Green coffee is increasingly common in the health and wellness community.
You may have heard about its rich supply of health-promoting plant compounds.
This article takes an in-depth look at green coffee, including its potential benefits and risks.
What is green coffee?
Green coffee beans are simply regular coffee beans that haven’t been roasted and remain entirely raw.
Their extract is popular as a dietary supplement, but green coffee can also be purchased in whole-bean form and used to make a hot beverage, much like roasted coffee.
Remember that a mug of this light green drink will not taste like the roasted coffee you’re used to, as it has a much milder flavor. It’s said to taste more like herbal tea than coffee.
Its chemical profile is quite different from that of roasted coffee, though their origins are similar.
It boasts an abundant supply of chlorogenic acids — compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may provide many health benefits.
Roasted coffee products also contain small amounts of chlorogenic acid, but most of it is lost during roasting.
Summary: Green coffee beans are raw, unroasted coffee beans. They contain high levels of a group of antioxidants known as chlorogenic acids, which are thought to provide numerous benefits.
Does green coffee work as a weight loss supplement?
In 2012, American celebrity physician and talk-show host Dr. Oz promoted green coffee extract as a miracle weight loss supplement.
Many health experts have since refuted the notion that it significantly impacts weight.
Even so, green coffee extract remains one of the market’s most popular weight loss supplements.
Several small studies have treated mice with the extract and found that it significantly reduced total body weight and fat accumulation. However, studies on humans have been far less conclusive.
Most human research on green coffee has been inconclusive. While some participants lost weight, the studies were poorly designed with small sample sizes and short durations.
Thus, no definitive evidence demonstrates that green coffee is effective for weight loss. More significant, well-designed human studies are needed.
Summary: Green coffee is marketed as a weight loss aid, but scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness is lacking. More human research is needed.
Green coffee may reduce your risk of some chronic diseases
Green coffee may have health benefits other than weight loss.
Its chlorogenic acids may help reduce your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
In an 8-week study, 50 people with metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors, including high blood pressure and blood sugar, that increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease — took 400 mg of decaffeinated green coffee bean extract twice daily.
Those who took the extract experienced significant improvements in fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, and waist circumference compared with a control group.
Although these results are promising, more extensive studies are needed.
Summary: Green coffee may reduce your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, though more research is needed.
Possible risks and side effects of green coffee
Green coffee is mainly safe but may have several potential risks.
Effects of excess caffeine
Much like roasted coffee, green coffee beans naturally contain caffeine.
Although moderate caffeine intake is likely safe for most healthy people, too much could lead to negative symptoms, such as anxiety, sleep disturbances, and increased blood pressure.
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One cup (8 ounces) of either black or green coffee provides roughly 100 mg of caffeine, depending on the variety and brewing method.
Because a small amount of caffeine may be lost during the roasting process, green coffee may contain slightly more caffeine than black — but the difference is likely negligible.
Meanwhile, green coffee supplements usually offer 20–50 mg per capsule, though some are decaffeinated during processing.
If you’re taking green coffee in any form, you may want to moderate your intake to avoid effects.
Green coffee may affect bone health
A 2-month animal study found that mice given daily doses of green coffee extract experienced significant calcium depletion in their bone tissue.
These results suggest that long-term intake of green coffee supplements may harm bone health.
That said, human research is needed.
Summary: Overconsumption of caffeine in green coffee could cause negative symptoms. Furthermore, early animal research suggests it may harm bone health, though human studies are necessary.
Suggested dosage of green coffee
Insufficient data exist on green coffee to establish clear dosing recommendations.
That said, at least one study used doses of up to 400 mg of green coffee extract twice daily, reporting no adverse effects.
If you’re considering taking this extract, consult your healthcare provider to ensure you take a safe amount.
Summary: No clear dosing recommendation has been established for green coffee, but some studies have safely used doses of up to 400 mg of the extract twice daily.
Green coffee refers to the raw beans of the coffee plant.
Its extract was popularized as a weight loss supplement, and it may promote healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels, though research on its effectiveness is limited.
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Few adverse effects have been reported, but caffeine content may cause side effects.
If you’re considering adding green coffee to your routine, consult your healthcare provider to make sure it’s safe for you.
You can also use the whole beans to make a hot beverage.
If you’re interested in trying green coffee or its extract, you can shop for it locally or find whole beans and supplements online.