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Can coffee-bean supplements really help you lose weight?

Can coffee-bean supplements really help you lose weight?

Q. I’ve read lately that supplements made from unroasted coffee beans can help you lose weight. Is that true?

A. We wouldn’t bet on it. Yes, some research has suggested that an extract from unroasted or “green” coffee beans may aid in weight loss for obese or overweight patients, possibly due to its chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that may play a role in how the body metabolizes, or burns, glucose and fat.

But the studies have been small and of limited quality, so it’s hard to draw meaningful conclusions from them. Moreover, like all supplements, unroasted coffee extract hasn’t been evaluated for efficacy or safety by the Food and Drug Administration, nor is there any guarantee of its quality.

Finally, in recent tests of eight green coffee-bean supplements by the group ConsumerLab.com, four products didn’t contain the expected amount of extract, and one had no detectable extract at all.

If you’re looking more reliable ways to lose weight, see our new buying guide and Ratings for 13 diet plans. And read more about the benefits and risks of vitamins and other supplements.

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