The latest substance being touted as a weight loss aid is cheap and bitter. Researchers say that extract of raw, unroasted coffee beans helped overweight volunteers lose an average of 17.5 pounds in 22 weeks without major changes in diet or exercise, ABC reports. The green coffee bean extract tastes very bitter, researchers admit, but taking it "appears to be a safe, effective, inexpensive way to lose weight."
Scientists not involved in the study say the results should be treated with caution. A New York University biochemist, calling the study "provocative," says he would like to see assurances that the weight loss was not the result of malabsorption in the gut, which can also cause heart problems and malnutrition. Other experts suspect the weight loss may have simply been caused by caffeine's stimulant properties. The research was carried out in India and funded by a maker of green coffee extract, the Los Angeles Times notes. Maybe if one were to pair the coffee extract with a little chocolate... (Read more weight loss stories.)