Carbohydrate blocker or carb blocker is a dietary supplement. The main ingredient of this supplement is extracted from white kidney beans. This supplement is also known as starch blockers, as they are basically used to block starch from digestion inside the stomach. This means that you are eating carbohydrate foods but not taking the calories inside your body from these foods.
Types (AAIs and AGIs)
Carb blockers, also known as starch blockers, can help block the enzymes needed to digest certain carbs.
Some types of carb blockers are widely known as weight loss supplements. These are over-the-counter drugs that are prepared with naturally occurring chemical compounds called Alpha-Amylase Inhibitors (AAIs). These chemicals are present in many foods. These chemicals are referred to as Phaseolus Vulgaris extract. Popularly they are known as kidney bean extract as they are usually extracted from white kidney beans.
There are other type of carb blockers that are prescription medications and therefore safe to use. The main chemical compound in this type of carb blockers is called Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors (AGIs). AGIs are used to treat high level of blood sugar in type-2 diabetic disease.
When you eat carbohydrate based foods it is at first digested and directly absorbed in your body. Some of the carbohydrates are complex and they are known as Starch. These complex carbohydrates are not absorbed in your body until they are first broken down. There is a digestive enzyme called Amylase that does this important task.
But chemical compounds like Amylase Inhibitors that are also known as starch blockers can play a role here. Starch blockers can prevent Starches or complex carbohydrates from being absorbed by your body. When digestive enzyme Amylase is blocked, those complex carbohydrates can pass through the body undigested. At a later point, they leave the body as stools and excretion.
In this way, you are preventing absorption of the calories from these complex carbohydrates intake by using the starch blockers.
Effects and Side Effects
Carb blockers have been proved to be effective in losing weight. Different studies and research have supported that claim. Specially, some evidence-based research clearly suggests that these supplements can be very useful in case of people who takes in carbohydrates in a large quantity in their everyday diet.
Another thing is that there are people who wants to lose weight but finds it hard to distance themselves from tasty carb-rich foods. These foods include breads, pasta, rice, cereals and similar kind. In this case, carb blocker pills can become very handy indeed. These pills will let someone enjoy his favorite foods without any interfering and at the same time help him lose weight.
The carb blockers are useful in lowering the Glycemic Index of high-glycemic foods. At first carb blockers slows down the absorption of high-glycemic foods. It then either improves or prevents the insulin resistance. This becomes very effective in the management of diabetes disease.
Talking about side effects of carb blockers, a number of symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach cramping, and diarrhea have been reported. Followings are the known adverse effects from carb blockers:
- Digestive tract distress
- Low blood sugar
- Allergies and warnings for gastrointestinal disorder and liver disease
- Decrease appetite
There are starch blockers that require a prescription before using. These starch blockers have to be FDA approved. These prescription starch blockers are known as Acarbose (Precose), and Miglitol (Glyset).
The other kind of starch blockers does not require a prescription. These are known as supplements. Some supplements may contain unlisted ingredients. Often the unlisted ingredient can be a stimulant that is not approved by the FDA and therefore can pose a threat to your health. This can be especially dangerous to people suffering from diabetes
The FDA approved prescription carb blockers on the other hand do not contain any unlisted extra ingredient and thus they are safer.
Normally these pills are taken right before meals. This timing effectively prevents absorption of starches (from your food intake) when digestion starts. Before starting to consume a carbohydrate rich food, a user typically takes in 1-3 capsules.
There are also instructions on how to take carb blocker pills prior to a high-carb meal. Instruction on drug dosage that is provided by the drug manufacturer is mentioned on the drug container. It is recommend not taking more than 2 doses to supplement 2 meals that are rich in carbohydrates.
All carb blocker pills can never become the main focus on any weight loss strategy. However, these supplements are regarded as good option but they are not everything in your weight loss strategy. Instead of influencing the digestion process, the focus should be given in your diet and habit of exercise.
Another issue here is that the claims for these carb-blocking products are not totally based on reliable scientific research and evidence. Therefore, they can be only used in conjunction with a planned weight reducing diet and appropriate exercise program.
Last update: April 05, 2017 08:49:49 pm