Around May of 2012 Dr. Mehmet Oz did a show with a segment titled “Miracle Pill To Burn Fat.” The “star” miracle of the show was green coffee bean extract. The “expert” guest on the subject was Naturopathic doctor Lindsey Duncan.
Part 1 of the segment is here
Part 2 of the segment is here
I’m going to make this as painless and brief as possible. Dr Oz is a hyperbole machine, Dr. Duncan owns or is a principal participant in a supplement company (Genesis Today), and green coffee bean extract has, in the real world, zero to incredibly-marginal benefits at best.
During the show Oz said
“This miracle pill can burn fat fast for anyone who wants to lose weight. This is very exciting and it’s breaking news.”
Dr Oz was SHOCKED when he received a huge backlash for over-hyping this supplement. Really Dr Oz? You’re a doctor so you’re at least book smart but are you really that dumb or naive when it comes to understanding why there’d be a backlash for you over-hyping this?
Dr Duncan said this during the show referring to the study participants that prompted all this “excitement”
“They actually consumed 2400 calories a day. They burned only 400 calories. Now that’s weight gain not weight loss.”
Again, sharp enough to get his N.D. (Naturopathic doctor) degree but not real sharp on math or basic total energy expenditure science. Total-energy expenditure in a day is made up of three things:
1. Resting energy expenditure (energy burned doing NOTHING). 60-75% of total energy burned in a day
2. Activity energy expenditure (energy burned doing stuff). 17-32% of total energy burned in a day
3. Thermic effect of food (energy needed to digest food). ~8% of total energy burned in a day
How can someone only burn 400 calories a day? They can’t. Even if they sat on their asses and did nothing for 24 hours a day they would still have a resting-energy expenditure. The resting metabolic rate would be at least 1200 calories a day and probably more like 1500-1700 calories a day. So no “Dr” Duncan they didn’t burn only 400 calories a day. Maybe they burned 400 calories a day from activity/exercise. The study itself doesn’t make that clear so I’m not sure where Duncan gets the 400 calories a day at all.
Duncan also says on the show
“They lost 16 percent of their total body fat.”
Now when you see that does it make you think someone went from 28 percent bodyfat to 12 percent body fat? Or does it make you think they went from 28 percent body fat to 23.5 percent body fat? My bet is the average person would think that he meant they went from 28 percent body fat (for example) to 12 percent. But the reality is the subjects of the study went from 28 percent to 23.5 percent allegedly.
This brings me to the study itself. It had 16 total subjects–8 males and 8 females. That’s very small. The average starting weight of the subjects was 160.2 pounds. The average BMI (body mass index) of the subjects was 26.78 (25 or higher is classified as overweight). The study was conducted in India and funded by a green coffee bean extract producer “Applied Food Sciences Inc.”
Last but not least comes the biggest question of all. Does it work outside of the Dr Oz hyperbolic hour?
The brand that Duncan sells is “Genesis Today” and it’s sold on Amazon. You would think the “purest” form from Duncan’s company would be the best. It’s been given 2.5 stars out of 5 with 192 customer ratings. Here are a few review comments from Amazon based on “most helpful” as the sort criteria:
no weight loss, but still a healthy product to take, June 13, 2012
I’ve about finished my bottle and results have been so and so. There are a lot of health benefits that are not very visible when taking green coffee bean so it was not a total wash. Increased circulation is one thing I read about it. I have poor circulation in my legs and it did help a little bit, so I am grateful for that. I did, however, like many other people get this product because of the weight loss claim Dr. Oz made on his show. I did not get any such results.
Didn’t work for me, gained weight instead!, June 23, 2012
After 4 weeks of taking it, I maintained or gained a lb or 2. It did not work for me at all, I Zumba twice or thrice a week, my eating habits are not bad I eat mostly healthy no sodas,chips,chocolates or eating after dinner. It sucks but maybe it will work on somebody else, you’ll never know til you try. As much as I read reviews from this product I haven’t seen anybody said they lost of a good amount of lbs except for just 2 lbs. that’s all?
green coffee bean results, July 5, 2012
I took this faithfully for two months and had no weight loss at all ..this product is far to expensive to have no results..SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!
Didn’t live up to the hype, July 2, 2012
I bought this product, took it according to Dr. Oz’s directions, and didn’t change my eating or workout habits (because supposedly according to the research you don’t have to diet along with it). It didn’t do a thing for me. Whenever I hear about people who lost weight taking a supplement that requires them to drink a large glass of water a half hour before meals, I always wonder if it was simply drinking water that curbed their appetite.
Dr Oz blows things WAY out of proportion, distorts the truth and is not credible when it comes to foods and supplements discussed on his show to improve weight-loss. He has proven this true time and time again. Green coffee bean extract isn’t the savior people were hoping it would be for weight-loss. Weight-management for those who have struggled for more than a year (weight fighters) demands:
- An evidence-based program, not a gimmick or quick fix scam
- A T-E-A-M approach (allocate the time, energy, affection and money to yourself as needed)
- Engagement and utilization of personal, professional and spiritual support as needed
Certified Wellness Coach