processing uses the heat of the sun to dry out the fruit so that it can be removed from the seed. Wet processing produces a coffee with a milder taste than dry processing, but it also produces a significant amount of coffee waste water that can be a pollutant to the environment.
After drying, the coffee beans are hulled and completely cleaned of any last fruit residue. They are sorted to remove bad fruit and also to separate the larger, heavier beans from the lighter, smaller ones that will produce a lower quality coffee.
The final step to make the coffee beans ready for brewing is to roast them. Unroasted coffee beans are considered “green” and are rarely used for coffee because of their bitter flavor. In their unroasted state, coffee beans contain important nutritional compounds that can be extracted to make green coffee bean extract.
Scientists have been studying coffee for years to determine if it has beneficial or harmful effects on people’s health. The results have been mixed. Among other benefits, research has shown that coffee consumption reduces the danger of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and gallstones. However, there are indications that coffee could contribute to higher cholesterol and can interfere with the absorption of iron. In addition, excessive caffeine can contribute to insomnia and anxiety.
In spite of all the interest in coffee itself, there has been less interest in green coffee bean extract until recently. In the past decade, scientists have begun studying green coffee bean extract and have discovered some interesting health benefits.
Green Coffee Bean Extract Science For Weight Loss
In 2011, a study by Dr. Joe Vinson looked at the effect of green coffee bean extract on weight loss. This study followed 16 participants for a period of 22 weeks. During that time period, the participants were instructed not to change their diets or exercise habits. On average, the participants consumed around 2,400 calories per day and engaged in exercise that burned around 400 calories, so they were not following a low-calorie or high-exercise lifestyle. The study was a double-blind and placebo-controlled experiment, meaning that the experimenters didn’t know which participants were getting the green coffee bean extract and which ones were getting placebos.
During the study, the subjects were given a weaker dose of green coffee bean extract, a stronger dose of the extract and a placebo at different times. Each dose was take for six weeks, with a two-week rest period in between to clear out the effects of the previous dose. The participants’ weight loss while they were taking doses of the green coffee bean extract was compared against their own weight loss while on the placebo.
In every case, the participants lost weight while on the green coffee bean extract. They experienced slightly higher weight loss with the higher dose but lost almost no weight at all while on the placebo. The participants lost an average of 17 pounds during the course of the study, and their body fat was reduced by 16 percent. Perhaps most importantly, none of the participants experienced any side effects.
The factor that seemed to promote weight loss wasn’t caffeine, as might be expected. In fact, the green coffee bean extract being used had less than 55 mg of caffeine, significantly lower than the 100 mg of caffeine found in the average cup of coffee. The ingredient that promoted weight loss was an natural compound called chlorogenic acid. This antioxidant is found in green coffee beans but is removed by the roasting process, so there is very little cholorogenic acid in brewed coffee.
Chlorogenic acid inhibits the release of glucose into the blood stream. When glucose enters the bloodstream after eating, the liver releases insulin to counteract the glucose. Insulin triggers the body to store the energy from glucose as fat. By slowing down the glucose that enters the bloodstream, chlorogenic acid reduces fat absorption. At the same time, it causes the liver to metabolize fat more quickly.
When Dr. Vinson’s study was made public, it caused a stir in the health and weight loss communities. While natural supplements that promise to promote weight loss are a dime a dozen, it’s rare to have studies that back up their claims. Although Dr. Vinson’s study only included a small number of people, the promising results suggest that green coffee bean extract can have a significant impact on people’s weight loss efforts without any side effects. Dr. Vinson intends to follow up with a larger study, and the results will be eagerly awaited.
Review of Green Coffee Extract Study Benefits
Dr. Vinson’s study isn’t the first time that green coffee bean extract has been shown to have beneficial properties. Several studies have shown that chlorogenic acid and green coffee bean extract specifically help to reduce blood pressure. One study performed in 2005 by Japanese researchers used a placebo and doses of 46 mg, 93 mg and 185 mg of green coffee bean extract to test the effect of the extract on mildly hypertensive individuals. Both the 93 mg and the 185 mg doses produced significant lowering of blood pressure without any side effects.
Another study done on rats looked at the effect of chlorogenic acid, one of the main components of green coffee bean extract, on the levels of cholesterol in the liver. The study found that chlorogenic acid reduced cholesterol levels and improved glucose tolerance.
Study after study has shown the beneficial effects of green coffee bean extract and chlorogenic acid. The combination of scientific data showing weight loss and reduced blood pressure in addition to a lack of side effects makes green coffee bean extract a powerful tool for greater health.
Green Coffee Extract Dosage and Safety Information
Green coffee bean extract capsules are usually sold as 800 mg doses to be taken twice daily with water. This is a higher dose than what was given to subjects in Dr. Vinson’s study, who received either 1,050 mg a day or 700 mg a day at different points in the study. It isn’t recommended that you go over the dosage listed by the manufacturer of the product you buy. Although the caffeine in green coffee bean extract is minimal, you can still become jittery if you take too much.
This supplement hasn’t been studied in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their doctor before use or simply avoid the supplement until they are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding.
Because green coffee bean extract lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, people with hypoglycemia, diabetes, or hypertension should consult their doctor before use, especially if they are on medications for their condition. In general, it is good to check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplement while on prescription medications.
Green Coffee Bean Extract and Diet
The scientific evidence points to green coffee bean extract aiding in weight loss even without major changes in diet and exercise. In Dr. Vinson’s study, participants were counseled about healthy eating but told not to change their diet or exercise routines during the study. Every one of them still lost weight.
Common sense, however, tells us that eating in a healthy manner and incorporating exercise into our daily routine will make us healthier and give us more energy. The problem many people having when trying to eat right and exercise for weight loss is the feeling of discouragement that comes from not seeing quick results.
Green coffee bean extract can help boost the results of a healthy eating plan and exercise, encouraging people to stick with their new routine long enough to see lasting results. The additional health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, stabilized blood sugar and lower cholesterol, and the lack of side effects give even more reason to incorporate green coffee bean extract into a healthy lifestyle.