Green coffee extract

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Green coffee extract
Alternative medicine
McCaskill speaks about diet scams including green coffee extract

Green coffee extract is an extract of unroasted, green coffee beans. Green coffee extract has been used as a weight-loss supplement and as an ingredient in other weight-loss products. Its efficacy and mechanism of action have been controversial.

There is tentative evidence of benefit; however, the quality of the evidence is poor.[1] In 2014, one of the primary trials showing benefit was retracted and the company that sponsored the study, Applied Food Sciences, was fined by the Federal Trade Commission for making baseless weight-loss claims using the flawed study.[2]

Green coffee extract is sold under various proprietary brand names including Svetol, and is included in weight-loss products such as CoffeeSlender.[1]

Health effects[edit]

A 2011 review found tentative evidence that green coffee extract promotes weight loss; however, the quality of the evidence was poor.[1] This review looked at three published randomized controlled trials of green coffee extract, totaling 142 participants, and found a small effect. The review stated that more rigorous trials with longer duration were needed to assess the efficacy and safety of green coffee as a weight loss supplement.[1] Participants in the studies were instructed to restrict their diet and increase their exercise in addition to taking the supplement. One of the trials was retracted in 2014 because the accuracy of the data was unclear.[3][4] The three clinical trials reported no adverse effects; however, the review noted that two participants in an unrelated non-trial study report dropped out due to adverse events including headache and urinary tract infection.[1]

A larger 2017 review assessed the effects of chlorogenic acids, the main phenolic compounds in green coffee extract. It included studies of chlorogenic acids both as a constituent of coffee and directly as a purified extract, and suggested several beneficial effects, in particular improved glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. The review noted that potential adverse effects of both short and long-term consumption had not yet been investigated thoroughly, and that the number of studies performed on humans has thus far been limited.[5]


In April and September 2012, The Dr. Oz Show featured green coffee extract, and conducted its own non-scientific study as to its efficacy. The guest on that show, Lindsey Duncan, had been fined $9 million by the Federal Trade Commission for making deceptive and unsubstantiated claims related to green coffee products promoted on The Dr. Oz Show.[6][7]

Svetol was developed by Berkem, a French phytochemical and plant extract company. The product was first marketed as a dietary supplement in 2002.[8] By 2005 it was the active ingredient in CoffeeSlender, a popular weight-loss product in Norway, and the product launched in the UK the following year.[9] At the 2006 Health Ingredients Europe conference it received the Bronze Award in the best ingredient category.[8][10]

In January 2008, Naturex, an international natural ingredient manufacturer, acquired Berkem's clinically tested plant extract division, of which a prime product was Svetol,[11][12][13] and Naturex brought Svetol to the U.S. market.[14] In 2013 EuroPharma added Svetol to its line.[15]


Fortune magazine reported in June 2014 that the benefits of consuming green coffee bean extract had been largely disproved by studies to date, and that green coffee extract has been the subject of Federal Trade Commission action against a Florida company and the subject of Senate hearings against misleading advertising for weight loss products.[16]

In May 2014 the Federal Trade Commission charged the Florida-based manufacturers of a product called Pure Green Coffee with deceiving consumers with false weight loss claims.[17] The FTC said that reliance on the Vinson study was deceptive since serious methodological flaws render its results unreliable.[18][19]

On June 17, 2014, the U.S. Senate sub-committee on Science, and Transportation Committee held hearings to discuss weight-loss products and consumer protection.[20] During the hearings, green coffee extract was cited often as an example of a "phony" product sold to consumers.[16] When Dr. Oz. defended his endorsement of green coffee extract and other weight loss products on his show, Senator McCaskill stated that the “scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products that you call miracles.”[20] During the hearing, Dr. Oz stated "I actually do personally believe in the items I talk about on the show. I passionately study them. I recognize they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact but nevertheless I would give my audience the advice I give my family all the time, and I have given my family these products. Specifically the ones you mentioned, then I’m comfortable with that part." He said he believes in them "as short-term crutches, and even has his family try them. But there's no long-term miracle pill out there without diet and exercise."[21]


Svetol is a proprietary standardized chlorogenic acid extract of decaffeinated green coffee beans, sold by Naturex. It is used as a weight-loss supplement and as an ingredient in other weight-loss products. Svetol has been on the market as a dietary supplement since 2002,[8]

Svetol is a hydroalcoholic decaffeinated green coffee extract produced from coffee beans of the variety Coffea canephora robusta Pierre. The extract is spray dried and encapsulated.[22] Svetol contains a specific chlorogenic acids profile balanced between 3-, 4-, and 5-caffeoylquinic acid, and contains 45%–50% chlorogenic acids by weight.[23]


  1. ^ a b c d e Onakpoya, I; Terry, R; Ernst, E (2011). "The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials". Gastroenterology Research and Practice. 2011: 1–6. doi:10.1155/2011/382852. PMC 2943088. PMID 20871849.
  2. ^ "Green Coffee Bean Manufacturer Settles FTC Charges of Pushing its Product Based on Results of "Seriously Flawed" Weight-Loss Study: Applied Food Sciences Inc. Will Pay $3.5 Million and Must Substantiate Future Claims". Federal Trade Commission. September 8, 2014.
  3. ^ Hill, Tim (2014). "Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects [Retraction]". Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy: 467. doi:10.2147/DMSO.S75357.
  4. ^ "Authors retract green coffee bean diet paper touted by Dr. Oz". Retraction Watch. Oct 20, 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  5. ^ Tajik, N; Tajik, M; Mack, I; Enck, P (8 April 2017). "The potential effects of chlorogenic acid, the main phenolic components in coffee, on health: a comprehensive review of the literature". European journal of nutrition. 56: 2215–2244. doi:10.1007/s00394-017-1379-1. PMID 28391515.
  6. ^ "Government confirms one of Dr. Oz's favored diet pills is a total hoax". January 26, 2015.
  7. ^ "Marketer Who Promoted a Green Coffee Bean Weight-Loss Supplement Agrees to Settle FTC Charges: Used Appearances on Dr. Oz, Other Shows to Launch Ad Campaign". Federal Trade Commission. January 26, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Halliday, Jess. (December 6, 2006). "Berkem Talks Science to Take Svetol into Foods".
  9. ^ Halliday, Jess and Chris Mercer. "Slimming Coffee to Launch in UK". December 6, 2006.
  10. ^ "Berkem’s Svetol Receives Bronze Award". Natural Products Insider. January 15, 2007.
  11. ^ "Naturex Acquires Berkem’s 'Actifs Innovants' Division". ActusNewsWire. January 8, 2008.
  12. ^ Halliday, Jess. "Naturex Buys Berkem's Actifs Innovants". Nutra Ingredients. January 8, 2008.
  13. ^ Voinchet, Alexandra. "Naturex : Des acquisitions porteuses". France Bourse. January 17, 2008.
  14. ^ Heller, Lorraine. "Naturex Brings Weight Loss Ingredient to US Foods". Nutra Ingredients. January 14, 2008.
  15. ^ Barbanel, Shari. "Weighing Options". Vitamin Retailer. March 2013.
  16. ^ a b Benjamin Snyder (June 18, 2014). "Can coffee beans blemish the Dr. Oz brand?". Fortune magazine.
  17. ^ "FTC Charges Green Coffee Bean Sellers with Deceiving Consumers through Fake News Sites and Bogus Weight Loss Claims". U.S. Federal Trade Commission. May 19, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Complaint For Permanent Injunction And Other Equitable Relief" (PDF). Federal Trade Commission. May 15, 2014. Case 8:14-cv-01155-SDM-TGW.
  19. ^ Scott Gavura (July 5, 2012). "Dr. Oz and Green Coffee Beans – More Weight Loss Pseudoscience". Science-Based Medicine.
  20. ^ a b Shushannah Wasshe (June 17, 2014). "Dr. Oz Scolded by Senators for 'Miracle' Weight Loss Claims". ABC News. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "Dr. Oz Grilled In Congress, Admits Weight Loss Products He Touts Don't Pass 'Scientific Muster'". Huffington Post. June 17, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  22. ^ Farah, A.; Monteiro, M.; Donangelo, C.; Lafay, S. (2008). "Chlorogenic Acids from Green Coffee Extract are Highly Bioavailable in Humans" (PDF). Journal of Nutrition. 138: 2309–2315. doi:10.3945/jn.108.095554.
  23. ^ "Svetol – Fact sheet" (PDF).