The popularity of green coffee bean extract instigated a range of studies about its benefits, particularly when it comes to weight loss. But, long before green beans became a topic of interest, coffee beans were researched for their effects on our health. This interesting plant has a large number of active ingredients and there are very few alkaloids which are actually activated during the roasting of coffee. Most of active compounds of coffee are present in higher percentage in green beans than in beans that have been roasted. There is nothing in roasted coffee that does not exist in green coffee, except the flavor. Green coffee makes lousy, bitter beverage.
Caffeine in coffee
Caffeine is the main ingredient in coffee that made this beverage so popular. Caffeine is an alkaloid with stimulating affect on our central nervous system. It is the most popular psychoactive drug and the only one safe and legal. Caffeine is toxic in doses over one gram, but most coffee drinkers do not take more than 500 milligrams. Most people drink coffee in order to stay awake and alert and to get a boost of energy when needed.
Caffeine is also a metabolic stimulant, the reason why so many weight loss supplements contain large doses of caffeine.
Several studies found that regular coffee drinking reverses cognitive impairment in elderly Alzheimer patients. Regular coffee drinking also reduced the risk of developing Alzheimers.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that regular coffee consumption may reduce the risk of developing gallstone disease due to its caffeine content.
Coffee drinkers are also less likely to develop Parkinson disease. Elderly people who regularly drank coffee tested better on verbal memory and visual and spatial reasoning.
A group of Japanese scientists published in 2009 the results of the study conducted on 77,000 adults, finding that coffee consumption, due to its caffeine content, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Caffeine blocks the negative effects of adenosine on dopamine in the brain, reducing the feelings of depression, actively acting as an antidepressant.
It is not all due to caffeine
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published findings of the study that confirmed that regular coffee drinking, with or without caffeine, significantly reduces the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes.
Chlorogenic acid is the second most powerful active ingredient of coffee. It belongs to the phenolic acids, and as such acts as an antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that destroy free radicals, which are known to damage cell walls and cause a range of diseases. Chlorogenic acid is more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C. Chlorogenic acid is largely destroyed (70 percents) during the roasting of coffee.
A small study published in 2003 in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition concluded that coffee affects the secretion of gastrointestinal hormone production and glucose tolerance due to the combined effect of caffeine and chlorogenic acid.
A Brazilian study published in 2008 found that chlorogenic acid in green coffee is beneficial for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as acting as antibacterial and antiinflammatory agent.
Another small study conducted on 16 volunteers found that green coffee extract acts as a weight loss agent and that it lowered body fat percentage.
Similar study conducted by a Norvegian researcher confirmed these findings, concluding that the weight loss can be attributed to the reduction of the glucose absorption by the gastrointestinal tract due to the effects of chlorogenic acid in green coffee. The study concluded that the extended use of coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid can reduce body mass and body fat percentage.
A group of Chinese researchers published in 2012 the results of their study, based on the earlier findings that chlorogenic acid (CGA) delays intestinal absorption of glucose and prevents gluconeogenesis. The study found that chlorogenic acid boosts transport of glucose in skeletal muscles, and that it may have beneficial effects of type 2 diabetes.
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