The Italian mice were right. A little over a year ago we reported on a study that showed mice lost weight when given green coffee bean extract. Now articles all over the web are reporting on a recent study which also showed loss of weight from the green coffee extract – this time on humans.
Overweight men and women participated in the 22-week study by alternating the extract and a placebo and engaging in regular exercise. Their diets stayed the same at about 2400 calories. The high dose, about one ounce of extract during the days it was given, was credited with the success of the weight loss, which averaged 10% over that 22 weeks. The researchers said it would have been higher if taken daily with no placebos. This is the highest dose that has been studied so far.
As in other studies, it’s not the caffeine that’s given the credit for the pound shedding. Rather it’s the chlorogenic acid found in raw coffee beans that does the trick. This acid may prevent sugar (glucose) from being absorbed, lowering caloric intake. Unfortunately for coffee lovers, the acid is lost in the process of roasting the beans, so it’s not believed that brewed coffee will provide the benefit. So far no side effects have been identified. The only problem was that the extract capsules are bitter, so it was recommended they be taken with lots of water and with a meal.
None of the articles on the study said anything about how the caffeine affected the participants; if they also drank coffee during the day, it seems this didn’t present a problem. So now, Starbucks is leading what may be a new fad by putting green coffee extract in its new energy drink. That’s an interesting concept, as such drinks are notoriously high in sugar, and the extract is said to prevent sugar’s absorption. Because the study was small, 16 subjects, the researchers want to do a larger one. It also should be noted that the average loss was 10%, but some of the participants lost less. If weight loss is desired over a longer period, it probably would be wise to vary the daily calorie count so the body doesn’t get used to a certain amount and plateau out. Or just ask a mouse how it’s done – they’re always the first to know.