The study, to be published in the November 2007 edition of the Journal of International Medical Research, was funded by Norway-based Med-Eq, which makes Coffeeslender, a slimming drink made from unroasted green coffee beans. Scientist Erling Thom, who headed a team that completed the study, said the research highlighted some benefits in weight reduction by consuming products like Coffeeslender. "Green coffee bean extract supplemented coffee has a significant effect on the absorption and utilisation of some nutrients from the diet," he stated. "This effect, when Coffeeslender is used for a reasonable period, has been shown to aid weight management." The testing, a randomised, double blind study performed on 30 people, took place over 12 weeks. The testing compared Coffeeslender with instant coffee. Half the participants drank Coffeeslender, with the remaining group put on instant coffee. Thom reported that the Coffeeslender group recorded an average weight loss of 5.4kg (11.9 lbs) over the period. Those consuming instant coffee by comparison, posted no "significant" difference in weight, according to the study. The findings could prove timely for the group, with new research out this week showing that consumers in Western Europe, the US and Japan are thirsty for drinks that can aid weight reduction. Consumption of drinks with purported weight loss benefits in these markets grew by 24 per cent in 2006 to 570m litres, according to food and drink consultancy Zenith International. This changing demand, driven by recent launches of functional and fat burning waters and drinks, amounts to €1.3bn worth of sales, according to Zenith. With continued product launches, the analyst said it expected the value of the market to double by 2011. According to Zenith's findings, Japan was the largest market for weight management drinks in 2006, with a double digit growth in sales for the product. Meanwhile in the US market, demand increased by 28 per cent. In Western Europe, year-on-year growth was 33 per cent, though Zenith conceded this was from a relatively low base. Despite this strong potential, the analyst said that widespread consumer scepticism over the true benefits offered by functional drinks was continuing to hamper growth for the products. The industry is having to meet the challenges of substantially backing up health claims for its products, while at the same time meeting consumer demands for more niche products, Zenith stated.