Spilling the Beans on Green Coffee Extract
Green Coffee Extract – is it the latest and greatest product on the market to aid in weight loss, or just another gimmick to help boost the diet industry’s $350 billion dollar per year pay day?
Green Coffee Extract, HCG shots, Raspberry Ketones, Coconut Water, Coconut Oil… these are just a few of the recent additions to the diet industry’s “tools” to help people lose weight. Even as a dietitian the number of products for weight loss make my head spin! As if the sheer number of products isn’t enough, add to that trying to keep up on all the latest research on these products – well let’s just say it could be a full time job by itself!
Green Coffee Extract seemed to get its almost instant popularity after Dr. Oz introduced the product to the world on his talk show in May 2012. He told the audience that he and his medical team had conducted a study, and found that the Green Coffee Extract could produce DOUBLE the weight loss over conventional methods like keeping a food diary. As it turns out the participants of the study that were taking the Green Coffee Extract lost 2lbs per person in a 2 week period (on average) vs 1lb per person on the placebo. This research would not lead me to shout from the mountain tops (or on live air as the case may be) that this product was “one of the most important discoveries we’ve made to help with weight loss” as Dr Oz did, but that’s just my opinion.
There has, of course, been other research on the product. Some of the research even seems promising, producing some moderate weight loss in participants. The problem is that many of the studies have been small in number of participants, short in duration (leaving questions to safety and efficacy of use of the product long term), funded by groups in the diet industry that stand to make a profit off its sale (always a red flag!!), and have left scientists to recommend further testing. A safe and effective level to produce weight loss has yet to be clearly determined. There have been few side-effects reported leading some researchers to think that this might be a better choice for effective weight loss over weight loss prescription medications like Orlistat. But since the studies to date have been so short in duration, no one is sure.
In the end, more research is needed to determine an effective dose, if there are side effects and the design of these studies needs to have a larger participant list, be implemented for a longer time period, and funded by an impartial party! Maybe someday it will be determined that Green Coffee Extract is a miracle product, but at this point the research just isn’t strong enough to recommend this product as a safe and effective weight loss aid.
What does work – yes you have heard it a million times… Lifestyle Changes! Keep working on eating healthier (more whole grains, more fruits and vegetables, limit processed foods) and being active – these have been proven time and time again to effective, and safe!!
Tracey is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Plattsburgh, NY. She enjoys cooking healthy recipes for her family, and loves involving her daughter in the process. On her blog, she shares meal prep ideas, healthy recipes, nutrition tips and even gardening tips (to help you eat more whole foods). Check out her social media sites for more great tips.