Dear Pharmacist: I heard on the Dr. Oz show that green coffee bean extract could help me lose weight, what do you think of this? — G.H., Gainesville, Fla.
A: I think it has good potential as part of a bigger plan that includes a Paleo diet and exercise. I always recommend a sensible weight loss plan as opposed to a magic pill. The only problem I foresee is that most people with extra baggage suffer from undiagnosed hypothyroidism, adrenal problems such as cortisol imbalance, or estrogen dominance, and no amount of green coffee bean extract will fix that. Nevertheless, I know many of you have rushed out to purchase this pill rather than order blood or urine tests, which is the only way to uncover the underlying cause of your weight problems.
I’m a big fan of Dr. Oz, and I’ve had the privilege of being on his show three times. He didn’t mention one important fact on the segment, so I’m going to share it with you today. First, a little background.
Dr. Oz said the most effective green coffee been supplements contain at least 45 percent “chlorogenic acid.” It is this naturally occurring compound that induces thermogenesis, which speeds metabolism and burns fat. I agree with that — and just so you know, tea (black, green or white) and coffee all contain chlorogenic acid; it’s what imparts these drinks with that familiar, slightly bitter taste. Seriously. And you thought it was caffeine, I bet. Chlorogenic acid is interesting. It induces eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase), and that improves erectile dysfunction. One study found that chlorogenic acid (about 140mg/day) lowers blood pressure BP 5.6/3.9 mm Hg.
Anyway, if you supplement with green coffee bean extract (or drink coffee and tea) then I need to warn you that chlorogenic acid is a drug mugger of magnesium, iron and zinc:
Magnesium deficiency: Heart arrhythmias, depression, muscle cramps, twitches, tics and hypertension.
Iron deficiency: Fatigue, pale skin, brittle nails, heart arrhythmias, dizziness, heavy arms and legs, and general weakness.
Zinc deficiency: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), infertility, higher susceptibility to colds/flu, loss of taste, hearing or smell, brain fog, poor wound healing, hair loss.
All I’m suggesting is that you restore what the “drug mugger” steals from your body. You can do that with a supplement called “Trace Minerals” or Hawaiian spirulina, both of which are sold at any health food store or pharmacy. Take it 4 to 6 hours away from the green coffee bean extract.
Finally, I bet some of you are hung up on the part about coffee and wondering if the drug mugging happens with decaf. Yes, it does. The decaffeination process has no bearing on this. Chlorogenic acid is still robbing you of essential minerals, and possibly other nutrients like your B vitamins and intestinal microflora (probiotics). Herbal teas are fine because they are free of chlorogenic acid.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For more information about Suzy Cohen, visit her website at www.suzycohen.com.