Green coffee caution

Hill of beans or medical miracle?

Are there any added health benefits of green coffee? | MSU Extension
Are there any added health benefits of green coffee? | MSU Extension

The public sees a lot of revolving claims concerning miracle weight loss products. Currently we are hearing a lot about green coffee supplements and green coffee extract.

What is green coffee?

"Green coffee" refers to the raw or unroasted seeds (beans) of coffee fruits. Coffee beans are actually green seeds inside a bright red berry.

What is green coffee extract?

To create green coffee bean extract, the seeds are left unroasted. Instead, they’re soaked and then concentrated to create the extract. 

What makes the extract popular?

Green coffee beans, turned into a supplement, claim to be a miracle pill to burn fat fast. In the typical roasting process of coffee beans, a chemical called chlorogenic acid is reduced. Roasting them turns the seeds brown and creates the characteristic aroma and flavor coffee lovers crave. It's this chemical that is thought to be responsible for several health benefits, including weight loss. There are many helpful articles that explain the science of the green coffee bean.

What you should know about green and/ extracted coffee:

Green coffee beans contain caffeine, just like roasted coffee. Even though two cups of coffee per day is generally safe and might even have its own benefits, more is not better. Excess caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, gastrointestinal distress, increased heart rate and more.

What you should know about caffeine supplements:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that caffeine is both a drug and a food additive. Caffeine is used in both prescription and over-the-counter medicines to treat tiredness or drowsiness and to improve the effect of some pain relievers. People with heart problems shouldn’t use caffeine because it makes their hearts work too hard, and people with anxiety problems or panic attacks may find that caffeine makes them feel worse.
  •  There have been few evidence based studies that have been done concerning the safety of green coffee extract. The side effects of green coffee beans are similar to roasted coffee beans.
  • Green coffee supplements – there is no standardization when it comes to supplements.

The Federal Trade Commission and FDA recommend doing your research and using caution when it comes to supplements. According to the FDA, dietary supplement claims have to be based on scientific research. The organization recommends being skeptical of products that claim to help you drop weight fast without changing your habits. 

  • The term ”natural” is common in the supplement industry, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a product is safe. Many plants that grow in nature can be deadly and ”natural” supplements can still have added, unnatural ingredients. 

If you have a chronic condition and/or diabetes please check with your health care provider before starting any health supplement. Ask them about the risks of caffeine on your overall health.

To read more articles on your health visit, the Michigan State University Extension website.

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