green-coffee-beans (CC) ASGW/Flickr

Magic (Weight Loss) Coffee Beans?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 | Tags: , , , , , ,

All the recent hype about green coffee bean supplements as the key to weight loss had more than a few people at our office a little, well, hyper! You'd think everyone's been drinking too much coffee. But it's true, Dr. Oz is saying this is the most exciting study he has seen on weight loss supplements in a long time...

In a nutshell, a study was released in January 2012 in  Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity that showed some very promising results.  Sixteen people were given either 700 or 1050 milligrams of green coffee bean extract daily for 12 weeks.  The result?  The testers lost an average of almost 18 pounds each!  

Doctor Oz also had a couple of his audience members try it for a week and both experienced a weight loss of a few pounds in that short time period.  And this is by taking the supplements only and not making any other changes to lifestyle.  No wonder everyone’s excited.  But being the skeptics that we are we just had to check it out.

For some background, green coffee refers to the unroasted beans.  Coffee contains hundreds of components, including chlorogenic acid, which has been specifically shown to inhibit the formation of sugar in the liver.  And various studies have shown that chlorogenic acid slows the formation of fat from food.  But drinking your morning cup of Joe probably won’t do much to promote weight loss since the roasting process removes most of the chlorogenic acid.  Hence the need to take unroasted, or “green” coffee supplements.

I along with Kristina and a couple of other friends decided to do our own test.  We each took the pills for one month. The supplements we got recommended 800 mg per day (one pill, twice a day, 30 minutes before eating.  Simple enough, but I had a couple of false starts as I kept forgetting to take them).  

One of our testers lost seven pounds.  I lost two pounds, and neither Kristina nor our other friend lost any weight.  We clearly did not have the same experience as the testers in either study.  

But here’s the thing, all the participants in the above studies were considered obese (a BMI of over 25), whereas none of us really needs to lose much or any weight.  So perhaps this is not an option for those who are just trying to lose those last 5 or 10 pounds.  Or maybe it will take much longer.  Because after all, aren’t the first ten the easiest to lose?  And what about keeping it off?  Do you have to stay on the pills forever?  

As for side effects, Kristina reported having wacky dreams, and another tester, even though it’s a low amount of caffeine, said she had trouble falling asleep.  If you do decide to take this supplement, make sure the product you choose one that contains at least 45% chlorogenic acid.  It will be listed as GCA or Svetol.  Ignore the word “pure” on the label as it doesn’t mean anything.  

Research we’ve read says the supplement should not be taken by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.  And of course it’s always wise to consult your doctor before taking any type of medication, even a cup of coffee in pill form!

Have you tried these magic beans? We’d love to hear about your results. Post your comments below!


Photo credit:  (CC) ASGW/Flickr 

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  • Stacie

    Interesting read, I got the magic beans from my mum in law, and I am starting today…will let you know how it goes…

    • annaandkristina

      Great! Looking forward to hearing your results.

  • Stacie Donovan

    so 30 days in, I have lost 10 lbs, however, Im not sure I can attribute it all to the bean…I do a 3 mile power walk each morning and have been sticking to a strict 1200 cal/day diet. I think it does help me feel more full…but not too sure that Id have the same results without the balance of exercise and diet. I have 60 days left…..

    • annaandkristina

      Congrats on the 10lbs, Stacie! Sounds like all that exercise and the restricted diet might be a pretty big factor, though, you’re right.