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Coffee helps weight loss, but avoid Dr. Oz's green coffee and caffeine powder

Find out how coffee can boost weight loss.
Find out how coffee can boost weight loss.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Coffee has become one of the most popular beverages in the world. Mega-corporations such as Starbucks have the humble coffee bean to thank. And now a new study shows that coffee can also boost weight loss, reported Food Consumer on July 20.

During the study, participants went on calorie-restricted diets for specified periods. Some of the participants took a coffee supplement, while others followed the diet without supplementation.

At the end of the study, those who took the coffee supplements lost significantly more weight. They noted that the coffee seemed to impact the degree of hunger and satiety.

Other studies have shown that caffeine intake can promote weight loss via fat oxidation and thermogenesis. In one study, reported in the Obesity Research Journal, researchers found that "a mixture of green tea (epigallocatechin gallate) with caffeine was associated with greater weight maintenance in habitual low caffeine consumers, supported by relatively greater thermogenesis and fat oxidation."

So does that mean Dr. Mehmet Oz's repeated claims that green coffee bean extract is a "miracle" are true? Despite his hype, the evidence is insufficient, reported Time Warner Cable News on July 20.

One problem with Dr. Oz's claims: Human tests are minimal, at best. "Some of the studies show it could be helpful for weight loss, blood pressure management, but all the human studies aren't really showing the same stuff," said Julie Mellen, a registered dietitian at Upstate University Hospital.

Because the pills are not FDA-regulated, they will continue to be marketed unless a problem occurs. And certain groups of dieters should definitely avoid them, says Mellen.

"Certainly if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, none of these products are ever tested in those populations. Children under 18, certainly not something you want to mess with," she added.

And don't assume that caffeine powder is a good alternative. A teen's death from powdered caffeine is drawing increasing attention to what many thought to be a safe way to boost energy, reported the Star Herald News on July 20.

Although no regulatory action has been taken yet, the FDA is investigating the use of the powder. The organization issued a caution to parents.

The death of Logan Stiner occurred after he consumed what equaled 23 times the equivalent of a cup of coffee. The coroner reported that the teenager had more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his body.

In its July 20 release, the FDA expressed particular concern about powdered caffeine sold over the Internet. One teaspoon equals approximately 25 cups of coffee.

Dangerously rapid heartbeats, vomiting and disorientation are among the symptoms of a caffeine overdose.The agency mentioned the death that had occurred from the product to emphasize the risks.