DENVER - Some researchers are pointing to green coffee bean extract as a possible breakthrough for weight loss.
Green coffee beans contain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that researchers believe may affect the way your metabolism breaks down fat, resulting in weight loss. The chlorogenic acid is destroyed during the roasting process, meaning you cannot get the same benefit from drinking coffee.
A couple of small studies have shown green coffee bean extract, green coffee beans ground up and put into capsules, as an effective weight loss supplement.
Researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found a group of 16 obese people, ages 22 to 26, lost 17 pounds in 22 weeks while taking the supplement.
Dr. Oz also got results with his studio audience. In a two-week experiment, the group taking green coffee bean extract lost twice as much weight as the group taking a placebo.
However, registered dietician Bonnie Jortberg at the University of Colorado School of Medicine warned supplements are not regulated by the FDA and said the studies are not long-term enough to provide proven scientific evidence that green coffee bean extract works and is safe.
"We don't have a magic bullet and I don't see a magic bullet coming down the pike. I just don't see it," Jortberg said. “Are there little things that people can do that might be able to help them? There could be and this might be something. Although, I don't think it has been proven.”
Denver resident Sally Hallingstad was curious.
"My Aunt Nancy said she had tried it and she lost 17 pounds in a matter of months," Hallingstad said.
So, Hallingstad allowed 7NEWS to profile her as she put green coffee bean extract to the test.
Liz Willette, a personal trainer at Matrix Fitness and Spa, took Hallingstad’s measurements and weight before taking the supplement.
Hallingstad then took two pills daily, each capsule containing 800 milligrams of pure green coffee bean extract.
She made sure to buy the kind with no preservatives, fillers, binders or chemicals. Each capsule contained 20 milligrams of caffeine, less than a quarter cup of coffee.
7NEWS checked back in with Hallingstad about four weeks later. The result: Hallingstad lost two pounds and a half inch around her waist.
"I lost 2 pounds, which is great,” said Hallingstad. “The one thing that this pill said was that you didn't have to change your diet or exercise habits, that you should be able to take it and still lose weight, which seemed to work, because I did throw a trip to Vegas in there and who knows how many pounds that added on."
7NEWS also asked about side effects.
Hallingstad said she noticed her skin broke out.
“I don't know if it's the addition of supplements or if it's the dryness in the air right now, but that's the only thing I noticed," said Hallingstad. "I've taken supplements in the past and this one definitely did not interfere with my daily routine at all, which was really nice."
Hallingstad said it cost about $55 for a month supply, so, it wasn’t cheap. However, she said she was happy with the result and may try it for another month.