News stories about green coffee bean extract (GCBE) have been making the rounds on various media outlets and social networking forums, most of which point to GCBE’s use in weight loss regimes. However, the supplement has been shown to help lower blood pressure, as well.
In their simplest form, green coffee beans are unroasted coffee beans. The alleged health benefits come from the beans’ polyphenol antioxidants, derived from the chlorogenic acids (CGA) family, which research has found may affect blood vessels, help with hypertension, and also affect the body’s response to metabolism and blood sugar, thus helping with weight loss.1,2
There have been several studies exploring the effects of GCBE on weight loss and blood pressure.
One of those studies, published in the Natural Medicine Journal, found that “GCBE supplementation may be effective in promoting weight loss in overweight/obese subjects.” The study included six randomized trials, ranging from four to 22 weeks.
Research “revealed a large effect size for GCBE with overweight/obese individuals on weight loss compared to a null effect for normal weight individuals with mild hypertension … no effects were observed in normal weight subjects with mild hypertension.”3
Another study, conducted on hypertensive rats and humans, stated that GCBE “is effective in decreasing blood pressure and safe for patients with mild hypertension.” Researchers recorded the blood pressure, pulse rate, body mass index, routine blood test results, hematochemistry, urinalysis and subjective symptoms of 28 randomized subjects.4
During the test period, the group receiving the extract showed significant blood pressure decreases, while the placebo group did not. There were also no obvious side effects.4
Claims have been made that GCBE products are sometimes helpful with infections, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease; however, there is not enough research or evidence to back up these claims as of yet.1,2
1Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. “Green Coffee.” WebMD.com. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1264-green%20coffee.aspx?activeingredientid=1264&activeingredientname=green%20coffee. Published 2009. Accessed August 2014.
2New York University Langone Medical Center. “Green Coffee Bean Extract.” Med.NYU.edu. http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=132201. Updated August 2013. Accessed August 2014.
3Hausenblas H, Huynh B. “Effects of Green Coffee Bean Extract on Weight Loss.” Natural Medicine Journal. http://naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2014-03/effects-green-coffee-bean-extract-weight-loss. Published March 2014. Accessed August 2014.
4Arai Y, Kajihara Y, Kusaura T, Mitsui Y, Okawa W, Saito I, Watanabe T. “The blood pressure-lowering effect and safety of chlorogenic acid from green coffee bean extract in essential hypertension.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16820341. Published July 2006. Accessed August 2014.