Green Coffee Bean Extract and Raspberry Ketones: Truth or Hype?

Green Coffee Beans

I’ve recently received many questions about whether or not Green Coffee Extract and Raspberry Ketones actually work. These questions multiplied after a well-known MD with a nationally-syndicated television show promoted these supplements. I’ve also been receiving multiple spam email messages about both supplements. I confess the spam made me question the validity of these supplements, so I decided I needed to do more research. I also have to admit my research was difficult, as most of the sites containing “research” were also trying to sell one or both of the products

Update, May 8, 2013: I do not recommend using these supplements. Please do not contact me to ask if I think it’s a good idea for you to take them. I do not, regardless of your health issues. Thank you.

Please be aware there are no “magic bullets.” Weight gain or an inability to lose weight always has a cause. Eliminating the cause is key to finally losing weight. Please read my article, The Top 7 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight, for more information on weight loss and on physiological issues that may prevent it.

If you are struggling with weight loss and need help or coaching, please contact me to schedule a consultation. I have literally helped hundreds of people lose many thousands of pounds. I use an approach that provides coaching and education in nutrition, fitness, metabolic balancing, and eliminating sabotaging thought patterns. I would love to help you reach your health goals. I will not let you fail. Please feel free to contact me at 317.489.0909 or via email. PLEASE NOTE I CANNOT ANSWER MEDICAL QUESTIONS VIA EMAIL. You must schedule a consultation to receive advice. 

Very few double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have been done on these supplements. The ones that were done were either very, very small (less than 20 participants) or were done on mice and not humans. The information that follows shares what I found when I researched both supplements. As always, this information is shared for informational purposes only and was not evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness. Please do not take any supplement without first discussing it with your physician and checking for prescription interactions.

Green Coffee Bean Extract

The only study I could find that researched the effectiveness of Green Coffee Bean Extract on weight loss was done by JA Vinson,BR Burnham, and MV Nagendran. This study did find the extract helped with weight loss, but was only conducted on 16 people and was conducted over a very short period of time. In my opinion, a study of 16 people does not qualify as a valid study, as the control group is simply too small to prove the effects would be the same in a larger group. Additionally, I could find zero information on how the “control” group was chosen, which again causes me to question the validity of the study. It is also important to note that the company who paid for the study is a company which manufactures and sells green coffee bean extract. (Please read my article, Simple Ways to Evaluate the Validity of a Research Study for more information on ways to know whether published conclusions are valid or not.)

Potential Positive Benefits of Green Coffee Bean Extract:

  • Green coffee bean extract is known to contain many anti-oxidants, which are known to boost health and protect cells from damage from toxins, aging, and free radicals. (That does not mean it helps with weight loss.)
  • Green coffee bean extract contains chlorogenic acid, a chemical which is thought to help balance blood sugar levels. (Insulin encourages the body to store fat instead of burning it, so reducing blood sugars and reducing the amount of insulin produced is a proven method of assisting weight loss. However, there is no evidence to prove this supplement works or that it effectively reduces insulin levels.)
  • Some studies have shown that green coffee bean extract may help suppress appetite and may have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure.

Potential Negative Effects of Green Coffee Bean Extract:

  • The frenzy surrounding green coffee bean extract has caused a multitude of supplements to be released which don’t actually contain green coffee bean extract, which contain harmful fillers or which contain a very low-quality extract. Use caution when purchasing green coffee bean extract and only purchase from highly reliable suppliers.
  • Some people respond negatively to the supplement. (Any supplement has the potential to create an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.)
  • The supplement does not work for everyone. Physical and hormonal issues preventing weight loss may not be helped by this supplement.
  • The caffeine in green coffee bean extract may have a negative affect on some people.

My Conclusions About Green Coffee Bean Extract:

As with most products claiming to boost weight loss, green coffee bean extract is no magic bullet. There are many other methods of reducing insulin in the body, so taking this supplement may boost weight loss efforts a little bit, but won’t produce dramatic results for most people. My recommendation is to follow a low-glycemic eating plan and to use your head. On an interesting side note, roasted coffee also contains chlorogenic acid, so drinking a single, eight ounce cup of ORGANIC coffee may have the same effect as taking these supplements.

Raspberry Ketones

The only studies I could find that have been done on raspberry ketones were done on mice, and one was only done on mice who were being fed a high-fat diet. Raspberry ketones have been around for a very long time. The only “new” thing about them is that the marketing. Let’s be honest, the fact a supplement was recommended by a doctor on TV doesn’t mean it works, it just means it gets an insane amount of marketing attention. There is plenty of anecdotal “evidence” stating raspberry ketones assist with weight loss, but I could not find any scientific evidence that proved it.

Potential Positive Benefits of Raspberry Ketones:

  • There is some evidence that indicates raspberry ketones might alter the levels of a adinopectin, a hormone that is typically lower in obese people and which has been shown to be a factor in insulin resistance. (Insulin resistance is often a precursor to and major factor in Type 2 Diabetes. That does not mean this supplement helps with weight loss.)
  • Raspberry ketones may also stimulate the release of the hormone norepinephrine, an adrenal hormone which affects metabolism. (The problem is that it may negatively affect the adrenal glands and ultimately reduce one’s ability to lose weight.)
  • As with green coffee been extract, raspberry ketones do contain anti-oxidants which may have some health benefits, but no weight loss benefits.

Potential Negative Effects of Raspberry Ketones:

  • The supplements sold are artificial raspberry ketones created in a lab and are not the real thing
  • Norepinephrine can have a very negative effect on health. It can cause anxiety, raise body temperature, and raise blood pressure.
  • Stimulating the adrenal glands to release norepinephrine could cause adrenal fatigue, which would ultimately have a very negative effect on weight loss efforts.
  • All of the potential negative effects I cited for green coffee bean extract also apply to raspberry ketones.

My Conclusions About Raspberry Ketones:

Similar to the conclusions I drew about green coffee bean extract, I think the claims made about raspberry ketones are all hype. They may assist with weight loss in a very small way, but they are not extremely effective. The fact raspberry ketones affect adrenal hormones concerns me. Adrenal function directly affects weight gain and loss. Taking raspberry ketones has the potential to harm adrenal function, which would ultimately result in weight gain. I can’t honestly recommend taking this supplement. As with any supplement, if you choose to take it, please discuss it with your physician first. Please monitor blood pressure carefully. If elevated blood pressure occurs, or if you begin to notice anxiety or hot flashes after taking it, please discontinue use immediately.

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If you are struggling with weight loss and need help or coaching, please contact me to schedule a consultation. (Liability issues prevent me from answering questions or providing advice if you are not an established client.) I have literally helped hundreds of people lose many thousands of pounds. I use an approach that provides coaching and education in nutrition, fitness, metabolic balancing, and eliminating sabotaging thought patterns. I would love to help you reach your health goals. I will not let you fail. Please feel free to contact me at 317.489.0909 or via email

Update added October 24th: Yes, these products can be taken together, but I do not recommend their use. They both do basically the same thing, so taking them simultaneously will not necessarily boost your weight loss efforts. There are much easier ways to lose weight which are free.

References:

CalorieLab.com: Green Coffee Bean Extract – Weight Loss Miracle, or Waste of Time?

Los Angeles Times: Green Bean Study Shows Promise

Kimberly Snyder, The Truth About Raspberry Ketones

PubMed: Adiponectin

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 Green Coffee Bean Extract and Raspberry Ketones: Truth or Hype?
Dr. Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping people improve their health and eliminate symptoms using natural, integrative methods. She has over 25 years of experience and has helped men, women and children improve their health using a holistic, client-centered focus. She sees clients in Indianapolis, does house calls, and also conducts consultations via Skype or telephone. Please feel free to contact her or visit her Consultations page for more information. Dr. Pamela speaks nationwide on a wide variety of health topics and welcomes speaking invitations.
 Green Coffee Bean Extract and Raspberry Ketones: Truth or Hype?

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58 Responses to Green Coffee Bean Extract and Raspberry Ketones: Truth or Hype?

  1. […] Green Coffee Bean Extract and Raspberry Ketones: Truth or Hype? Shares important information about whether or not these popular supplements actually work. Also shares important warnings on side effects and potential negative consequences of using them. . […]

  2. sunitha says:

    Its so sad that we try and loose weight for most if our lives and somehow we dnt reach our goal weight. I have taken many many supplements over the years to no avail. It would really be wonderful to find a product that really works. I suffer from hypothyriodism and artritis unfortunately both is a huge restriction on my weight issue. I cannot exercise too much cos my joints ache. My under active thyriod contributes to my weight gain so really I’m in a no win situation. Someday hope to find a pill that really works to help me loose weight.

  3. M. HALAKI says:

    green coffee beans, raised my blood pressure from 120 / 75 to 163 / 85, pls consult your doctor.

  4. FLAVIA says:

    I have hashimoto and lupus, on medication for both. Just started raspberry ketone drops 5days ago, and I realize I am gainning weight! My weight increased 3 pounds in 5 days, is it possible?

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, there. Yes, it definitely could cause weight loss in your case due to potential adrenal involvement. Sorry you had this experience.

  5. Linda says:

    Does the green coffee bean capsules affect the blood INR. I am on Coumadin because of Atrial Fibrulation (irregular heart beat).

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Linda. I strongly recommend against anyone on Coumadin or anyone with Afib taking the green coffee bean extract. I suggest you discuss alternatives with your doctor.

  6. angela says:

    I started taking both supplements together in hopes of loosing 10 pounds. Les then five days later i came down with the worst chest infection and sore throat i have ever had. Could taking the pills have caused this in anyway. I also take Celexa and im wondering if i should be going off the supplements.

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Angela. Since it’s very doubtful the supplements will help, I definitely recommend not taking them until you can discuss them in more detail with your physician. I hope you are well.

  7. Jill says:

    The safest smartest way to loose weight is by diet and exercise. I have been a weight watcher member for 4 months and have lost 26 pounds!!! It’s all about lifestyle changes and not a quick fix in a pill. If diet pills or supplements really worked our country wouldn’t have an obesity problem:)

    • Yasmin says:

      The problem in this country is that people think that they can get a “miracle” pill and they will loose weight. That will not happen. Nothing in this life is easy and if someone wants to be thin the only two things to do is eat little and healthy and work your butt off in the gym. It is so sad that so many people are overweight and think is funny or take pills that might have terrible effects later. I am 49, in menopause, for the first time in a longtime I am struggling to loose the weight I gained since starting menopause and I am still trying to stop the sugary baked treats that I love, to stop the ice cream, etc. I exersise. This is the only way to do it.

  8. Luz Martinez says:

    I have bought the coffee bean and the rasberry ketones but have not started it yet. Is it safe taking both of them even tho if I had a history when pregant of cardiomyopathy.? I mean i dont have that heart condition anymore. What do you think……?

  9. Maria says:

    Hi, I’m an 18 year old healthy girl, and I have a low blood pressure. I would like to loose 3 pounds, and I have just started a combination of raspberry ketones and green coffee bean extract.
    Is it healthy for me, since one of the two lowers bood pressure and the other one increases it? what dosage of both would you recommend? is 600 mg of green coffee bean too much per day (combined with 3 half droppers of raspberry ketones) ?
    Also, what are the dangers and side effects of these two products?
    please give me your advice, and possibly answer all of my questions, it is very important to me ! than you!

  10. Cindy says:

    Hello there. I read your article about green coffee beans and rasberry keytones. I found it very interesting as well as a eye opener. I tried over the years so many products that claim to do things that in reality aren’t true. I am former body builder and figure competitor. I train every day. as a woman; i struggle a well with weight. My weight fluctuates every day. I have gained more muscle since i started training. but, I also have fat!! yes I do! My coach just recently designed a custom made meal plan and also recommended a whole bunch of supplements. to be frank with you, I am sick and tired of all of those pills. I came to the true reality that in order to achieve weight loss and to keep it off, is to have a well balanced diet. Did I say DIET! I don’t diet. i watch what i eat. i tried at least and allow myself a cheat meal once a week. Although; sometimes i mess up because I am human and have cravings and end up having more of the good thing and I shouldn’t!! but i don’t beat up myself, I start fresh again the following day. I need to loose some weight. I stop taking the pill because i was gaining weight.I guess my question to you is. what do you think of Co-enzyme? is to be taken before cardio. this is only one of the many supplements that my coach recommended but, I don’t take any!! only protein powder, my recovery for my joints. it has the glutamine in it already. and my omegas 3’s. that’s all i take. Whenever i think how rich we and each of us are making this companies that makes all these supps very wealthy by spending tons and tons of money, One begins to wonder does it really work? help me here with your opinion. I don’t know you but, i will value your opinion on this. What about in the old days? The Athletes of yesterday. Did they consume so many supps like we do today? I don’t think so. I reckon they did well without all the pills and the powders. Thank you so much for taking time reading my post.

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Cindy. That’s a great question! I agree that athletes way back then didn’t take as many supplements. However, they didn’t have the options available that we do today. Additionally, their food contained more nutrients than ours does and they weren’t exposed to all the toxins we currently have in our environment and our food supply. In my practice, I try to avoid supplements unless they are absolutely necessary. I NEVER recommend taking more than 5 at a time. That’s just too much for a body to handle. I hope you will discuss your concerns with your coach and ask him or her to create a plan that is based more on food and lifestyle than on supplementation. Please keep me posted on your progress!

  11. dwo says:

    Good article! You have found a lot of the same holes in these miracle weight lost supplements that I have. These supplements are created for people who want to look and feel great without putting in the effort, and this just isn’t a healthy, possible choice.

    I weighed 310lbs in may 2012. Today, I weighed in at 259lbs, and still dropping!

    Here’s what I did: No white food(bread, rice, pasta). No fast food(EVER). Cut down my sugar intake. I’ve only just started exercising because I have more engergy and I am no longer satisfied with the amount of energy I exert on a daily basis.

  12. Mary says:

    I have been dieting for over a month, eating around 1200 calories a day and walking about three miles a day. I gained 20 pounds in two months on birth control and just want to get my weight back down to 145. So far I have seen zero results. Is it possible I’m gaining muscle or just not losing weight? And would I benefit from taking these supplements together? I already take a green tea supplement twice a day.

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Mary. It is possible you are gaining muscle, but I suspect the issues lies in the type calories you are eating, not the quantity. Taking either or both of those products will probably not help.

  13. Douglas Nelson says:

    I’m 60 years of age, overweight (240lbs), diabetic (I take oral meds, no insulin), I had a heart attack about 7 years ago and suffered a stroke in 2009. I’m a smoker (a little over a pack a day). I fully realize my health issues are a “self inflicted” wound.

    Having said all that, I’ve seen about eight different Doctors since 2009, all of whom seemed to be interested in the insurance money and not the patient. I believe Dr. Oz is no different, he’s getting paid whether he helps or not.

    Just once, I’d like to hear someone from the medical field say “what are your concerns and how can I help”?

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Douglas. That’s why I became the kind of doctor I did. I also suffered many years from docs who were more interested in hiding symptoms than in actually addressing the cause of the issue. I hope you’re able to find someone you trust who is genuinely interested in helping.

  14. Jb thomas says:

    I tried them both with an exercise regiment. No results. I am curious as to how much Dr Oz was paid to endorse these products. I used to follow him but no more.

  15. Storm says:

    I have been taking raspberry key tone with a colon cleanser to lose weight. I have gained 4pounds in the first 8 days. I also take medication such as lithium carbonate. Could this be the reason for weight gain?

    • GWWR says:

      With the medications you are on, I would not recommend taking raspberry ketones. It is hard to say why you gained weight, other than the raspberry ketones are ineffective. Please contact your doctor and request a referral to a nutritionist who can help create a beneficial eating plan for you.

  16. JOSEPH BRUNO says:

    Need Honest info for weight loss for diabetic.

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Joseph. I have had diabetes for over 47 years, so everything I share can be applied to a diabetic. Please feel free to contact me via email to schedule a consultation. Thanks much!

  17. Kristen says:

    Hi, I bought Raspberry Ketones, after watching Dr. Oz and it was a total waste of money. There was no weight loss at all. Then I heard about Green Coffee Bean with Chlorogenic Acid, 50%. I started that, while taking the rest of the Raspberry Ketones. I have not shed 1 pound! The only way I have lost any weight has been by eating more healfully, increasing insoluble fiber, drinking more water and eating low glycemic foods. Also, as far as carbohydrates, whole grains are eaten generally before 4p.m and the rest are fruits & veggies while dinner is mostly lean protien with salad and veggies. No fruit juice or soda, just water. No alcohol either. If you have a hormonal imbalance or issues with hypothyroidism, losing weight if you are past 40, is very difficult if you have physical difficulties and cannot exercise as you once did.

  18. […] Green Coffee Bean Extract and Raspberry Ketones: Truth or Hype? Shares important information about whether or not these popular supplements actually work. Also shares important warnings on side effects and potential negative consequences of using them. . […]

  19. terri aaron says:

    Well I took green bean coffee bean and I really lost 13 pounds, but grained some of it back over the holidays…. Hope this helps

    • GWWR says:

      Congrats, Terri! Your results are not common. I’m sure you made many other lifestyle changes along with taking the GCBE. I’m happy you were able to lose weight!

  20. paul says:

    i took raspberry ketones for 6 months with no result that i could see. other thn a waste of money.

  21. Rose says:

    I have a mechanical hear valve and take a few different meds. Would either of the work against my meds?

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Rose. Assuming you are taking Coumadin or other blood thinners, you should not take either one of these supplements. Since they don’t work, you won’t be missing out on anything.

  22. Shane says:

    My wife ran the combination of Green Coffee Bean and Raspberry Ketone for a month with ZERO results! I advised her not to change her diet or routines so we could properly test them.

    Worthless waste of money!

  23. lana says:

    hello,
    I am having problems with energy and have had this problem for sometime now. I do exercise and eat well, but it takes everything I have to exercise. I am not what I would consider “fat”, but I am over weight according to my bmi . I have taken supplements to help with energy such as yohimbe containing products (lipo6, hydroxystim , etc), but they seem to be ineffective anymore. I tried counting calories recently and I have gained a good 4to 8 pounds! I do my research the best I can on appetite suppressants and metabolism increasing supplements , but I feel I’m at a dead end and doomed to continue to gain & never fit in the wedding dress I need to wear in the near future . do u have any suggestions?

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Lana. I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. I suspect you have a metabolic imbalance. I recommend finding an MD wh is willing to run a full thyroid panel, check your fasting insulin level, etc. Being hypothyroid or insulin resistant can make it almost impossible to lose weight. It sounds as if you’re gaining weight at a rate which indicates that there is a deeper issue. Please find an MD who will run full testing and help identify the cause of your weight gain. I wish you the very best!

  24. saba says:

    hi ,

    As stated above , what would be the safe & free measures to loose 30 pounds?

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Saba. I cannot provide medical advice on my blog due to liability issues. Please feel free to contact me to schedule a consultation.

  25. Sue says:

    What negative effects can you get taking raspberry ketones if you have glaucoma and anxiety? Also have tremors.

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Sue. I don’t recommend using any dietary aids other than physician-approved exercise and a low-carbohydrate eating style if you have conditions requiring medication. Many supplements can affect intraocular pressure and/or interfere with medications for anxiety. Please check with your physician.

  26. cherry says:

    Just wanted to know why you keep recommendation for people not to use the item and dr.oz stated it was healthy..

  27. Todd Brush says:

    Do not waste your money on this green coffee bean extract,been on it for two months NO weight loss,only loss was 100 dollars for product,just because Dr OZ says it’s the nexted best thing for weight loss, shame on him!eat healthy and exercise is the best way to loss weight.

  28. Katie says:

    I have been trying to lose weight the healthy way, exercise, diet but I just need a little help. I am healthy, could raspberry ketone and/or green coffee bean be beneficial to aid with weight loss for me?

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Katie. I sincerely doubt it. My suspicion is that your dietary measures were not the ones needed to lose weight. You may also have metabolic issues affecting your weight but not affecting your energy levels. I appreciate your frustration, but do not believe taking these supplements will help you.

  29. Carla Murray says:

    Is it safe to take green coffee bean extract and raspberry ketone together?

    • GWWR says:

      Yes, but I do not recommend it. The effects on adrenal health could have a negative effect on weight loss. Since the two supplements basically do the same thing, there is little reason to combine them.

  30. Uma Subramaniam says:

    Does green coffee bean extract cause skin itching? I developed itching skin, especially my legs after being on this supplement for about 5 weeks. I stopped it after I suspected that the cause was green coffee bean extract. The itching has not subsided and it’s been a few days now. How long will it last and should I see a dermatologist?

    • GWWR says:

      Hi, Uma. I’m so sorry to hear about your issue. If your itchiness was due to an allergic reaction, I would have expected it to have subsided by now. If I were you, I would see my GP before seeing a dermatologist. Also check to see if you’ve made any changes to laundry soap, body care products, etc., that could be causing the reaction. I wish you well in figuring things out!

    • Todd brush says:

      Had problems with itching legs from taking the green coffee extract, stoppped taking the product and the itching went away.

  31. swall says:

    Can I take green tea and raspbery keytone together safely?

  32. pete galati says:

    is it known that either green coffee bean extract and red rasberry ketone or both if taken will worsen a copd condition

    • GWWR says:

      I think that’s a question that is best answered by your doctor. However, since most COPD patients have underlying adrenal fatigue, my recommendation would be to avoid using either of these supplements.

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