Is green coffee bean extract a scam, or will this popular diet product actually help you lose weight?

Promoted by Dr. Oz and other celebrity health gurus, green coffee bean extract is another “natural” diet supplement like African Mango, Acai Berry, or Garcinia Cambogia. It’s supposed to help you burn fat, “detox,” and lose weight fast without exercise or dieting.

Unfortunately, like most weight loss products and diet pills, the evidence suggests that green coffee extract doesn’t live up to the hype. Health experts are very critical of the study supporting green coffee bean supplements as a diet aid. Plus, complaints filed by Scambook users indicate that the manufacturers of green coffee extract might be ripping off consumers with hidden fees.

Let’s get the skinny on this popular diet product and find out if the green coffee diet is a scam.


Green Coffee Diet: Burn Fat Without Dieting or Exercise?

The claim sounds too good to be true. As seen on the Dr. Oz Show, the green coffee diet claims that you can eat whatever you want, skip those extra Zumba sessions at the gym, and still burn fat and shed unwanted pounds.

Just what is “green coffee,” anyway? Green coffee actually refers to coffee beans that haven’t been roasted. They’re no good for brewing that morning cup o’ joe, but they contain high quantities of a chemical called chlorogenic acid.

According to Web MD, chlorogenic acid is thought to have health benefits for high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Supposedly, it also boosts metabolism when taken daily for 12 weeks.


But medical research on chlorogenic acid is lacking. Most green coffee diet products support their results with a single study published by Dr. Joe Vinson in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity. Although Vinson’s study found that participants lost an average 17 pounds, this occurred over five months — hardly instant results — and the study only included 16 people.

The same 16 participants also lost roughly the same amount of weight during the study’s placebo phase, so experts suspect they may have been dieting or exercising on their own simply because they knew their weight was being monitored.

The Globe And Mail further points out some basic research flaws as well as a potential conflict of interest in the Vinson study:

Although [Dr. Joe Vinson] is listed as the lead author of the study, he actually didn’t do any of the research. The study was conducted in India. Vinson examined the data and wrote the study paper.

While Vinson notes that the green coffee bean extract used in the study was supplied by Applied Food Sciences Inc., a company based in Texas, he didn’t mention that the company also paid him to write the study.

Web MD adds that green coffee still contains caffeine, so taking too much may result in unpleasant side-effects like upset stomach, anxiety, insomnia or heart palpitations. It may also be dangerous for pregnant or breast-feeding women and anyone with a heart condition or diabetes.


What Real Consumers Say About Green Coffee Diet

So what are real consumers saying about green coffee extract?

To date, Scambook has received over 370 complaints about weight loss products containing green coffee, with over $46,000 in unresolved reported damages.

Here’s what real Scambook users have reported:

Ordered the product, never received it. Then saw two charges on my credit card statement for 85.00 twice on the same day. This is a scam. This company keeps changing names when charging your card. [source]

I ordered a bottle of green coffee bean extract from Green Coffee Products in Scottsdale, Az. for the cost of shipping for $6.99. They took that out of my checking account on July 4. I received the bottle from Scottsdale. Then Online Nutrition of Bloomington, Mn. took $79.99 out of my checking account on July 14. I sent the bottle back un-opened.  [source]

real scam went on dr oz site for more info on green coffee diet been redirect on the site of green coffee to order trial at 4.95 and 5.95 result they sent the trial and billed the good price one month after billed 170.00 that was not order and never recieved . [source]

Whether they never received the product, the product didn’t deliver the results they wanted, or they were charged more than they expected, it seems consumers aren’t very happy with the green coffee diet.


Don’t Get Scammed by “Miracle” Weight Loss Products

Photo of coffee beans

If drinking coffee caused weight loss, everyone at Scambook HQ would be super skinny!

We’d all love to lose weight just by taking a pill or sprinkling Sensa powder on our food, but the bottom line is that most fad diets just don’t work. You can’t buy health from a celebrity doctor or a spam email. A healthy lifestyle means balancing a nutritious diet with regular physical activity.

But if you (or someone you know) can’t resist the temptation to try the latest Dr. Oz product or other weight loss trends, at least follow these safety precautions:

1. Always consult your doctor before starting a new diet or weight loss regiment. This is extra important if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes. Never risk your health just to lose a few pounds! Most weight loss products aren’t approved by the FDA so they haven’t undergone the same rigorous safety testing required of medicines.

2. Use a prepaid credit card for “free” product trials. These so-called free trials often charge hidden fees or enroll you in an automatic subscription plan without your explicit consent. If you’re going to try a free sample and the company requires a credit card number, get a prepaid Visa or other preloaded card with a small balance so you won’t be ripped off.

3. Read the fine print! Always read the full Terms of Service agreement or any other fine print before giving your personal information to a weight loss company. Manufacturers of diet products often sell your information to third-party marketers, which means you’ll receive tons of spam and junk mail.

4. Check out real consumer reviews. Search Scambook or Google the product to find out what real customers are saying about it. Just be skeptical whenever you encounter tales of “too good to be true” results. Reviews of diet products are often sponsored by the company.

5. Have realistic expectations. For most people, losing more than 2-3 pounds per week isn’t healthy and the extreme results won’t last. Losing too much weight too quickly can also be hazardous to your long-term health. Set realistic goals and stick to them.


Share Your Thoughts About Green Coffee and Other Fad Diets

Have you ever tried green coffee extract or other weight loss supplements? What was your experience? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Want to submit a complaint about a diet product, or anything else? Click here to file a complaint on Scambook and get resolution!


See Also

How Those “One Weird Trick” Belly Fat Ads Scam You
Health Watch: Hazardous Chemical Found in Herbal Weight Loss Supplements
The Juice Fast Myth: How a Liquid Cleanse Diet Can Actually Harm Your Health

About The Author

Miranda Perry is the staff writer for, where she blogs about consumer issues, fraud and cyber security. She hopes to inspire readers to think critically about the world around them and take action to improve their lives.

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