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Phaseolus (White Kidney Bean)

white kidney bean 

Test tube studies indicated that this extract was able to ‘block’ the enzyme (alpha amylase) responsible for breaking down starchy carbohydrates prior to absorption in the gut. Instead of being broken down and turning to fat, the starchy carbohydrates are supposedly excreted from the body undigested. Most manufacturers claim that their phaseolus tablets will prevent somewhere between 30 and 45 grams of carbohydrates being digested, and so entering the body. ‘Carb blockers’ are basically sold on the promise of allowing dieters to eat pasta and other starch-rich foods without the guilt.

Early results of tests on phaseolus extract were mixed, but more recent studies have shown that a dietary formula (Phase 2) containing Phaseolus vulgaris extract as the major ingredient produced small but consistant decreases in body fat in test groups relative to placebo. This means that phaseolus extract appears to be a safe and effective aid to weight loss, although results are not spectacular. It probably acts to minimize glycemic ‘spikes’ following starch intake, and so may slow the growth of insulin resistance, an important factor in obesity.

Manufacturers of carb inhibitors list side effects such as gastrointestinal distress, heartburn, excessive gas and diarrhoea, so it would appear that they can cause digestive upsets at the very least. While these are unlikely to be damaging, such side effects are likely to be unpleasant when encountered on a daily basis.



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