Is Green Coffee Bean Extract Safe?
Green Coffee Bean extract has been a popular weight loss treatment since late 2012, with some studies seeming to point to its efficacy as a weight loss supplement.
How it Works
The green coffee bean extract contains chlorogenic acid in doses much higher than the roasted coffee beans. This is because much of the chlorogenic acid is cooked out of the beans as they are roasted for sale as beans to make coffee. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to aid the body in the process of metabolizing fat, having an energizing effect on the metabolism. There is also some evidence that chlorogenic acid makes it harder for the body to actually absorb fat from the diet.
Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Because the green coffee beans contain caffeine, you need to be aware of the side effects of caffeine. These include jitteriness, insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, increased breathing and heart rate, and stomach problems such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are especially worrying for anyone who already has an anxiety or bleeding disorder.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using green coffee bean extract. This is mostly because no studies have been done to show that is safe for these women, but since caffeine should be used in moderation by pregnant and breastfeeding women anyway, it is best not to take the green coffee bean extract.
If you have a condition that requires you to monitor your blood sugar regularly, you should avoid anything containing high levels of caffeine, including the green coffee bean extract.
There has been at least one scientific study suggesting that consuming chlorogenic acid in high doses could be potentially harmful because it increases plasma homocysteine concentration levels. This is a concern because high levels of plasma homocysteine concentration might actually be a warning sign for high risk of cardiovascular disease. This study, composed in the Netherlands, showed that the test subjects that took the chlorogenic acid in the form of coffee and tea did have increases of plasma homocysteine, while the test subjects taking a placebo did not show the same increase.
This is a concern, but it is still a hotly debated subject, as it has not been conclusively proven that the higher homocysteine concentrations shown are in fact influential to the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.
Althought this one study seemed to indicate a small cause for concern, other studes have shown that using green coffee beans for weight loss is generally safe for most healthy adults.