Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another Dr. Oz “Magic Pill”….Green Coffee Bean Extract

Another Dr. Oz Show topic makes “The Whistle Blog.”   What is he promoting now?  Well, not surprisingly, another dietary supplement.  This time the “miracle pill” and “magic pill”  (he used these two adjectives to describe the supplement)  is GREEN COFFEE EXTRACT.  Let’s talk reality about this “amazing discovery.”

Green coffee beans are coffee beans before they are roasted. Once roasted, they turn the characteristic brown color of coffee.  Green coffee beans are a very good source of chlorogenic acid.
Chlorogenic acid (CGA) is one of the most abundant polyphenols and antioxidants in the human diet.  Major food sources include coffee, blueberries, grapes, apples, sunflower seeds, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, Chinese parsley, eggplant.

Although it is present in many commonly consumed foods, it is considered a poorly absorbed dietary polyphenol.
On Dr. Oz’s program promoting green coffee bean extract, he spoke of the “staggering study” that showed proof of CGA’s miracle weight loss ability.

The “Staggering Study”:
****The study was funded by Applied Food Sciences, which makes the green coffee antioxidant supplement.

The findings were presented at “The American Chemical Society” in San Diego?????
Number of participants in the “staggering study?”   16
Length of the study? 12 weeks
Did  the study represent adults of all ages?  The participants were 22-46 years of age
Location of the study? Although the study is presented as being conducted by the University of Scranton, the study was actually conducted in India.  The study was led by Joe Vinson, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton, Scranton, Pa.

Quote from Joe Vinson, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton, “We don’t think it’s the caffeine in it.”
What was the weight status of study participants….”they were obese.”  “They did not change their diet during the course of the study...  average 2400 calories/day. They WERE physically active burning over 400 calories/day with exercise”.*  
***Please note that 2400 calories/day with a 400 calorie exercise burn is not a typical intake for an obese adult. A 2400 calorie dietary intake with 400 calories of exercise burn is typically a weight loss diet for an obese adult.”
Another Vinson quote: Vinson can’t say for sure why the coffee bean extract seems to help weight loss.  He suspects “one explanation is the unroasted beans’ chlorogenic acid.”

The Whistle Conclusion:
There does not appear to be any strong evidence that taking green coffee bean extract.   Dr. Oz’s guest recommends 800mg twice a day (nice income for Applied Food Sciences, the company who funded this study).  I’ve read that caution should be used in consuming green coffee bean extracts as they may contain high levels of caffeine as well.
I’ve also read some information about a 2006 study in which green coffee bean extract in a very low dose (140 mg) administered to hypertensive subjects resulted in a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, without any observed side effects.  Dr. Oz’s guest presenter recommended 1600mg/day.
When the dust settles and all is said and done, green coffee extract may be a great antioxidant like the antioxidants in many other fruits and vegetables.  Does there appear to be any reason to start using it regularly at this point?  No.  Was this a staggering study?  No.  Is green coffee extract a “miracle pill” or “magic pill” (Dr. Oz quotes).  No