Dr. Joe Vinson, a chemist from the University of Scranton, believes the ingredient responsible for successful weight loss in his green coffee research is an antioxidant present in the raw coffee beans called chlorogenic acid.
Chlorogenic acid is a natural compound found in the raw green coffee beans but when the coffee beans are roasted, the chlorogenic acid is mostly destroyed. So, any weight loss benefit from drinking regular coffee (i.e. coffee brewed from roasted coffee bean) would be mostly non-existent.
Vinson’s research suggests the weight loss benefit of coffee is derived from the chlorogenic acid in the un-roasted green coffee bean. Raw coffee beans are the most abundant natural plant source of chlorogenic acid.
Green coffee bean extract is generally consumed as a supplement since drinking liquid coffee made from unroasted coffee beans would have a bitter unpleasant taste, and would not provide the desired dosage of chlorogenic acid consistent with the doses administered in Dr. Vinson’s research.
How Chlorogenic Acid Works for Weight Loss
Dr. Vinson suggests that chlorogenic acid inhibits the release of glucose into the blood stream. He hypothesizes that by slowing down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, the chlorogenic acid ultimately results in a reduction in the absorption of fat.
Other Potential Health Benefits of Green Coffee Beans and Chlorogenic Acid
Japanese researchers did a study in 2005 using a placebo for some participants and green coffee bean extract on the others, in a test of the potential effects of the substance on people with mild hypertension. The result was lower blood pressure and no negative side effects.
Yet another chlorogenic acid study on rats found that chlorogenic acid reduced cholesterol levels and improved glucose tolerance. Further research to confirm these results is needed.
Recent Chlorogenic Acid Research Discussed By Dr. Vinson
In April 2013, Dr. Vinson gave a presentation at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in New Orleans discussing his most recent research. The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society.
Vinson discussed the potential of natural substances extracted from unroasted coffee beans to help control the elevated blood sugar levels and body weight that underpin type 2 diabetes. His presentation focused on chlorogenic acids. He pointed out that type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is an increasing global health problem with almost 26 million in the United States having the disease.
Vinson said, “A simple natural pill or capsule that would both help control blood sugar and foster weight loss at the same time would be a major advance in the treatment of type 2 diabetes,” He added, “Our own research and studies published by other scientists suggest that such a treatment may, indeed, exist. There is significant epidemiological and other evidence that coffee consumption reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Vinson said “One large study indicated a 50 percent risk reduction for people who drank seven cups of coffee a day compared to those who drank only two cups a day. I am trying to make the coffee and diabetes story as clear as possible for the public. The evidence points to chlorogenic acids as the active ingredients in coffee that both prevent diabetes and improve glucose control in normal, pre-diabetic and diabetic people.”
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References & Resources
“Green coffee bean extract improves human vasoreactivity”
“Antihypertensive effect of green coffee bean extract on mildly hypertensive subjects”