Tag Archives: alternative health

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

Naturally Addressing and Eliminating Allergies

One of the most common complaints I hear right now is that everyone is miserable with allergies. I used to suffer with allergies and KNOW how awful it is to feel that exhaustion, congestion and frustration. The problem with allergies is that the increased mucous and inflammation in the nasal cavities and lungs are true breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. The constant battle against the allergens also depletes the immune system, further weakening an already weak body. Many people with nasal allergies develop secondary viral or bacterial infections that knock them down even further.

In addition to daily use of a Neti Pot, keeping windows closed, or even wearing a mask while outdoors, there are natural products that can eliminate symptoms and even reverse the allergy. A list of natural remedies follows:

Treat the Symptoms of Allergies

My favorite tool for combating allergies quickly and efficiently is to use a natural combination of Quercetin, Stinging Nettles (they don’t sting, I promise), Bromelain and N-Acetyl Cysteine.These natural ingredients not only reduce and eliminate the congestion and inflammation that makes us miserable, but also STOP the allergic reaction. How? These ingredients strengthen cell walls and prevent the release of histamines from what are called Mast Cells. The mast cells are responsible for the allergic misery many people know so well. Stopping the release of histamines stops the allergic reaction and prevents the symptoms that make us miserable. My favorite combination of these ingredients is called D-Hist. D-Hist not only works amazingly well, it works FAST, often within 30 minutes. Follow the instructions on the bottle and use a loading dose before backing down to a maintenance dose. D-Hist is also available in a children’s version: D-Hist Jr. (http://amzn.to/d-histjr). You can order D-Hist online at http://amzn.to/d-hist or can find it in most healthfood stores. 

Combat the Auto-Immune Reaction to Allergies

There is a wide variety of homeopathic remedies formulated for specific allergies. These remedies come in versions that specifically target allergies to tree pollen, hayfever, flowers, molds, etc. Some are regional to target specific plants/antigens in your region. Homeopathy works by using an extremely tiny amount of all-natural products to stimulate the body to naturally heal itself or reverse a condition. Homeopathics are known to effectively lower the body’s reaction to allergens and thereby reduce and eliminate the symptoms. For people with extremely severe allergies, homeopathics combined with D-Hist are often a powerful combination to bring fast relief. Please contact a trained practitioner before selecting a homeopathic remedy. Many different factors need to be considered in selecting the correct remedy. In my practice, I use systematic EDS testing to ensure the correct remedy is used.

Identify the Food Connection

I used to have horrific seasonal allergies, often spending months on antibiotics because of the chronic infection that resulted from the attack on my nasal passages. My doctors insisted there was not a food connection, but I insisted there was. I received  food allergy testing which revealed multiple food sensitivities. Within two months of eliminating all the foods I was allergic to (and there were many), my nasal allergies completely disappeared. The bottom line is that my nasal problems weren’t caused by seasonal allergens. My nasal passages were already inflamed from my food allergies and seasonal pollens and molds merely made it worse. Today, seasons come and go my nasal passages show no change … until I slip and eat something I shouldn’t. In working with client, I find many of them experience the same “miraculous” disappearance of allergies once food allergens were eliminated. One dear lady I work with had a cough disappear that she had struggled with for over 20 years. She eliminated wheat and within a few days the cough that had nagged her and caused constant problems disappeared. Completely.

Food allergies often cause very mild symptoms that most people don’t associate with a food sensitivity. Nasal congestion is just one of many possible reactions. Food allergies can be identified by a simple blood test that tests for over 375 different allergens, or can be identified by EDS testing or by an elimination diet that eliminates the most common allergenic foods and then gradually adds them back while watching for symptoms. Even if you don’t have any true food sensitivities, many people find their allergy symptoms diminish if they eliminate dairy. If your allergies are horrible, try eliminating all dairy and wheat products from your diet for two weeks. If you do this, let me know what changes you see.

Allergies make us miserable, but they CAN be conquered! 

If you would like to begin identifying your sensitivities or are interested in receiving more information on seasonal allergies, please feel free to contact my office at 317.489.0909. Private consultations are available in person, over the phone or via Skype.

Links in this post are affiliate links which are shared merely to provide a visual example of the recommended product.