The Dr. Oz Show is an American TV show in which medical treatments of all kinds are promoted to benefit the health and wellness of the viewers, and to kick off the fourth season of the show started with a segment on weight-loss and the beneficial effects of green coffee bean extract on this process. Soon after the airing of the episode in question the show runners were flooded with complaints and lawsuits from people who had followed the show’s suggestions and experienced none of the benefits.
The study on which the advice was based
When looking in more detail at the study behind the show’s statements it becomes clear immediately that it has some serious flaws. What stands out straight away is the tiny sample of 16 people, which for a scientific experiment is extremely small. To provide a point of comparison, the testing of more serious medication, for example, requires sample groups of thousands or tens of thousands of people.
Another considerable problem with the study in question is that there was practically no placebo control. When conducting a medical experiment one part of the sample group is given the medicine in question and the other part is given a non-active component called a placebo. This is crucial in judging the actual additional beneficial effects (as well as the potential side-effects) of a medicine that is being tested, so control of this process is essential. The study in question provides no information whatsoever in this regard.
The study contains enough other flaws to fill another five articles with, and of those we’ll mention just one more for now. Even though the study in question was published by an American researcher called Joe Vinson (University of Scranton) the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail discoverd that the study had actually been conducted in India, with 16 Indian test subjects, and that the results of this were e-mailed to Vinson so he could turn it into an article. On top of this the paper found out that the research had been financed by GCA, the makers of the brand of coffee beans that had been specifically promoted as a weight-loss miracle solution on The Dr. Oz Show.
So does green coffee bean extract promote weight-loss or not?
Briefly said, no, it does not. This year, medical writer Rena Goldman and medical reviewer Natalie Butler, a registered and licensed dietitian, published an article in which they do not necessarily dismiss the possible weight-loss effects of green coffee bean extract, but they emphasise the lack of decent research on the subject. Neither the efficiency nor the safety of the extract as a weight-loss supplement has been clinically proven, so in short, much more research is needed on this topic.
As a customer, our recommendation always is to be skeptical, to do your research and possibly even consult a medical professional before spending on supplements and adding them to your daily diet.