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ConsumerLab.com Puts Green Coffee Bean Supplements to the Test

November 6, 2012

Clinical studies suggest green coffee bean extract (GCBE) supplements can help with weight management, but recent tests by ConsumerLab.com indicated that many popular brands don't contain the amounts of extract listed on their labels. Among eight GCBE supplements selected for testing, half failed to pass ConsumerLab.com’s review. One supplement did not contain any detectable GCBE, while three others contained no more than 6%, 29%, and 82% of the expected amounts. The amounts of extract were determined by chemically analyzing the products for their levels of chlorogenic acids - compounds found in GCBE and associated with its effect on weight. The findings were confirmed in a second independent laboratory.

Small studies, including one conducted by The Dr. Oz Show, have shown that people taking supplements with GCBE lose about three pounds per month without a required change in diet or activity. Those given placebo lose about one pound per month. The daily dosage found to be effective has ranged from approximately 200 mg to 1,200 mg of extract, 45% to 50% of which is chlorogenic acids.

"Although a GCBE supplement may be helpful, you can't trust every brand," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of ConsumerLab.com. "We often see a large percentage of products fail our tests when there is new demand for a supplement and a rush by companies to meet that demand -- as with green coffee bean extract."  Dr. Cooperman added that reducing calories in the diet and increasing exercise remain the best approach to weight management.

Four products passed ConsumerLab.com’s testing, as did an additional three products tested through ConsumerLab.com’s Voluntary Certification Program. Among the approved products, the cost to get a 400 mg dose of extract ranged by more than 300%, with the lowest cost being 20 cents.

ConsumerLab.com also tested a Starbucks "green coffee extract" drink mix and found a considerable amount of chlorogenic acids, equivalent to about 180 mg of extract per serving.
To obtain a copy of ConsumerLab’s full assessment, click this link.

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