Chlorogenic acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant. It is a compound known as an ester, meaning it is derived from another substance. Chlorogenic acid is derived from caffeic acid.
This compound is found in many plants, especially the fruiting sections of many species. Coffee beans contain this acid, which is especially prominent in unroasted, green coffee beans. The recent increase in popularity of green coffee bean extract is due to the substance’s high level of chlorogenic acid, thought by many researchers to have an effect on the appetite and absorption of other foods.
About Green Coffee Beans
Green coffee beans are simply beans that have not been roasted. The coffee grounds used to make the liquid beverage have been roasted and crushed, a process that enhances the flavor and removes much of the bitterness. Roasting also allows for more rapid dissolving of the extracts, meaning that coffee preparation becomes a simple task when roasted beans are used.
Virtually all of the chlorogenic acid is destroyed when the beans are roasted. This is why green coffee bean extract has become popular as an antioxidant supplement as well as a weight control product.
Weight Loss And Metabolic Benefits
Green coffee bean extract does contain a small amount of caffeine, and this helps as a stimulant. More importantly, however, the extract is high in chlorogenic acid, and ongoing research suggests that this compound can provide several health benefits.
Preliminary studies have shown that consuming green coffee bean extract containing chlorogenic acid may actually inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates. This means that less sugar is absorbed into the body, the result being less carbohydrates being processed and stored as body fat. Blood sugar levels become more stable, and there are fewer insulin level spikes.
Adiponectin is a hormone responsible for the burning of fat. Some medical researchers have suggested that green coffee bean extract containing a good amount of chlorogenic acid can improve the function of this hormone.
In studies conducted on laboratory animals, green coffee bean extract was also shown to reduce the amount of fat stored in the liver. Whether this extract actually aids in overall liver function is not yet known.
Other than the fact that green coffee bean extract can have a significant effect on an individual’s metabolic rate, heartbeat, and attentiveness – due, of course, to the presence of caffeine – studies have indicated that no serious side effects occur when chlorogenic acid is consumed. Some people report effects similar to a laxative and may even experience diarrhea. It is thought that chlorogenic acid, which is present in plums, may be the primary laxative compound in prunes and prune juice.
Green coffee bean extract is available over-the-counter. It is sold under a variety of trade names, Svetol being the most familiar. Svetol and similarly produced chlorogenic acid extract formulas are used in the production of chewing gum, coffee-flavored food additives, and even chocolate mints.
The recent studies concerning human health benefits has led to the marketing of green coffee bean extract in tablet form. These are sold in bottles and are labeled as food products by the FDA.
Included In Weight Loss Programs
Some health experts and dietary health professionals recommend the taking of green coffee bean extract as part of a long-term weight loss program. The combination of lowered fat intake, higher protein intake, and chlorogenic acid may indeed have long-lasting effects, the result being a lower maintained weight and lower percentage of body fat. Research into the actual function of chlorogenic acid and its ability to reduce fat content in the body is still underway, but most experts agree that the extract is absolutely safe.