Do Carb Blockers Work?

The infamous carbohydrate blocker, or the miracle pill. Eat what you want and it won’t be digested making you lose weight. Is this just a myth? How do they work? Do they work? Here we will try to help illustrate your answers!

With names such as Carb Phaser 1000, Carb Intercept, and Cheaters Relief, this really does sound like the dreaded ol’ snake potion. Be able to have you cake and eat it too? Hopefully you are intelligent enough to realize that no pill you can take will allow you to sit down and eat a loaf of bread and completely get away with it, but maybe..just maybe this will lesson the blow.

How it works:

Who knew that beans, not only are a great source of protein, fiber and goodness, but they also can help you lose weight?

Here is a quote straight from a pubmed.com write up[1]:

We believe the mechanism behind the weight loss relies on the reported a-amylase-inhibiting activity of the Phaseolus vulgaris extract. Phaseolus vulgaris extract has been shown in vitro to inhibit the activity of a-amylase and may help promote weight loss by interfering with the digestion of complex carbohydrates to simple, absorbable sugars, potentially reducing carbohydrate-derived calories. Also, slowing of the rapid absorption of carbohydrates would favorably influence the insulin system that could, in turn, lead to lesser fat accumulation. We have previously shown in a rat model the ability of so-called “carbohydrate blockers” to prevent early absorption of rice starch and sucrose and prevent insulin resistance.

In lament terms:

A simple extract from a white bean(Phaseolus vulgaris) stops the digestive enzyme alpha-amylase from working; preventing carbohydrates from being digested.

So the key to these carb blockers is the main ingredient a extract from white bean. Simple enough, but now the real question..

Do they work?

In one study from dell’Università Cattolica di Roma, scientists gathered 60 people and split them into two groups. One group was the control and the other was the group actually taking the pill. Both groups consumed the same amount of calories each day over a month period, and took the pill before a carb-heavy meal. Here are the results[2]:

As you can see, the group that was actually taking the pill lost on average about 3kg, where the group not taking it lost on average only .3kg!

  • Another study by University of California[3]:

The active group lost 6.0 lbs (P=.0002) and 2.2 in (P=.0050), and the placebo group lost 4.7 lbs (P=.0016) and 2.1 in (P=.0001).

  • A study by UCLA[4]:

The results after eight weeks demonstrated the Phase 2 group lost an average of 3.79 lbs (average of 0.47 lb per week) compared with the placebo group, which lost an average of 1.65 lbs (average of 0.21 lb per week)

It sounds as if the results are pretty good. All subjects after taking the pill experienced weight loss. Very nice.

Are they safe?

Other than some possible bloating, gas, or constipation there isn’t anything to worry about with these pills. Even if you get those symptoms, they will go away by continually taking the pill so your body gets used to it.


Verdict

Yes, by these studies they do work. But in saying that, I would not rely on them. If you are already losing weight, adding these in might give you a nice extra boost to the fat-loss. I would not recommend trying to take these instead of going for that run, or bike ride, but in addition to your already stong workout/nutrition plan, it may help. These can be found in a more glamorized version, or the cheaper alternative. But, pretty much all of them work the same since the main ingredient will be white bean extract.

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1796956/?tool=pubmed

[2]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1796956/?tool=pubmed

[3]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17658120

[4]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15005645

 

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