Two herbal weight loss products have been hot topics on the Dr. Oz show in the last few months: raspberry ketones and green coffee bean extract. How do these products work? Are they effective? Are they safe?
Lindsey Duncan, ND, CN, promoted the use of green coffee bean extract for its content of chlorogenic acid (CA) – not the caffeine, which is about 20 mg per serving compared to 100 mg for a cup of strong coffee. The roasting process destroys the CA so drinking coffee doesn’t have the same effect. A small controlled human trial at U. of Cranston in 2011 found that the green coffee bean extract increased fat loss with no significant changes to the diet and with no adverse effects reported. This result was considered consistent with previous animal and human studies. The mechanism for this effect is not well understood. Animal studies found that CA slows the absorption of fat from the small intestine and increases fat metabolism in the liver. CA may also inhibit the breakdown of starch to sugar in the small intestine as well as influence glucose metabolism.
“Fitness expert” Lisa Lyn promoted raspberry ketones (RK) on the Dr. Oz show where Dr. Oz called it a “miracle in a bottle to burn your fat”. Two small studies with mice found that RK appears to improve the fat-burning ability of the excitatory neurotransmitter norepinephrine and to increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone that improves the sensitivity of insulin (exercise is known to increase adiponectin). Since RK has not yet been tested on humans we don’t know how it works in people or what side effects and drug interactions they may have.
Despite the lack of research both products have been approved for sale in Canada and have been selling like hotcakes, mostly I suspect due to Dr. Oz’s “miracle in a bottle” hype. If you have already tried either, I’d like to hear your experience. If you aren’t happy with the results or are serious about losing weight, ask me about a medically sound safe and effective weight loss program that I can confidently recommend.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.