Around the world, millions of people would start the morning with a hot cup of coffee. There are those who enjoy instant coffee mix while there are those who prefer fresh brewed coffee. Many of us have chosen coffee as part of our mornings because we drink it to help us get up early so we can start our work for the day. On the other hand, coffee has weight loss effects that many of us don’t understand. Only a few of us know that we can lose weight by drinking coffee if the coffee beans are fresh and unroasted. In particular, green coffee beans greatly help in reducing body weight. Today, there are harvesters that gather fresh green coffee beans on purpose. They process the fresh beans to produce green bean coffee extract – a diet supplement that has been creating a hype lately.
Before you try the extract, there are side effects that you must know about. If you are one of those that experience palpitations and jitteriness after consuming a cup of coffee, expect to experience the same when you consume green coffee bean extract not as a hot liquid but as a diet supplement. You will experience rapid heartbeat and nervous unease. But before you get discouraged, it’s better to understand the way the supplement works.
How does green coffee bean extract work?
The extract of green coffee beans have different mechanisms of helping users lose weight. These are:
- lowering of blood glucose levels
- more efficient burning of stored fat
- increasing the speed of cellular metabolism
- giving you more energy to be able to eat less often
- reducing the rate of carbohydrate absorption
Chlorogenic acid and caffeine are two principal ingredients of green coffee bean extract that are found to be effective in increasing the speed of the metabolism of cells. This results to an increase in energy requirement. With these, how then can you lose weight?
Let’s use car as an example. We all know that a car will run when the engine burns fuel. In determining the car’s performance, speed is one of the parameters used. The car can go faster if there is more power under the hood. But then, there are other factors that affect the speed. These are environmental factors, weight of the car, overall load, tire pressure and others. Let’s say that the car can go as far as 100 miles per hour on the highway. But what if it has to run on an uphill road? Well, its engine must work harder to keep up the speed of 100 miles per hour. To do this, it needs more fuel so it can burn more energy. If there is not enough supply of fuel, then the car won’t be able to produce the power output required. If this is the case, the car that runs on an uphill road will slow down and will have a speed lower than 100 miles per hour.
What happens to the car is similar to what happens to our body. Our body constantly repairs tissues, builds muscles, produces important substances like enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones, and other processes. Our cells still do their job even when we are sleeping. For these processes to continue, our body needs energy, which we get from the food we eat. However, we don’t eat every hour of the day. Our meals are scheduled. Usually, we eat three times a day. To adapt to this, our body creates stored energy from the chemicals found in the food we eat. In this way, the body is able to have a supply of energy it needs when performing numerous physiologic processes.
If we have too much supply of unused energy, the body will start to gain weight. The body gains excess energy when we eat too much to the point that our body does not need food anymore. To successfully reduce unused energy, we have to increase the use of this energy through exercise and other physical activities or we have to cut the amount of food we consume. Simply put, there must be an increase in cellular metabolism. When there is increased metabolism there is increased requirement fo energy. Our body will resort to the stored molecules for energy supply because we don’t eat for 24 hours every day. The stored fats are the molecules that our body will first use.The second one is glycogen, which are found normally in the muscles and liver.
How is green coffee bean extract related to all these?
The extract helps in weight loss because it increases the body’s metabolic rate. This leads to burning of more fat, which the body uses as energy. But what makes the green beans more beneficial than the roasted ones? The extract of green beans helps in reducing the sequestration of glycogen from our muscles and liver. This pushes our body to sequester the stored fat when in need of higher supply of energy. In simple terms, green coffee bean extract uses fat molecules instead of the stored glycogen when the body needs energy.
Is there another implication? Yes. Insulin is not needed to be released because there is fewer glycogen that is converted into glucose. Is this important? Yes. Glucose is able to transport from our blood to the cells because of insulin. When there is glucose in our blood, insulin expected to be released. But if there is too much presence of glucose in our cells, they will become fat cells or adipocytes. This happens when excess glucose is converted into fat.
In addition, fat utilization and insulin have a relationship that can lead to undesirable side effects. In particular, when there is chronic elevations in the amount of insulin the fat cells become “immune” to signals that instruct to mobilize themselves. This is because adipocytes “feel” that the blood has enough supply of energy. Thus, an increased level of insulin. In simple terms, it means that if the blood has insulin, then it also means that there is glucose that has to be moved to the different body cells. Glucose is equivalent to energy. Because adipocytes “think” that the blood has plenty of energy, they are not compelled to release molecules of fat.
It may be scary but this is what can happen to our bodies. This is the main reason why there is exaggerated response of insulin in people who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes. The extract of green coffee beans can effectively increase fat usage as they prevent increased elevations of insulin.
What are the active ingredients?
There are two main or principal active ingredients found in green coffee bean extract. These are:
- chlorogenic acid
To stay awake throughout the day we drink coffee because we know it contains caffeine. Though we know the effect of caffeine, many of us don’t really understand how caffeine is able to stimulate our nervous systems and our senses. What we feel is that we are energized and that we can function for the rest of the day and finish our tasks. We are able to concentrate and focus. This is because we experience an increase in our rate of metabolism. Remember that when there is a lot of work to finish there is also a need for a lot of energy.
What makes green coffee bean extract different from other versions like the roasted ones is the presence of chlorogenic acid. According to the speculation of experts, the chemical bonds of the substance suffer from destruction when the beans are roasted. This is the reason why chlorogenic acid is found only in green coffee beans.
Because of chlorogenic acid presence, green coffee bean extract is able to:
- enhance fat utilization
- prevent insulin spikes
- slow down glycogen conversion
What are the side effects?
The Science and Transportation Committee of the US Senate has put Dr. Oz under the limelight because of the doctor’s comments and claims like green coffee bean extract is a miracle diet or weight loss pill. He was criticized because there is insufficient clinical evidence that is irrefutable. The committee emphasized that there is no clinical evidence that shows the effectiveness of the coffee extract as a supplement for weight loss. According to medical researchers and scientists, the existing studies on the extract have flawed methodology and research design. With this, they cannot take the results seriously.
When it comes to side effects, there are also no studies that are empirically verifiable. No studies were able to show whether or not green coffee bean extract has no side effects and is safe to use. What’s available today are clinical assumptions and anecdotal evidence based on caffeine’s stimulant properties and chlorogenic acid’s fat mobilization effects.
From these, it was found out that the common side effects are:
- nausea and vomiting
- insomnia and headache
- ringing in the ears
- anxiety or agitation
- diarrhea and stomach upset
- nervousness or jitteriness and restlessness
- very fast heartbeat and rapid breathing
Chlorogenic acid is known to have laxative effects. This is why diarrhea is one of the side effects. The other side effects are associated with the increased stimulation of the nervous system because of the chlorogenic acid and caffeine intake.
Who should not take the extract?
The absence of empirical evidence makes it hard to prove whether or not green coffee bean extract is safe to use. Because we are not sure about its implications, the following groups and individuals are advised not to take the extract:
- persons with glaucoma
- people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis
- individuals with irritable bowel syndrome
- individuals with ongoing gastroenteritis
- persons with tendency to increase bleeding
- breastfeeding mothers
- pregnant women
- individuals with anxiety disorders or problems
- people with increased homocysteine levels
It’s also crucial to note that there are reports about caffeine and its ability to increase clearance of calcium or actually remove calcium from our body. Obviously, this will result to weaker bones. If you have osteoporosis, the condition will get worse if you take green coffee bean extract.
There is no definite answer yet as to whether or not the extract increases cholesterol levels. There are studies that claim that unfiltered coffee may have an effect on the levels of lipids. There may be an increase in levels because of the coffee’s effect on certain components.
On the other hand, green coffee bean extract is also capable of reducing blood pressure. But then, there are also studies that claim otherwise. This is because caffeine increases blood pressure. So if you want to be safe, you may as well not take these kind of supplements.
Green coffee bean extract is not also advisable to diabetic individuals because the levels of blood sugar fluctuate. There are studies that show that caffeine may decrease or increase the levels of blood sugar. If you have diabetes but still want to take the extract, you should closely monitor your blood sugar level.