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Starch Blockers 101: White Kidney Bean Extract


By Mary_RD on Apr 27, 2011 10:00 AM in Recipes
Edited By +Rachel Berman

 By Carolyn Richardson

The rate of obesity has doubled worldwide since 1980.  As scientists continue to explore the effects of obesity on public health, they are also looking into new ways to help people lose weight.  Research has consistently found a positive correlation between an over-consumption of complex carbohydrates and obesity, thus piquing the interest of researchers in practical ways to mimic results found with reducing complex carbohydrates in the diet.  Some are looking to dietary supplements known as starch blockers. 

While it is known that an excessive intake from all macronutrients, including carbohydrates, contributes to the development of obesity, scientists are studying how starch blockers may affect weight loss.  Phaselous vulgaris, the clinical name for white kidney bean extract, is the principle ingredient in products known as starch blockers.  The concept behind these dietary supplements, according to manufacturers, is to prevent a natural enzyme in saliva and the pancreas, called alpha-amylase, from breaking down carbs into simple sugars which could prevent the body from absorbing carb calories and thereby promote weight loss. 

The results

A study, published in the Internal Journal of Medical Science, conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, in which 60 slightly overweight people were given either placebo or Phase 2, a highly concentrated phaseolus extract, once daily. This single daily dose was given 30 minutes prior to a large meal rich in carbohydrates.  Over the 30 days of the study, subjects receiving Phaseolus vulgaris extract had significantly greater reduction of body weight, BMI, fat mass, adipose tissue thickness, and waist/hip/ thigh circumferences while maintaining lean body mass compared to subjects receiving placebo.  A similar study showed comparable results with 92% of the group receiving white kidney bean extract losing weight versus 62% of the placebo group.  While there is no lack of positive studies regarding white kidney bean extract, as with any dietary supplement, research studies of long term effects of use are scant.

Can it work long term?

Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, cites side effects and a lack of widespread studies as the reason why she doesn’t recommend using starch blockers.  Regarding side effects she tells WebMD white kidney bean extract may block starches from digestion in the small intestine, “But when they get to the large intestine, the starches ferment, give off gas, and cause bloating and diarrhea,” Gerbstadt tells WebMD.  Another issue is adherence to continued use.   While Nora Cosgrove, an overweight woman at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes, credits Phase 2 pills for helping her lose 30 pounds and 6 dress sizes in 3 months, doctors say that using starch blockers may be hard to stick to over time.  Obesity expert Louis Aronne, MD, says “We just don’t see people taking stuff like this on an ongoing basis. When patients come in taking a carb blocker, they end up stopping either because of the side effects or because of lack of effectiveness, or both…”

The verdict

Even though white kidney bean extract may be a boon to the dietary supplement industry, Duffy MacKay, ND, and Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, tells WebMD that while some study results show that "extracts of phaseolus vulgaris appear to be safe and have potential promise" helping overweight people lose weight can only be sustained through healthy diet and exercise. He adds, dietary supplements for weight loss, “are not magic bullets…”


Your thoughts…
 
Will you go for white kidney bean extract or just control your carb intake?



Comments


 I would Just eat the beans, I would cook some  white chili, eat some white beans in a salad,or just out of the can. What so hard about that. Oh and get some beano for the gas. 



I agree with beetjuice53, why can't you just eat the white kidney beans.  I think after awhile your body would adjust to them and you would have less gas problem; and don't forget there is the beano.

Then there is always the question, what else is in this pill form of extracts of phaseolus vulgaris?

 



Rather than go with a carb blocker, change the type of carbs you consume.  Obviously eliminate empty carbs like sweets, most baked goods, etc.  But perhaps less known is the concept of looking at the glycemic index of the carb.  The higher the index the faster your body will convert it to sugars and then to fat.  Carbs with a lower glycemic index will burn more slowly, not spike your blood sugar and provide much better hunger control.  I regularly substitute boiled legumes for more starchy carbs.  I usually boil up a bag of beans on Sat and eat them with my means throughout the week. 



I believe the carb blocker can be used successfully when faced with a high carb meal, (like a holiday) but not as a daily diet tool.



I think that carb blockers are ideally suited to temporary "carb overloads". I saw a brilliant example of this called undoit - they say you can eat it and then undoit. Have a look at www.undoit.com.au

But I do agree that in the long term there's no substitute for healthy eating and exercising.



@beetjuice53 and @villanibarbara, an extract is an extremely concentrated version of something so I'd imagine you'd have to eat pounds and pounds of white kidney beans in order to get the same effect. However, your body does not digest a pill the same way it digests a bean and who knows if scientists have added anything to the extract in order to enhance performance.



the word to pay attention to is "overconsumption" in the first paragraph. Why not just eat less?



Hang on, shouldn't that be simple (or refined) carbohydrates rather than complex carbohydrates contributing to obesity? I rather doubt that the majority of people with problems with obesity got there because they were eating lots of whole-wheat bread and brown rice!



Ok, sorry, reread the article. Starch is still counted as a complex carbohydrate. But not all starches are created equal. Some will not quickly get digested and turn to simple sugars.



Original Post by: villanibarbara

I agree with beetjuice53, why can't you just eat the white kidney beans.  I think after awhile your body would adjust to them and you would have less gas problem; and don't forget there is the beano.

Then there is always the question, what else is in this pill form of extracts of phaseolus vulgaris?

 


the reason you can't just eat the beans is probably down to the amounts you would have to eat to take in the same amount as found if they are using 'extract' and not to mention a tablet may be a tough act to keep up every meal time for some people but are you going to eat beans at every meal for the rest of your life in an attempt to block starch?? not the answer ladies! : /



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and at the end of the day good carb , bad carb , low fat , high saturated fat , diet shake , completely nutritious healthy well balanced shake....it doesnt matter WHAT you eat in EXCESS...excess is excess. Unless of course you wanted to exist on calorie empty diet sodas in which case i think it is only a matter of time before you turn into one with all the chemicals.

Even if your eating habits are the healthiest on the face of the planet , if you eat for more than your body's requirements and energy expenditure , you WILL gain weight. 

The end.



Linden, that statement "complex carbohydrates" struck me the same way.  One wonders whether this is just another of the many 'pills and potions' being hawked to unsusecting people who are desperate to lose weight.  There is no magic pill!  Just eat healthier food in moderation.  And yes, I would much rather eat the beans, great source of protein and fibre!



It's overconsumption of simple carbs that contribute to the increase of obesity, but the emphasis being on OVERCONSUMPTION!

Because the diet industry is worth billions of £££, they just keep telling people to follow a bunch of stupid diets to 'lose weight'.

It's not about ‘diets’; it's about a healthy life-style.  Something you will stick to forever, not just for a few month, consuming less calories / less fat / less carbs and when you go back to your 'normal' diet, you'll put the weight back on plus pile on more, because your metabolism slows down and your body got used to the 'less' diet, so just holds on to all the calories you eat.

The pharmaceuticals and diet industry don't want you to know how to lose weight, how to be healthy, and how to be slim.  The money is in you putting on weight, being sick, and suffering in ignorance.

And they blame it on your genes, on your glands, on your metabolism.  What a load of rubbish!!!

I have had underactive thyroid (so I'm 'metabolically challenged', taking Levothyroxine every day) for 14 years, yet following a non-calorie counting, healthy, sensible diet that I developed, I am 5'11 and around 10 st 4lbs.  No starving, and don't have a lot of time to exercise, so it’s not that I work out every day...

Most people are too lazy to make a life-style change and sacrifice some bad habits in exchange for a good health and slim body.  They just go and spend lots of money on the gym (if you don't eat right, you can exercise your arm off, you won't lose the visceral fat and you'll still be unhealthy. Also, if you don't exercise and eat consciously, you won't gain as much muscle, and muscle needs more calories to just maintain, than the same amount of fat... Also, if you are not eating consciously, you will consume more, than your body needs, as you won't feel full, and there is a lot more to it...) They just spend a lot of many on stupid poisonous 'diet foods' and weight loss supplements.  They would rather do that than learn and be disciplined.

No wonder the number of overweight people doubled since the '80s. Ignorance, laziness and lack of discipline is what keeps the pharmaceuticals and diet industry super rich, and people fat and sick...

 



I am already watching my carb and calorie intake. If anything I would use it once in a while on my cheat days. Hey, I am only human and would like a piece of pie once in a while :)



This pill might be a good tool for me because I am a 'carbaholic' and I want to be able to cut 80% of my intake of bad carbs - permanently.  If I could just get through the first 2 weeks, It would get better from there. That is where this pill could come in handy in the training process. Eventually the brain will associate the bad carbs with the bad side affects. Eventually, you won't need the pill anymore and will have learned a new better way of eating.

Amazon07, I agree with you 100%.  So why don't they just give us fat lazy people a pill that will give us more energy?  LOL  I'd take it...anything to get me moving.

 

Innocent



@tannie908.... you, me and a huge chunk of the real world! I'm with you tannie908. 

I purchased a "carb" blocker and it helps "mentally" and I believe physically. I have not experienced any of the "side affects" related to bean consumption and will continue to use the blocker as a go-to tool. On to week 3.



Here is a novel idea!  Limit you carb intake...Undecided



I often wonder if the food pyramid suggested for people is actually the best bet for many.  I know that when I switched to a low fat, higher carb diet, I started to gain weight around my middle.  I had never had a real problem there and suddenly I lost my waist. 

The only way I have ever been able to lose weight is to eat a diet lower in carbs - strictly working on calories has never worked well for me.  I believe that some people just aren't made to consume a diet consisting of half carbs (especially if you're diabetic, I'm not but my dietician actually said that everyone is better off eating like they are). 



Original Post by: amazon07

It's overconsumption of simple carbs that contribute to the increase of obesity, but the emphasis being on OVERCONSUMPTION!

Because the diet industry is worth billions of £££, they just keep telling people to follow a bunch of stupid diets to 'lose weight'.

It's not about ‘diets’; it's about a healthy life-style.  Something you will stick to forever, not just for a few month, consuming less calories / less fat / less carbs and when you go back to your 'normal' diet, you'll put the weight back on plus pile on more, because your metabolism slows down and your body got used to the 'less' diet, so just holds on to all the calories you eat.

The pharmaceuticals and diet industry don't want you to know how to lose weight, how to be healthy, and how to be slim.  The money is in you putting on weight, being sick, and suffering in ignorance.

And they blame it on your genes, on your glands, on your metabolism.  What a load of rubbish!!!

I have had underactive thyroid (so I'm 'metabolically challenged', taking Levothyroxine every day) for 14 years, yet following a non-calorie counting, healthy, sensible diet that I developed, I am 5'11 and around 10 st 4lbs.  No starving, and don't have a lot of time to exercise, so it’s not that I work out every day...

Most people are too lazy to make a life-style change and sacrifice some bad habits in exchange for a good health and slim body.  They just go and spend lots of money on the gym (if you don't eat right, you can exercise your arm off, you won't lose the visceral fat and you'll still be unhealthy. Also, if you don't exercise and eat consciously, you won't gain as much muscle, and muscle needs more calories to just maintain, than the same amount of fat... Also, if you are not eating consciously, you will consume more, than your body needs, as you won't feel full, and there is a lot more to it...) They just spend a lot of many on stupid poisonous 'diet foods' and weight loss supplements.  They would rather do that than learn and be disciplined.

No wonder the number of overweight people doubled since the '80s. Ignorance, laziness and lack of discipline is what keeps the pharmaceuticals and diet industry super rich, and people fat and sick...

 


^ you hit it right on the nail!



It does sound like it has potential for Low-Carb diets when you just need a fruit or something with a little more carbs than normal. The problem I see is how do you know which extract to use and is there any consistency to the batches they make. This is a problem with almost all herbal remedies. The extract contains many active substances and it is possible that if the extraction process varies you will get different levels of the active substance, not to mention different levels of other substances extracted that might either interfere with the active substance or even act as a toxin.

I also worry that different companies use different processes without really knowing whether their particular process produces an active substance. For example, some proteins (enzymes) are denatured and thus destroyed by low heat, exposure to acids or bases, phenol extraction or ethanol extraction.

Which preparation of white bean extract do those that have had success use?

 



I personally cannot have a lot of carbs in my diet because I cannot burn them off. So, a supplement to help reduce consumption sounds good, but in the future how long will I take this? I mean, just cut the carbs sound so much easier. I will try it just to see if it works.



I have problems with articles like this. Is this bean extract really workign for people or is it a fad? Are those real test subjects names or just created names out of a hat to get you to buy it?

If it does work I'd start using the extract along with the actual beans(even tho I only like green beans and soybeans only) I'd go and eat that.

Secondly ...this part really bothers me. I fail to see the correlation between the 1980's and today. Whats changed? I remember we only had WHITE refined flour bread and no whole wheat breads. Donuts were everywhere along with white flour for baking cakes and cookies. The only diet soda that existed is TAB and then Pepsi-Free( remember the movie back to the future? lol) so that tells me that the majority of americans were drinking REGULAR soda. There was also no mention around that time about healthy living(not that i remember im 48 and was born in 1962) or clean bottled water or anything. I dont remember people exercising much since the television had been around since the 60's .

In the late 80's and 90's people starting eating healthier and exercising and becoming a lot more conscious(especially against smoking too) abou ttheir health. Why are we heavier now than we did in the 80's? Where did we fall off the wagon and where or HOW do they gather this information?

thanks

 



I meant to add we shoud be losing weight these days and being healthier not vice versa as per those studies.



Original Post by: moiralynn

I personally cannot have a lot of carbs in my diet because I cannot burn them off. So, a supplement to help reduce consumption sounds good, but in the future how long will I take this? I mean, just cut the carbs sound so much easier. I will try it just to see if it works.


me too! I'm a carb person. love baked potatoes, hot french bread, pasta with olive oil...yum! but i try not to eat them too much. maybe i could indulge once in awhile with this. I just ordered some. :)

 



I cycle carbs.  Raise my carbs every third day.  Without them your metabolism can flat line.  My wife is hypothyroid and she takes meds for it to regulate her thyroid.  For the folks that say genes have nothing to do with it you are wrong BUT people can still not be lazy, watch what they eat, live a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly.  Even a small amount makes a big difference.



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Calorie count, you should be ashamed to host this drivel. "Phase 2, a highly concentrated phaseolus extract, once daily." ooooooooooo, so scientific. Say that ten times fast wearing no underwear. My ad-blocking must be working as I don't see the coupon for "phase 2".



I totally agree diet and exercise are key. I'm 110lbs, marathon runner, non smoker and a vegan: your basic post hippy health nut. But because i'm petite, a large bowl of steaming pasta takes its toll on me. I can't eat like regular-sized people can. 

I read this and started thinking, wow! wouldn't it be great if these worked and once in awhile i could totally chow down? haha - i think it's too good to be true, myself - but worth a try if it's vegetarian (which some are) and not unhealthy. Not keeping my hopes up, but still curious.



The whole point of my weight loss journey is to learn self control and healthy habits.  This pill would only be a crutch delaying the balance I've been seeking.  I think it's just a money making scam anyway.  At best the results would be temporary for most people, IMO.



Um, isn't the main ingredient in Beano the thing that the white bean extract is trying to block? I agree that just taking control, and allowing oneself a "free" or "cheat" day now and then is the answer. This supplement may help some folks, but I am very sensitive to lower intestine issues with gas, so I suspect this would blow me up like a human ballooooon. :(



Question, so it supposedly blocks starch from being absorbed, but does that mean you have to eat more calories to make up for the starches, or does your body see the starches you ate even if they are blocked?

I wouldn't want to reach starvation mode cause of a pill.



Original Post by: kcastagnoli

I totally agree diet and exercise are key. I'm 110lbs, marathon runner, non smoker and a vegan: your basic post hippy health nut. But because i'm petite, a large bowl of steaming pasta takes its toll on me. I can't eat like regular-sized people can. 

I read this and started thinking, wow! wouldn't it be great if these worked and once in awhile i could totally chow down? haha - i think it's too good to be true, myself - but worth a try if it's vegetarian (which some are) and not unhealthy. Not keeping my hopes up, but still curious.


And may I say HOT too?! Wink



ha ha - thanks!



Original Post by: linden

Hang on, shouldn't that be simple (or refined) carbohydrates rather than complex carbohydrates contributing to obesity? I rather doubt that the majority of people with problems with obesity got there because they were eating lots of whole-wheat bread and brown rice!


Here it is- choose complex carbs, smaller portions, lean protein- vegetarian or non. Exercise. Get adequate sleep as much as possible. Eat to live. Stay hydrated. Eat foods with ingrediants that you can pronounce.

 

 

 



Original Post by: sizequeen2005

Um, isn't the main ingredient in Beano the thing that the white bean extract is trying to block? I agree that just taking control, and allowing oneself a "free" or "cheat" day now and then is the answer. This supplement may help some folks, but I am very sensitive to lower intestine issues with gas, so I suspect this would blow me up like a human ballooooon. :(


Too funny - yea i'm the same way... if anything even hints at gas producing i won't touch it!

I am a carbaholic and actually find i burn better when i eat  lot of carbs, but i eat good carbs, not junk food. If i don't get enough carbs i find i run out of steam... blah..



I would prefer to just eat the beans. Ironiccally I just purchased some white kidney beans (also known as cannellini beans) for white bean dip versus eating hummus (not crazy about tahini) as well as other dishes like white bean salad, chili, etc. And, if the correct soaking procedure is followed, there really is not a gas issue.

 



Limiting carbs, blocking carbs...why wouldn't you just make sure you get your daily vitamins from your food, stay under your calorie limit and over your hunger minimum, and exercise?

I used to weight 270.8 lbs, and have brought my weight down to 208.2 lbs over the past year by following these simple rules; literally only these rules. It's okay to eat a normal portion of potatoes, or fried food even, as long as you measure approximately how many calories that food is and that you burn it off either naturally or through exercise. Trust me, if anyone has an excuse not to exercise it would be me who lives in the Canadian arctic and only gets decent weather about 3 months of the year.

The site is called calorie count for a reason.



Wow! congratulations on your weight loss. I'm always so impressed with people who can drop so much weight. It's fantastic and you must feel fantastic and empowered. Especially considering you live in the Canadian arctic - brr! And here I thought Denver was bad.

I really don't want to lose any weight, and I've been athletic my whole life - but i have to watch my portions. I was just thinking it would be nice to gobble up a nice huge plate of spaghetti, really pig out, and not have to work it off in the gym the next day, or feel guilty, or any of that other stuff that comes with gobbling up a nice huge plate of spaghetti. If only i were a six foot lumberjack ... :)



My Dr actually suggested that I try this last week. I have a metobolic condition that no matter the type of carbs that I eat it is turned to fat this started about 6 months ago, before that I was fine and could lose weight easily. I do eat correctly I do exercise both cardio and weight training, I do take breaks for my body to rest and I still gain weight. So sometimes it is not all about people sitting down and pigging out on baked goods, fast foods and junk food. I have not eaten fast food for 2 years now, I do not eat bread, I do not eat junk food my carbs come from mainly brown rice, oatmeal, sweet taters and fruits and veggies. This is just the facts of my life.



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NOT a magic pill? Considering the harmful effects of carbs on diabetics...this is an awesome breakthrough. If there were a holistic method to controlling diabetes...would you even think that doctors would really support it? The is hard core dollars involved. Get some gasX and eat some fraking beans!



Original Post by: briandurocher

Limiting carbs, blocking carbs...why wouldn't you just make sure you get your daily vitamins from your food, stay under your calorie limit and over your hunger minimum, and exercise?

I used to weight 270.8 lbs, and have brought my weight down to 208.2 lbs over the past year by following these simple rules; literally only these rules. It's okay to eat a normal portion of potatoes, or fried food even, as long as you measure approximately how many calories that food is and that you burn it off either naturally or through exercise. Trust me, if anyone has an excuse not to exercise it would be me who lives in the Canadian arctic and only gets decent weather about 3 months of the year.

The site is called calorie count for a reason.


Those toga wearing old Greeks not only made your school days miserable with the invention of Math...but hey Math is a diet plan as well! Thank the Greeks! LOL.

 



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Original Post by: jcbolt

the word to pay attention to is "overconsumption" in the first paragraph. Why not just eat less?


Because I get so hungry if I eat only the portion I should.  It just is not enough food for me.  As ex: 1/4 cup of canned white beans is one(1) serving.  If I can eat the entire can, that would be half my appetite for that meal.  



I love any kind of beans and make bean pates constantly thru the year.  I make large batches and freeze it.  My favorite is a white kidney bean pate <3 but make it with navy beans, northern beans.  I also use black beans and red kidney beans sometimes too.  I eat it with bread, toast or crackers with many meals.  Just a great appetizer!



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Thank you violetgriffin,  I do eat lots of vegetables as well.  I buy the big fresh broccoli bags and big spinach bags from Costco and always have them around.  I have always tried to eat healthy.  Here is a white bean pate that I have had and used since 2003.   The rosemary makes it wonderful and I use dried RM too.  Copy and paste for everyone.   I have it listed under 'Dressings & Dips' in my personal e-recipe folders.  It makes a great dip for chips & crackers for Super-bowl and gatherings.  

 

 WHITE  BEAN  PATE                              6/23/03

Recipe created by chef Michel Nischan
From the book Taste Pure and Simple

Makes about 8 cups

This dip is a great substitute for butter on your bread. While even having bread will add some carbs to a meal, this dip substitutes for the lushness of butter and oil. If eight cups is too much for your purposes, halve the recipe. But remember—it keeps well!

INGREDIENTS
 2 cups (1 pound) dried white beans
 8 garlic cloves, peeled
 2 bunches rosemary
 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
 Chunks of crusty bread for serving

Rinse and pick over the beans. Soak in water to cover by two inches for at least six hours, or up to 24 hours. Drain.  Put the garlic cloves in a small saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a full simmer over medium-high heat and then immediately drain. Return the garlic cloves to the saucepan. Cover with more cold water and repeat. Do this a total of five times. Set the blanched garlic cloves aside.   Put the beans in a stockpot or large saucepan and add water to cover by two inches. Bring to a rapid simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender but not mushy.  Drain the beans in a colander set over a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid. Transfer the beans to a blender or a food processor. Add the garlic cloves and puree until smooth, adding as much of the cooking liquid as necessary for a thick, spreadable or dipable consistency.  Gently stir the bean dip with the rosemary bunches for about three minutes, or until the dip is fragrant with the scent of rosemary. Discard the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm with the bread. Or, transfer to a lidded container, cover, and refrigerate for up to one week. Bring to a simmer over low heat before serving.  Recommended technique: To make this recipe even easier, buy canned white beans and skip the soaking step. And if you like garlic, then bypass the blanching and just toss the cloves into the food processor with the beans. If you're not as crazy about it, reduce the number of cloves you use. 



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