If you walk down any drug store aisle or hop online, you can find a plethora of
natural beauty items or health supplements that supposedly help you to feel and be more radiant. There are still some serious safety concerns, but obviously the marketers hope you will never find out about those. The government has tried to crack down to a certain degree, but there are always those paid off in the higher echelons of the government to try to squash that kind of movement.
Just because something is labeled as being
natural doesn’t mean that it is guaranteed to be safe. The idea of being natural isn’t even strictly defined. It has no requirements, especially when it comes to cosmetics. As Dr Shari Lipner, dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City puts it,
If you go to the FDA’s website, they don’t have a definition of natural. There’s no regulatory definition in cosmetic labeling. I think people probably think natural means that it’s derived from plants, and they think it’s somehow healthier, but that’s not necessarily true.
There are some products that are
natural that rely on certain essential oils that are safe. There are some that may even be better for your skin. For example, tea tree oil is not as harsh on your skin as benzoyl peroxide. But don’t swallow it. Ingested internally, it can be toxic. There are others that are less dangerous, but don’t assume anything unless you know the particular ingredient.
Alongside green tea, green coffee bean has become quite the hot commodity in the weight loss world. The caffeine increases natural fat burning and metabolism while healthy antioxidants reduce inflammation and improve health. You can buy both at Starbucks, and the fact that it fights tiredness and fatigue certainly doesn’t hurt. There are even some who say that it doesn’t have the same side effects as some other forms of caffeine, even normal coffee.
As far as the energy based benefits, I think that’s pretty obvious. Green coffee bean has plenty of caffeine. What about the rest of it though? Does green coffee bean really have any weight loss or health benefits?
There are plenty of supplements ranging from big brands like Hydroxycut down to a generic brand you might find at Costco or Walmart. There are studies, all of which have been funded by companies who are interested in selling green coffee bean products (surprise!). These studies do often find that people were more likely to lose weight when they used a higher dose of green coffee bean such as 400mg, but is this actually true, or are the results simply biased?
The caffeine in the green coffee bean used in these studies has an effect on energy, but it wouldn’t have actually been enough on its own to explain the substantial benefits and weight loss supposedly found. Scientists explain this by saying that green coffee bean has an ingredient known as chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that changes how the body responds to sugar. This ingredient may help to reduce the risk of diabetes (as coffee is known to).
It’s something that is still under investigation, and I would like to see an independent trial funded by the government (or someone who isn’t trying to sell us green coffee bean, a miracle supplement….). However, only time will tell if this is actually going to happen.