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17 June 2013
Scientists question effectiveness of green coffee bean weight-loss

Chlorogenic acid, the major ingredient in "miracle" weight-loss green coffee bean dietary supplements, doesn't prevent weight gain in laboratory mice. That's according to an investigation into green coffee supplements published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Past studies have indicated that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other "metabolic syndrome" disorders. Scientists believe that most of the beneficial effects of coffee come from antioxidants known as polyphenols. Chlorogenic acid (CGA) is one of the polyphenols found in coffee and is the main ingredient in scores of dietary supplements promoted as weight-loss products.

Until now, however, scientists have not investigated the effects of doses of CGA alone on obesity and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Researchers Vance Matthews, Kevin Croft decided to do that, using special laboratory mice that are stand-ins for humans in such tests.

The researchers reported that mice on a high-fat diet and mice on a high-fat diet plus CGA gained the same amount of weight. "This study suggests that higher doses of CGA supplementation in a high-fat diet does not protect against features of the metabolic syndrome in diet-induced obese mice," they write.

Interestingly, the CGA mice were more likely to develop disorders that can lead to type 2 diabetes. The researchers speculate that this may be due to CGA causing an unhealthy build-up of fat in the liver.

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Source: American Chemical Society

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