Starch Blockers for
- Diet Supplements - Dietary
Supplements - Health
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Huang Health Risk
Use of Supplements to Block Absorption of Carbohydrates During Digestion
Starch Blockers for Weight Loss
A new series of weight loss supplements have entered the weight loss market. These products are amylase inhibitors, commonly called "starch blockers."
Starch blockers are an extract, made from a protein in white kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) that inhibit the alpha-amylase enzyme, supposedly preventing the breakdown of starch molecules. Undigested starch is said to be passed out in the feces.
Starch Blockers for Weight Loss - History
Starch Blockers - No Evidence of Weight Loss
Here is an actual claim from a product found through an Internet search: Other products make claims that they can neutralize up to 1,000 calories of carbohydrates in a meal. "Now you can eat spaghetti, pizza and bread without absorbing any of the calories!"
Sounds great, right? In theory, scientists have agreed that starch blockers could work, but there simply is no published research to date in support of their effectiveness in weight loss. In fact, several studies published in the 1980s showed that these products were ineffective in inhibiting starch digestion and absorption.
Starch Blockers - Side Effects
The FDA received numerous complaints from consumers who experienced nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramps and diarrhea with the original products marketed in the 1970s. High doses (2.9 g) of a concentrated extract were later shown to have fewer side effects, but there is no published evidence of its effect on weight loss.
Starch Blockers and Weight - Little Research Support
Starch blockers are one of many products marketed with little or no research evidence for long-term safety and effectiveness. Suppliers of the bean extract note that researchers are now investigating the effectiveness of their products in weight loss.
If the research is only in progress, then why are there so many products with unsupported claims?
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