It is a reasonably safe bet that at least half of your patients consume some type of coffee beverage on a daily basis.
According to the National Coffee Association and the Specialty Coffee Association of America, 150 million Americans over the age of 18 drink an average of 3.1 cups of coffee every day.1 This works out to more than half of the adult U.S. population consuming 400 million cups of coffee per day, making the US the leading country in coffee consumption.
It seems pretty clear that your patients likely rely on their daily dose of coffee to get them through the day. Interestingly, the extract from an unprocessed form of coffee beans may provide your patients another type of benefit, in terms of helping with weight loss.
What is this extract, how does it work, and what does the research say about its effectiveness in helping your patients lose weight?
What are green coffee beans?
Before coffee beans are processed and roasted to make your favorite latte or cold-brew coffee, they start out green.2 In their unprocessed form, these coffee beans contain a high amount of chlorogenic acid, a compound found in the coffee plant that is similar to caffeine.3
Chlorogenic acid is thought to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates, which allows it to promote weight loss by reducing blood sugar levels. Although the roasting process reduces the amount of available chlorogenic acid, early research has shown some modest weight loss properties.2-4
Nevertheless, green coffee-bean extract has higher levels of chlorogenic acid, so should promote greater weight loss.
Weight loss and green coffee-bean extract
A 2011 meta-analysis paper in the journal Gastroenterology Research and Practice pooled together the findings from three, randomized, clinical trials, with a total of 142 subjects. This was done to determine commonalities in the findings as to the effectiveness of green coffee-bean extract for weight loss.4
The main advantage to a meta-analysis study is that it can increase the strength of the findings by showing a pattern among smaller papers with similar results.
In the case of this study, the researchers did find that green coffee-bean extracts can modify intestinal glucose uptake, which could explain how it helps with weight loss.4 Overall, the researchers felt that the findings did show a positive effect of green coffee-bean extract on weight loss, but that more study was needed, particularly with larger studies with more subjects.4
A more recent study from 2013, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, compared a weight-loss product that contained green coffee-bean extract to a placebo.
The researchers looked at body weight, fat mass, hip and waist measurements, and energy levels in 70 men and women.5 The subjects also underwent an exercise program for the eight-week duration of the study.
At the end of the study, those who took the weight-loss product had lower body weight, fat mass, and waist and hip girth, and greater lean mass and energy levels. Furthermore, the exercise program helped subjects reduce body fat in both groups.5
The researchers planned to conduct further studies to look at the mechanisms that might explain how the weight-loss product worked.
While the merits of coffee consumption are still rather mixed, recent research does appear to show some benefit for green coffee-bean extract to boost weight loss in conjunction with exercise and a sensible, low fat diet. Even your patients who don’t drink coffee may also benefit from this extract.
- Coffee Statistics 2017. National Coffee Association. Accessed 12/27/2017.
- Green coffee. Accessed 12/27/2017.
- Chlorogenic acid.com. 12/27/2017.
- Onakpoya I, Terry R, Ernst E. (2011). The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterology Research and Practice,
- Lopez HL, Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, et al. (2013). Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10, 22.