Verdesse, the new A-list diet aid of choice, is a green coffee pill, which is believed to help suppress the appetite as well as encouraging fat burning.
Already believed to be using the pills are Demi Moore, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, while the rest of the Los Angeles glitterati are set to follow suit
Verdesse is made from unripe coffee bean extract, and contains no caffeine – unlike green tea.
Instead, the beans contain chlorogenic acids, including one that happens to be a potent natural fat-buster called 5-caffeoylquinic acid.
“My clients have been going crazy for green coffee bean pills,” a well-respected Hollywood nutritionist revealed in an interview with Grazia.
“They’re taking Tinseltown by storm. In the run-up to the Oscars, actresses do almost anything to look as slender as possible and they’re all fighting it out to have the best body on the red carpet.
“As soon as this pill got a name for itself as being the new miracle weight loss tablet, word spread like wildfire among the Hollywood elite.
“You’re supposed to take 800 mg a day but some are taking 1,600 mg and insisting <<it can’t do any harm>>.”
Although taking double the correct dose isn’t recommended, there is some evidence to support green coffee’s fat-busting reputation.
A study conducted by scientists from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that taking the pills can help boost weight-loss by an impressive 10% – even when taken in relatively low doses.
Joe Vinson, who led the study, said: “Based on our results, taking multiple capsules of green coffee extract a day – while eating a low-fat, healthful diet and exercising regularly – appears to be a safe, effective, inexpensive way to lose weight.”
But not everyone agrees with Joe Vinson, and a significant number of health professionals have come forward to outline the downsides of green coffee bean pills which can include anxiety and high blood pressure.
“Side effects can include anxiety, high blood pressure and IBS [irritable bowel syndrome],” says Romi Polichino, a London-based nutritionist.
“People have suffered from any of these things, or panic attacks and epilepsy, shouldn’t take them.”
Worse, suppliers outside of Europe and the USA are relatively uncontrolled and some have been found to substitute cheap ephedrine for the expensive coffee extract.
“The quality of these pills can vary,” adds Romi Polichino.
“You can buy them cheaply online but who knows what’s in them? I’ve heard that lots of them have fillers added to bulk them out.”
Banned in the UK, ephedrine is a substance that acts similarly to cocaine when ingested, leaving the user with a racing pulse and making them hyperactive, while also suppressing the appetite.
But even without the potential for ephedrine contamination, nutritionists are concerned that the pills will become popular with women who don’t need to lose weight – and will suffer as a result.
“Women who are already slim shouldn’t be taking these pills,” says Romi Polchino.
“In my view, more rigorous research needs to be carried out before we start putting them in our mouths.”