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Green coffee bean extract is the latest natural substance said to speed up weight loss. In a small study, eight men and eight women between the ages of 22 and 46 received a dose of 1,050 mg of green coffee bean extract for six weeks, then a lower dosage of 700 mg for another six weeks and finally a placebo for six weeks.
Between each six-week phase there was a two-week “washout” period during which the participants took no supplements. Results showed that they lost an average of 17.5 pounds in 22 weeks, reducing their overall body weight by 10.5 percent. No side effects were reported. No dieting was involved in the study.
The lead researcher commented that the caffeine in the extract probably was not responsible for the weight loss seen in the study. Instead, he suggests that the green coffee bean extract may have worked by reducing the body’s absorption of fat and glucose, and that the key chemical player was chlorogenic acid, a compound present in green coffee beans.
While these results are interesting, there is much skepticism of these “magic bullet” approaches to weight loss. We certainly need longer, larger studies to assess whether green coffee bean extract is safe and effective long term. In the meantime, to lose weight while maintaining or improving your health, physicians recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet coupled with mindful eating and daily physical activity.