Green coffee bean extract is a popular ingredient found in dietary supplement products marketed for various health benefits, especially weight loss. Green coffee beans are the raw, unroasted seeds or “beans” of the Coffea plant. Similar to your morning cup of coffee, they contain caffeine, as well as a chemical called chlorogenic acid, a natural antioxidant compound. The roasting process used for coffee actually destroys chlorogenic acid, so the unroasted beans are used for extracts in dietary supplement products. Green coffee bean extract has been touted as a “miracle weight loss” product and is found in thousands of dietary supplements marketed for weight loss.

There isn’t enough evidence to support the use of green coffee bean for weight loss.

Some of the latest research suggests that green coffee bean extract containing chlorgenic acid might help reduce body weight, body-mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. However, the studies are small in sample size, mostly of poor quality, and only conducted over a short term (up to 12 weeks). More high-quality and long-term studies are needed to confirm if green coffee bean extract can help you meet your goals for weight loss. In addition, the quality of some commercial green coffee bean extract products is questionable, as a recent analysis showed that some products contained less chlorogenic acid than was listed on the product labels.

Can green coffee bean negatively impact my health?

Green coffee bean extract appears to be well-tolerated in small amounts, short-term. A few minor side effects such as headache, nausea, and urinary-tract infection have been reported. The safety of its long-term use is unknown.

The bottom line

Dietary supplements with green coffee bean extract are commonly promoted for weight loss, but there isn’t enough evidence to confirm such claims, so they might not help Military Service Members meet their overall health goals.  In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has successfully charged one company for using deceptive claims to market a green coffee bean supplement for weight loss. You can read more about this in FTC’s Press Release. And remember to check the label of any product you’re considering for weight loss to see if it has been evaluated by an independent, third party organization.


Updated 15 January 2021


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