I honestly don’t go out of my way to find positive news about my favorite beverage, coffee. I realize it might seem that way sometimes, since hardly a week goes by without me reporting on yet another coffee-linked benefit.
But the truth is, exciting new coffee research simply keeps finding its way to my desk. This week’s news is about chlorogenic acid, a potent polyphenol found in coffee beans.
Levels of this powerful phytonutrient are by far the highest in unroasted, or green, coffee beans. But you may still find a bit in some roasted beans, as well as your morning cup of Joe.
If you’re a regular reader of Healthier Talk you likely already know something about the fat-burning benefits of coffee. In fact, we first began telling you about chlorogenic acid (CGA), and its potential metabolism effects, at least six years ago.
And now a new study out of Japan suggests we’ve been onto something all along.
More on that new study in just a moment. But let’s first take a quick look at earlier research that’s already given us tantalizing clues about how coffee could help us improve our metabolism.
CGA could help block weight gain
Animal studies gave us our first hints that (CGA) may be able to help us in our battle against the bulge. When researchers added a green coffee bean extract to mouse chow the critters slimmed down, losing weight and shedding belly fat.1
In another study researchers tried to turn several groups of mice into porkers by feeding them a high fat diet. But it was almost as if the group of mice that had CGA added to their food were wearing some sort of a fat shield.
They gained significantly less weight—including the belly fat variety we all dread the most—than the control mice. And that’s not all. The researchers reported that the mice that got the CGA supplement also had measurably lower leptin and insulin levels too.2
Leptin is commonly referred to as the “hunger hormone.” It’s the chemical that makes you feel famished, triggering you to eat. And insulin, of course, is the hormone that allows your cells to convert the sugar in your blood into energy. Chronically high levels of insulin are linked to obesity and other health problems.
Lose weight with chlorogenic acid
When it comes to humans, the early research on green coffee bean extract is promising too. In fact, it almost seems as if the coffee bean was designed with human beings in mind because experts say the chlorogenic acids in them are incredibly easy for us to absorb and metabolize.3
In a small, randomized controlled study, 30 overweight volunteers were divided into two groups. Both were given instant coffee to drink over a 12 week period. But one of the group’s coffee was spiked with 200 mg of a green coffee bean extract.
Neither group were asked to make any other changes to their diet or exercise routine, but the lucky folks who got the extract lost over 221 percent more weight than the control group.
The volunteers in the control group lost 3.7 pounds. Not bad for not making any extra effort. But the folks in the green coffee bean extract group shed 11.9 pounds, and had their body fat percentage drop by 3.6 percent, too.
In another double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry guys drinking a CGA spiked beverage for four weeks had lower fasting glucose levels, and burned through significantly more energy, than those who got a placebo drink.4
Which brings us back to the new research I mentioned earlier.
Shed 50% more fat with green coffee bean
It turns out CGA could kick fat burning into overdrive while you sleep, according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition.5 When volunteers drank a beverage containing 600 mg of CGA for just five days they had an average 50 percent spike in their breakdown of stored fat, compared to folks who drank a control beverage.
The Japanese researchers say CGA may be able to be used to reduce body fat and help prevent obesity. And as an unexpected bonus—especially for anyone concerned about a coffee extract keeping them up at night—it turns out the folks taking the green coffee bean extract fell asleep around 43 percent faster than volunteers in the control group, dropping from an average of 16 minutes down to nine.
More research needs to be completed to understand exactly how chlorogenic acid manages its metabolism trick, but it’s already clear that green coffee bean extracts can lend a helping hand to your weight loss efforts. CGA supplements are widely available in natural food stores and online, and coffee bean extract is often found in more comprehensive weight management formulas as well.
1. “Chlorogenic Acids from Green Coffee Extract are Highly Bioavailable in Human,” J. Nutr. December 2008, vol. 138 no. 12 2309-2315
2. “Chlorogenic acid exhibits anti-obesity property and improves lipid metabolism in high-fat diet-induced-obese mice,” Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Mar;48(3):937-43
3. “Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice,” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 Mar 17;6:9
4. “Stimulation of postprandial fat utilization in healthy humans by daily consumption of chlorogenic acids,” Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2013;77(8):1633-6
5. “Effects of subacute ingestion of chlorogenic acids on sleep architecture and energy metabolism through activity of the autonomic nervous system: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded cross-over trial,” Br J Nutr. 2017 Apr 17:1-6
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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