Green Coffee Extract Found to Help with Weight Loss

Tests with green coffee saw people lose an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. Kimberly Beauchamp ND, comments on the  new findings.

With obesity on the rise, it’s no surprise that people turn to fad diets, meal replacements, supplements, drugs, and even surgery in an effort to lose weight. Most of these solutions are riddled with problems, though, and weight lost is often easily gained back. So weight-loss strategies that are safe and long-lasting always make welcome news. Enter the green coffee bean, which a study in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity claims will help overweight people safely shed some extra pounds.

What’s in the bean?

Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee could protect against type 2 diabetes and obesity, which led researchers to look for the constituents in coffee that might be responsible for these effects. They discovered that coffee contains something called chlorogenic acid, a substance that seems to influence glucose and fat metabolism. Unroasted—or green—coffee beans contain substantially more chlorogenic acid than roasted beans do.

To test the effects of a standardised green coffee extract on weight loss, 16 overweight people (average age 33 years) took high dose (1,050 mg per day) green coffee extract, low dose (700 mg per day) green coffee extract, and placebo, each separately for six weeks, with a two-week break between phases. The participants didn’t change their diets during the trial. Body weight, BMI (body mass index), and percent body fat were measured before, during, and after each period of the study.

Both dosages of green coffee extract led to significant reductions in percent body fat, body weight, and BMI. Percent body fat also decreased significantly with placebo, but body weight and BMI remained unchanged. While taking green coffee bean extract, the people lost an average of almost 18 pounds and 4.4% of their body fat. What’s more, 88% of the people maintained their weight loss four months later. No side effects related to the treatment were reported.

“The results suggest that green coffee extract may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight in preobese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults,” concluded the researchers.

Weight loss 101

The results of this small study were impressive but need to be reproduced in larger trials before solid recommendations can be made about taking green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Doctors who specialise in weight loss agree that lasting results can only be achieved when you make permanent lifestyle changes that include eating less and moving more. Each positive step that you take adds up to help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals.

  • Be active. Exercise does double duty for weight loss—by burning calories while you’re working out and by increasing your resting metabolic rate.
  • Make your calories count. “Empty” calories from processed foods (like chips, pastries, and white bread and pasta) add inches to your waistline. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, fish, and low-fat dairy and lean meats help fill you up without filling you out.

(Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2012;5:21–7)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Fancy some chocolate without the guilt?

 I couldn’t help it. I can resist everything except temptation.

Lord Darlington in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windemere’s Fan

We all want chocolate now and again, and those who don’t like it normally don’t have to deal with the herculean task of resisting it.

Choxy luxury xylitol chocolate
Choxy luxury Xylitol chocolate

But if you’re diabetic or on a diet, that is the temptation which faces you.

Thankfully there’s Choxy Luxury Chocolate from Xylitol.

Xylitol is a Birch tree sugar just as good as regular sugar. It is a natural sweetener with many health benefits. It has a low GI, has 40% less calories than sugar and can be used by diabetics.

Fancy some coffee or mint chocolate, dark or orange? You don’t need to be tempted…

Got a heart for pistachios? You’d be nuts not to

Nuts used to be the bad guys. They were seen as high in fat and calories. Now they are recognised for their positive effect on the body, particularly as a likely preventative of heart disease.

People with diabetes replaced their carb calories with a similar calorie count of nuts and found that their blood sugar levels improved and their unhealthy cholesterol went down.

In a nut shell? Healthy

Interestingly no one in the diabetes test lost or increased their weight even though the nuts made up 20-30% of their calorie intake. But, after 3 months, blood sugar levels were better, indications of cardiac risk were lower and LDL cholesterol was down.

Conclusion: nuts are healthy.

The nuts used in the test were unsalted and mostly raw, with some dry roasted, and included almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and macadamias.

It’s best to eat nuts raw as this preserves the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats which are healtheir fats; eat them unsalted too. Eating nuts are will give you a boost of fibre, vitamin E, and a host of minerals like magnesium and selenium. But they are still high in calories so make sure they’re replacing something else in your diet – the fact that they help control your blood sugar means you’re unlikely to feel as hungry anyway.

Buying nuts in bulk
is the best way to source your favourite variety as nuts can be pretty expensive if you buy them in small bags.

Red wine in a pill – healthy benefits coming your way soon.

This could be good news: Scientists have managed to synthesize the secret ingredient that makes red wine so healthy.

A secret fountain of youth?
Could resveratrol be a secret fountain of youth?

Resveratrol, found in red wine and colourful berries, is thought to be a key to reversing the aging process, tackling obesity and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes. However, it is very difficult to harvest enough for its beneficial properties.

Nonetheless, researchers from New York are very excited because they have found a way around the problem by making similar beneficial compounds from molecules comparable to resveratrol.

“It’s like a recipe book for the whole resveratrol family,” says Scott Snyder, the team leader, “We’ve opened up a whole casket of nature’s goodies.”

Source: New Scientist

More Vitamin D could protect you from disease

Vitamin D works with your cells to protect you from a number of diseases. In fact the list of illnesses it is known that Vitamin D can help with is still growing.

Multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancers, rheumatoid arthritis – all of these can now be conected to a deficiency in Vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin is also known to help, in some cases significantly, with osteoporosis, immunity, muscular pain, coronary illness and depression.

As an anti-depressant, Vitamin D can reduce depression and enhance your mood, sociability and overall sense of wellbeing. Yet more than half the UK population is deficient in this vitamin.

If you live north of Birmingham you won't get enough Vitamin D from the sun in the winter
If you live north of Birmingham you won't get enough Vitamin D from the sun in the winter

And, this is interesting, if you live roughly north of Birmingham (above 52 degrees north) your body will not be able to make Vitamin D in the winter because of the lack of sunlight. In fact, a key reason why so many people developed rickets during the industrial revolution was because everywhere was covered in dense smog.

So how do you get more of the vitamin?

As well as sunlight Vitamin D can also be gained from fish and shellfish, and a little from eggs, dairy produce and green vegetables. But there are calls for the RDA of Vitamin D to be increased because it is such a significant health-giving nutrient.

But, given that so many people suffer from a lack of this sun-sourced friend, it’s useful to take Vitamin D in tablet form. A good vegan source of Vitamin D can be found in Viridian Vitamin D2.

Are you getting enough minerals? – Quiz

Our bodies can’t make minerals. We get them from what we eat and drink. You don’t need loads but they are as vital as vitamins are. They are needed for structural strength, fluid control and energy conversion.

So here’s a test: Count up the foods in each category (A,B,C etc.) that you eat on a regular basis (several times a week). Then compare your score with the guide at the bottom.

A Apples, Kale, Broccoli, Live yoghurt, Cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, Sesame seeds, Whitebait, Sardines, Salmon (tinned)
B Tomatoes, Broccoli, Onions (raw), Liver, Chicken, Turkey, Oysters, Mussels
C Avocados, Asparagus, Chickpeas, Barley, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Sesame seeds, Walnuts
D Spinach, Apricots (dried), Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Lentils, Soya beans, Tofu, Liver, Beef, Lamb, Venison, Prawns, Anchovies
E Pumpkin, Lettuce, Spinach, Brown rice, Spelt, Whole wheat, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Pumpkin seeds, Scallops, Salmon
F Pumpkin, Seaweed, Peas, Beef, Lamb, Poultry, Game, Liver, Cheese, Yoghurt, Eggs, Pecans, Pine nuts
G Cabbage, Onions, Brussel sprouts, Peas, Red meat, Poultry, Eggs
H Potatoes, Avocados, Tomatoes, Sun dried tomatoes, Dried fruits, Squash, Sweet potatoes, Cucumber, Peppers, Bananas, Celery, Lettuce (dark), Herring
I Pineapples, Sweet potatoes, Spinach, Peas, Leeks, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Lentils, Soya beans, Tofu, Barley, Brown rice, Oat, Wild rice, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Sesame seeds, Walnuts


Results

A = Calcium levels. You are: 1-3 probably deficient, 4-6 possibly deficient, 7-10 adequate
Maintains strong and healthy bones and teeth. Also aids blood clotting, muscle and nerve function, lowering blood pressure.

Continue reading

Vitamin D, the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous,  it contributes to joint and bone health. Researchers have found that Vitamin D may help reduce the risk of other diseases such as cancer, chronic pain, cardiovascular and may protect against autoimmune disease.

Recent research has shown good management of vitamin D deficiency may be a simple and cost-effective method to prevent the serious complications associated with diabetes. The Diabetes Educater suggests that diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, and a low intake of Vitamin D may increase the risk of cardiac events.

You would find this vitamin in very few foods and it is normally available as a dietary supplement. People who are exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need the  ‘Sunshine vitamin’ as Vitamin D is normally produced in the skin after exposure to sunlight.

If you find that you don’t receive enough sun for your daily dosage of Vitamin D then here are a few ways you may obtain this vitamin,

Gum disease linked heart disease, strokes, diabetes and infertility

Bad oral health can affect our general health and well-being as well as robbing us of our smile.

The British Dental Health Foundation recently conducted a National Dental Survey . The conclusions of the research are shocking and have gone so far as to associate gum disease to potential risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, premature births, low birth-weight babies and, in recent early studies, infertility. These are astounding implications and Dr Nigel Carter (the Foundation’s Chief Executive) states in conclusion ‘The public is put at risk by poor dental hygiene habits yet awareness of these risks is very low. Gum disease in particular has been linked to serious health issues. It affects most people at some point in their lives, so there is no excuse for ignoring good dental hygiene.”

Cleaning teeth
Brush twice a day

Such important conclusions that have wide spread effects need to be broadcast a little more widely.  The basic advice of the British Health Foundation is to:

a) brush your teeth twice a day with a flouride toothpaste (there is a massive debate about flouride that I will touch on in a separate post)

b) floss daily

c) avoid sweet sticky foods

d) have regular dental check ups

Of those responding to some research carried out by the foundation 33% did not follow the advice to brush twice daily, 8% (equivalent to nearly five million people in the UK), admitted they had no NHS dentist and were not inclined to find one.  I wonder if they know the darker side of not caring for your mouth and teeth?

Research carried out which looks specifically at the systemic links between oral health and general health has come up with these frightening conclusions:

Facts, figures and details taken from British Dental Health Foundation

Heart Health

Good oral healthcare and treatment for gum disease can prevent the bacteria that cause thickening of the arteries. (Piconi, Trabattoni et al, FASEB Journal Dec 08 Italian/UK study in FASEB Journal)

Gum disease can be linked to heart disease. (September 2008 – scientists present the Society of General Microbiology’s autumn meeting with two new studies illustrating this.

There are 700 million oral bacteria among these the harmful bacteria can bond and act against the immune system or antibiotics, increasing chances of heart disease even in the case of fit healthy people (Jenkinson, Kerrigan et al – Uni Bristol/RCS Dublin Sep 08)

Oral bacteria causes atherosclerosis, or ‘furring’ of the arteries, as oral bacteria’s similarity to proteins which cause arteries to fur confuses the immune system. (These findings were presented by University of Otago’s Professor Greg Seymour).

There is strong evidence that treating gum disease can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Inflammation in the mouth has a measurable effect in the bloodstream and the rest of the body. In trials, once the gum infection was eradicated the risk of heart attacks and future blood clots was reduced. (Taylor, Tofler et al; Journal of Dental Research, January 2006) * Jan 2006 – PERICAR trial).

Diabetes

There is evidence of links from periodontal disease to type 2 diabetes. Of 9,000 participants in the study 800 developed diabetes. Those with high levels of periodontal disease were twice as likely to develop diabetes. (Demmer, Desvarieux et al, Diabetes Care November 2008 – Columbia University. USA).

A link has been found between gum disease and pre-diabetes, often a precursor to type-2 diabetes. Dr. Carla Pontes Andersen said: “The gum inflammation seen in periodontitis can allow bacteria and inflammatory substances from the dental structures to enter the bloodstream. These processes seem to affect blood sugar control.” (Pontes Anderson, Flyybjerg et al; Journal of Periodontology)

Premature births

December 2008 – researchers in Finland question 328 women on oral health and pregnancy, those who needed urgent dental treatment, suggesting poor oral health, were 2.5 times more likely to miscarry. (Heimonen et al, Blackwell Publishing)

July 2007 – Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chile finds link between gum disease and premature births. One in three women at risk of premature labour presented with gum disease bacteria in their amniotic fluid, as well as their mouth.

Strokes

In June 2006 scientists found that gum disease may contribute to clogged carotid arteries leading to an increased risk of a stroke. Blocked carotid arteries were much more common in people who had gum disease. (Chung, Friedlander et al, General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research)

Infertility

In February of this year a pilot study on 56 men  suggests links between gum disease and low sperm counts. ( Hebrew University Hadassah School of Dental Medicine and Bikur Holim Hospital-based scientists)

If that has scarred you into visiting the dentist or you need more information you can contact the National Dental Helpline for free and impartial expert advice on 0845 063 1188 Monday to Friday.

“Orange Juice cuts the risk of strokes”

People with low daily intakes of vitamin C were 30% more likely to have a stroke than those who consume the most.

Dutch scientists studied 5,197 healthy people aged 55 or over for 6.5 years. Those with the largest intake of 133mg or more a day were 30% less likely to have a stroke than those who consumed the least vit C – under 95mg. Smokers who took large daily amounts of vitamin C were 70% less likely to have a stroke than those who consumed a low dose.

More about Vitamin C

December 2003 – Oranges ‘cut cancer risk’ Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation claims that eating oranges can cut the risk of cancer by as much as 50%. Researchers also claim that eating an extra serving can reduce the risk of a stroke by 19 per cent. The findings are based on 48 international studies on the health effects of citrus fruits. Of all citrus fruits, oranges are thought to contain the highest level of antioxidants, which ‘mop up’ harmful toxins called free radicals. They strengthen the immune system and fight the growth of tumours. There is also convincing evidence of the positive effects of citrus fruit consumption on obesity and Type 2 diabetes, because the fruit is low in fat and energy. Source: Daily Mail

7 November 2003 – Vitamin C lowers the risk of stroke A study carried out in Rotterdam, due to be published in the journal ‘Neurology’, has found that consuming more vitamin C can help decrease the risk of stroke, especially among smokers. It found that people with less than 95mg of Vitamin C in their diets were 30 per cent more likely to have a stroke than people consuming more than 133mg of vitamin C a day. Among smokers, those with diets rich in Vitamin C were 70 per cent less likely to have a stroke than those with diets deficient in the vitamin. The study looked at 5,197 people aged 55 or over who had never had a stroke, over a period of six years, during which time 253 patients had strokes. Source: Financial Times

30 October 2003 – Keep taking the vitamin tablets Dr Thomas Stuttaford argues that if a person’s diet and lifestyle are less than perfect, warmth and vitamin C can keep colds at bay, despite some scientists’ views to the contrary. He adds that a drawback of taking additional vitamin C is that it can upset the guts. He suggests that the way to avoid this is to take vitamin C made from Ester-C. This is a combination of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and calcium carbonate. It is well tolerated, well absorbed and gives high levels of intra-cellular vitamin C without a corresponding increase in plasma levels. Ester-C is sold in a range of brands available in high-street shops. Source: times2

Daily Mail 11 November 2003

Malt Syrups for Sweetness

Health Benefits: Sugars are the fuel of life, and sweeteners are something everyone instinctively desires. How we satisfy this craving for sweets can have a significant effect on our health and happiness.

The quick energy lift from refined white sugar, brown sugar, fructose, honey, and maple syrup can cause rapid mood shifts on a daily basis. Over long periods of time, this can result in mental illness, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and other hormonal and degenerative diseases.

When choosing sweeteners, it is important to consider both quantity and quality. There is, of course, a world of difference between using lots of white sugar, which has no nutritional value, and using a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup, which has some nutritional value. However, even regular consumption of these higher quality sweeteners can cause rapid upsurges in blood sugar levels, followed soon after by dramatic plummets.

This cycle, often referred to as the “sugar blues,” is due to a high concentration of simple sugars. The next time you start the day with pancakes smothered in maple syrup, pay particular attention to your emotions over the next few hours. The first sign of the sugar blues is usually anxiety or irritability, typically followed by low energy or depression.

If you are eating a healing diet or if you simply want to enjoy the highest quality sweeteners available, choose naturally malted whole grain sweeteners such as rice, barley or brown rice malt syrup. Like many of the traditional foods used in macrobiotics, these cereal malt syrups are made by a slow, natural enzymatic process, as the whole grains are partially broken down to yield a thick, rich, sweet liquid.

Rice malt syrup contains about 30 percent soluble complex carbohydrates, 45 percent maltose (grain malt sugar), 3-4 percent glucose, and 20 percent water. The glucose is absorbed into the blood almost immediately. The maltose takes up to one and a half hours to digest, and the complex carbohydrates are gradually digested and released for up to four hours. Unlike other concentrated sweeteners, which are high in simple sugars, rice malt syrup provides a slow but prolonged source of energy that is calming and soothing.

Another advantage of rice or brown rice malt syrup is that it has many of the B vitamins and minerals that are found in rice and sprouted barley. Characteristically rich but mild flavored, rice malt syrup complements simple foods, whereas honey, maple syrup, and molasses have stronger, often overpowering tastes.

The Macrobiotic Guide