- If you find cutting back on calories — especially carbohydrates — difficult, you may find losing weight more challenging and frustrating. Some natural supplements such as white kidney bean extract may be good for weight loss by helping to change how your body metabolizes the food you eat. However, consult a doctor before taking weight loss supplements especially if you have a health condition or you’re on a special diet, or both.
- White kidney bean extract is used as a natural, non-stimulant ingredient in nutritional and weight loss supplements. These products are referred to as carbohydrate or starch blockers. The key benefit of white kidney bean extract is that it delays digestion and absorption of carbohydrates by blocking an enzyme, alpha amylase, associated with carbohydrate digestion in the intestines. As a result it lowers the glycemic index of these foods. What it is not, however, is a quick-fix to your weight loss needs. It works best when you also eat a nutritious diet and maintain a regular exercise program.
- No one group of foods is fattening; it depends on the quality of the food and how much of it you eat. For instance, refined carbohydrates — which you’re more likely to crave — are often high in sugar, giving them a higher caloric value. On the other hand, whole grains and other fibrous foods such as fruits and vegetables are more weight-friendly. High-fiber carbohydrates take longer to digest, thereby helping you to feel fuller for longer periods. They also help to regulate levels of blood glucose and insulin, a hormone that promotes fat storage in the body. By slowing the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, white kidney bean extract may have a similar benefit for weight loss.
- Early studies of white kidney bean’s extract effects on weight loss were not promising, until one well-designed study published in the “International Journal of Medical Sciences” in 2007. Researchers looked at the effects of taking 455 milligrams of an extract of white kidney bean, or Phaseolus vulgaris, on 60 slightly overweight subjects versus taking a placebo. The subjects also consumed a carbohydrate-rich diet. After 30 days, subjects taking the extract experienced significantly greater reductions in body weight, fat mass, body mass index and waist, hip and thigh measurements. They also maintained lean muscle mass, which is essential for a healthy metabolism to burn more calories.
- There are a few reasons earlier studies showed poor results for white kidney bean extract products, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. For instance, another enzyme, glucoamylase, can take over when amylase is blocked. Also, a low dose may not be as effective. In general, starch blockers are considered safe to take, notes the Center, but your doctor can provide more guidance on taking them.
Source: Uzoma, Kay; “Is White Kidney Bean Extract Good for Weight Loss?”, 15 April 2015, http://www.livestrong.com/article/489309-is-white-kidney-bean-extract-good-for-weight-loss/