A carb-blocking extract from the white broad bean promotes weight control.
By Lisa James
If you have ever tried to lose weight, it’s likely that you’ve been told to sip some bean soup. That’s solid advice, for many reasons: Beans are full of appetite-appeasing fiber and provide a combination of protein and complex carbohydrate along with folic acid, magnesium, iron and other crucial nutrients. Simple, right?
Yes and no. While all those things are true, the humble bean—especially the white broad variety—is also able to inhibit carbohydrate digestion within the intestinal tract, reducing the amount of simple sugars that enter the blood. This action helps to prevent the creation of body fat.
Now that carb-control ability is available in concentrated form as white bean extract. This allows you to employ the weight-management power of Phaseolus vulgaris no matter what you’re eating that night.
All carbohydrates, no matter what their origin, are broken down into simple molecules within the gastrointestinal tract. For dietary sugars, including sucrose (table sugar), this is a one-step process that produces fructose (fruit sugar) and glucose (blood sugar).
Starch digestion is more complicated. It requires an enzyme called alpha amylase, which acts like scissors to cut starch molecules into smaller pieces that can then be further broken down into glucose and other simple compounds. (Fiber, the most complex form of starch, can’t be digested at all and passes through the intestinal tract without being absorbed.)
Glucose is the body’s main fuel supply. However, glucose that isn’t burned off immediately goes into storage, a process that eventually results in the creation of excess body fat.
One way to shed pounds while shrinking fat stores is to prevent the digestive system from breaking starches down into absorbable simple sugars. White bean extract accomplishes this task by inhibiting the release of alpha amylase from the pancreas, resulting in less starch being converted into glucose. This helps to blunt the blood sugar surges that can lead to fat formation. Stopping such surges also helps restrain blood sugar crashes—and the resulting carb cravings that can make it difficult to pass by a vending machine or donut shop.
White bean extract has shown an ability to reduce amylase activity by more than 95% in addition to restraining after-meal glucose level increases (Nutrition Journal 3/17/11). In one study, 60 slightly overweight people were divided into two groups. One was given white bean extract every day before a meal rich in carbohydrates; the other group was given a placebo. After 30 days, the extract group lost, on average, nearly 6.5 pounds and more than 10% of their body fat compared with an average loss of less than a pound and only 0.16% body fat for the placebo group (International Journal of Medical Sciences 1/07).
White bean extract is able to do its job more effectively when combined with other weight-control therapies. These include green tea extract, which helps stimulate metabolism; forskolin, which helps activate the body’s fat-burning mechanisms; Cassia nomame extract, which inhibits fat absorption in the intestines; and chromium, a mineral that makes the hormone insulin more efficient at managing glucose.
Bean soup is a great addition to a weight-control menu—but you don’t want to eat it night after night. White bean extract can help block carb absorption at any meal.