Chlorogenic acids are found mostly in coffee. They are the active ingredient in green coffee bean extracts or GBCE which have been made popular in recent times by celebrities like Dr. Oz and Oprah touting them as miracle weight loss cures. The Dr. Oz show referred to it as “The green coffee bean that burns fat fast” and claims that no change to diet or exercise is needed in order to lose weight.
Chlorogenic acids can also be found in other plants, including bamboo, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, prunes, blueberries, strawberries, honeysuckle, hawthorn, sunflower leaves and tea.
Despite the hype with which green coffee bean extract is being promoted in the media, research into the compounds in it and their potential effects on health are just beginning and some of those studies have been sponsored by industry, making the results a little less reliable than if they were independent.
What benefits might you expect from green coffee been extract?
Slowed glucose absorption, reduced insulin spike after eating
Reduced production of glucose in the liver
Increased uptake of glucose in muscle tissue
- Reduced risk of type II diabetes
- Protection against Alzheimer’s disease, nerve degeneration
- Reduced risk of liver disease
- Reduced body mass and fat
- Increase fat-burning and inhibit new fat cells forming
- Mild laxative
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve mood and cognitive abilities
Does chlorogenic acid react with metformin?
Chlorogenic acid has been found to potentiate, or increase, the action of some anti-diabetic drugs including metformin and thiazolidinedione (THZ), increasing the rate of glucose uptake into fat cells by 6-7 times that of the drugs by themselves. It may also alleviate some of the side effects and secondary complications which can occur as a result of these drugs, through increasing the expression of the PPARy receptor protein. These phytochemicals were able to reduce the expressions of two genes which are affected by the drugs, the fatty acid synthase gene and the HMG CoA reductase gene.
Chlorogenic acid has also been associated with increased levels of the protein amino acid homocysteine, elevated levels of which have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, though it has not been proven that reducing elevated homocysteine improves cardiovascular outcomes for people.
A 2001 study found that 2.5 g of chlorogenic acid increased homocysteine levels in humans by 12%, 4.5 grams of black tea powder, roughly the equivalent to 2 litres of strong black tea, increased homocysteine levels by 11% when compared with placebo, 4 – 5 hours after consumption. By 20 hours, this increase had reduced to only 4% for chlorogenic acid and 5% for black tea. Elevated homocysteine levels can also be caused by deficiencies in the B vitamins pyridoxine (B6), folate (vitamin B9) and cobalomin (B12). Women with PCOS tend to be at greater risk of B vitamin deficiencies in general and if they have taken the insulin-sensitizing drug metformin, B12 deficiencies in particular.
It would therefore appear to be wise to have your homocysteine levels checked regularly if you choose to take chlorogenic acid supplements and to take a B vitamin complex as these three B vitamins have been found to lower homocysteine, as has the enzyme betaine.
Coffee contains a family of conjugated hydroxycinnamates collectively referred to as chlorogenic acids. The main chlorogenic acids are 5-Ocaffeoylquinic acid (5-CQA) and its isomers 3-O-caffeoylquinic acid (3-CQA) and 4-O-caffeoylquinic acid (4-CQA) and together these account for 80% of the total chlorogenic acids.About half of ingested chlorogenic acid is metabolised into hippuric acid, with the possibility that one molecule of chlorogenic acid may be able to produce two molecules of hippuric acid, if both the caffeic acid and quinic acid moieties are metabolised into hippuric acid.
Hippuric acid is sold under the brand name Hiprex as a urinary antiseptic for the treatment of urinary tract infections (in conjunction with other ingredients). It has a mild antiseptic effect in the urine and keeps the pH more acidic.Research into chlorogenic acid and its effects on obesity and insulin resistance is just beginning. Some results are very positive, others more neutral and some indicate the possibility of negative effects under some circumstances.
Chlorogenic acid as a supplement, or coffee as part of a balanced diet, may provide some beneficial effects in relation to weight loss and glucose tolerance, through a ‘carb-blocking’ action, reducing the amount of carbohydrate that is absorbed in the stomach and intestines, increasing the amount of glucose used by the muscles and possibly reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver.
At the very least, measure your weight before you start taking it, then again after one month. If appropriate test your blood sugar levels regularly before and throughout, or have an HbA1c or glucose tolerance test, before and after.
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This article was originally published at My PCOS Info Chlorogenic Acid. Further references, more in-depth information and links to the studies mentioned can be found there.
(C) Copyright 2012 Anne Seccombe. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without the express permission of the author. All rights reserved.