Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee bean extract is a popular weight loss and health supplement, but does it work, and is it safe?
Green coffee beans, or raw coffee beans, are coffee beans that are not roasted. Green coffee bean extract is a popular weight loss supplement.
Some research also suggests that green coffee bean extract could have health benefits, such as improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This belief stems from the antioxidant properties and other pharmacologically active compounds in the unroasted beans.
Green coffee extract contains chlorogenic acids, which are a group of antioxidant compounds that scientists believe may be responsible for its health effects.
This article looks at what the research says about green coffee bean extract, including its possible health benefits, how it works, uses and dosage, and possible risks.
What are green coffee beans?
Green coffee beans are unroasted coffee beans. Coffee beans are naturally green, but the roasting process turns them brown.
Coffee beans are rich in antioxidants and other pharmacologically active compounds. Researchers believe that chlorogenic acids and caffeine are responsible for many of the health benefits people associate with green coffee beans.
Chlorogenic acids have many possible health effects, according to review studies, including:
They may also help protect the heart and liver.
Because of the chemical changes during roasting, coffee beans have some different effects on the body when roasted or unroasted.
Unfortunately, most of the chlorogenic acids are lost when people heat coffee beans to very high temperatures. However, roasted coffee still contains many other healthful compounds.
How does the extract work?
Green coffee bean extract contains several bioactive compounds, including caffeine and chlorogenic acids, which may account for its healthful properties.
Consuming caffeine may help promote weight loss. Some review studies have shown that caffeine consumption may help reduce body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat.
However, scientists believe the high levels of chlorogenic acids in green coffee bean extract are key to its weight loss effects.
An older 2013 review reports that chlorogenic acid may help lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin spikes by reducing carbohydrate absorption in the digestive tract.
Chlorogenic acids may also boost fat metabolism, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and improve obesity-related hormone levels.
Much of the existing research is on rats, however, and more human studies are needed.
Type 2 diabetes
Because they can help regulate glucose and insulin, as this article has discussed, chlorogenic acids could also help prevent or control type 2 diabetes.
A 2020 review reported that green coffee extract could improve blood glucose levels and that at doses of more than 400 milligrams (mg) per day, it could also improve insulin levels.
Green coffee extract may positively affect blood vessels, which has significant implications for heart health.
Green coffee bean extract may help people control their blood pressure. A 2019 review showed that taking more than 400 mg of the extract for 4 weeks significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
Research shows that green coffee beans have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronic inflammation can damage cells and is a key driver in many health conditions, including cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and autoimmune disease.
Because of this, eating foods that contain antioxidants, as part of a healthful diet, can have significant health benefits, including green coffee bean extract.
Weight loss: The research
Several studies and reviews have shown that green coffee bean extract may help people lose weight.
In a 2017 study on females with obesity, taking 400 mg of green coffee bean extract for 8 weeks, along with an energy-restricted diet, resulted in more weight loss than following an energy-restricted diet alone.
Those who took the extract also had reduced total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and free fatty acids. The researchers found that this intervention affected the break down of fat in the body, which may help people control their weight.
Research from 2020 agrees that green coffee bean extract may improve biomarkers, including the following:
reduced total cholesterol
reduced LDL cholesterol levels, although, it also decreased HDL (good) cholesterol
a modest, nonsignificant effect on triglycerides levels
Many studies, however, have small sample sizes and short durations. These limitations mean that researchers do not know the true long-term effects of this supplement. Green bean coffee manufacturers have also sponsored some studies, which could make them biased.
Safety and side effects
Because the research is limited, scientists do not know the true long-term effects of green coffee bean extract as a supplement. The existing research suggests that the supplement has a good safety profile.
Green coffee does contain caffeine, which can have numerous side effects when people consume it in large amounts. These side effects include anxiety, jitteriness, and a rapid heartbeat.
Depending on the type, green coffee products contain varying amounts of caffeine. If a person is sensitive to caffeine, they must be sure to read the product labels before consuming them.
Researchers do not know the safe dosages for people who are pregnant or nursing, children, or those with liver or kidney disease, so these groups should avoid consuming green coffee bean products.