The Truth About Starch Blockers
When youâre trying to shed pounds and the scale isnât moving in the right direction, it can be tempting to want to try something else, like a no-prescription weight loss supplement.
Some of those supplements are called “starch blockers” or “carbohydrate blockers.” They may seem like a good option because they claim to keep starches, and the calories found in them, from being digested.
But it’s not quite that simple. If you’re thinking about trying them for weight loss, keep in mind that claims for these products are not based on reliable scientific evidence. However, if you’re using them in conjunction with a good diet and exercise program, they may help you to lose weight.
âThereâs very little data to support the use of herbal supplements as carb blockers.â — Kathleen Dungan, MD.
The Truth About Carb Blockers
People often think that there is a pill, supplement, or diet that will help them eat their way through the doughnut shop and still have an incredible physique. Its easy to think that way when you hear the magic words carb blocker roll off your tongue in excitement and awe. Unfortunately, carb blockers are no exception to the rule, that only diet and exercise are the tried and true ways to drop the unwanted pounds you so desperately want to lose. Lets talk about the truth behind carb blockers and what theyre all about before you smash that pack of Oreos in hopes of blocking all those carbs.
When To Avoid These Blockers
As with any dietary supplement, its important to see a doctor before adding it to your diet.
If you take insulin or another form of diabetes medication, speak with your physician before taking carb blockers. There are cases where using carb blockers in conjunction with diabetic medication can lower your blood sugar to critical levels.
Don’t Miss: How Low Can Your Blood Sugar Get
Shopping Advice For Diet Pills
Because of the extreme dangers of some weight-loss pills, research them carefully before purchasing. The Mayo Clinic recommends looking for information on any that you are considering at the Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a database for dietary supplements. Check with your doctor prior to adding a weight-loss pill to your daily regimen.
The FDA says to be on the alert for warning signs of tainted products. These include products marketed in a foreign language or touted to be alternatives to FDA-approved drugs. Be wary of guarantees or unrealistic promises that you’ll “lose 10 pounds in a week.” View personal testimonials with skepticism.
Are Carb Blockers Safe
The good news is that carb blockers are considered to be safe.
They are taken from a natural ingredient and as such, do not contain any dangerous elements.
However, it is important to remember that using starch blockers can produce certain side effects. After all, these supplements are made to alter the carb digestion, and this can produce side effects for some people.
It is best to consult your doctor before you try any of these supplements.
Tips: Make sure to always do your research before buying supplements and try to find a reputable and reliable source to buy your supplements from.
You May Like: What Is Low Blood Sugar For Type 2 Diabetes
Should You Use Carb Blocker Pills
Carb blocker pills are a great way to slow down carb absorption, reduce blood sugar levels, and increase insulin sensitivity.
That means theyre excellent for increasing nutrient uptake or weight loss. So if thats what youre chasing, its definitely a good idea to add carb blocker pills to your routine.
Youre going to need a supplement that uses the right ingredients, just like the science-backed ones weve shown you.
Thats why we highly recommend going with any of the above products weve had the best effects and results with Huge Nutritions Utilize.
Always make sure to take your carb blocker with your meal that contains the most carbohydrates. By doing so, its going to have the most effects.
Are They Safe For Me To Take
The supplement is considered safe if bought from a reliable source. However, when carbs undergo fermentation by bacteria in the large intestine, it can cause a number of undesirable side effects diarrhea, bloating, cramping and flatulence. The side effects are not severe and do go away with time, but are enough to stop some people from supplementing with carb blockers. Those who have diabetes who take insulin need to consult a doctor prior to considering using carb blockers, as they cause blood sugar levels to decrease to a level which is too low. Even though they are usually safe, it is hard to say if the supplement contains what it says it does, so please purchase from a reputable seller.
A few studies have found that they can cause only a small amount of weight loss, reduced appetite and reduced blood sugars. But studies havent been of a high quality to show that they have any long term effects. Carb blockers are also probably not helpful for those following a moderate-high carb diet. At the end of the day, theyre intended only as supplements and should thus be taken alongside a healthy diet and exercise. They shouldnt be used as a substitute for a healthy diet.
Read Also: Does Farxiga Lower Blood Sugar
How To Choose A Carb Blocker
If you decide to take a carb blocker, its important to carefully choose your supplement.
There are a number of over-the-counter supplements marketed as carb blockers or starch blockers, but formulas vary. The only ingredient shown to have an effect on weight loss and blood sugar is white kidney bean extract, so be sure to choose a supplement that lists white kidney bean or Phaseolus vulgaris as an active ingredient.
Dosage recommendations vary among formulas, but most recommend taking two capsules before a starchy meal. However, they should never be used more than twice a day, says Miller.
The FDA classifies dietary supplements as foods , meaning their safety and sale isnt regulated as closely as prescription medications. As with any supplement, its important to buy carb blockers from a trusted source and consult with your doctor, says Miller.
Carb Blockers Assist In Decrease Of Appetite
Another potential benefit of carb blockers is that they may decrease appetite. They may slow digestion, which makes you feel full for longer.
There are certain indicators that starch blockers can affect hormones involved in the feeling of hunger.
As a result, you will not feel hungry for longer periods of time. This will decrease your appetite and can help with weight loss in the long run.
There are some scientific studies pointing out that this effect is due to the main ingredient of popular carb blockers, the white bean extract.
This extract also contains phytohaemagglutinin. This is a compound that increases the levels of hormones that make you fill full.
A study with rats shows a significant decrease in food intake. The rats that were given this compound ended up eating 25% to 90% less food.
Another way in which carb blockers can help decrease appetite is by decreasing the amount of food that is rich in fats and sugars. Rats from the study ended up being less interested in fatty and sugary food.
While these effects are not well-researched in humans, carb blocker consumers claimed to have lost weight due to a decrease in appetite
You May Like: Does Starbucks Soy Milk Have Sugar
What Does The Research Say
Research has shown that this type of alpha-amylase inhibitor can aid in weight loss or glycemic control.
These inhibitors prevent the enzymes from separating the complex carbs, which means that these carbs go onto the intestine without being absorbed into the circulatory system.
In other words:
Carb blockers only keep a part of the carbs you eat from being processed. Specifically, they appear to block anywhere from 50% to 65% of carb-digesting enzymes.
As a result, these undigested carbs do not contribute to calories or raise blood sugar .
One study showed that kidney bean extract had a positive effect in reducing food intake, body weight gain, fat deposits, and glycemia .
Groups of lab rats were fed a starch-enriched diet. One group consumed a fixed diet that contained the bean extract, and the control group ate the same fixed diet but without the bean extract.
Over several months, weight gain was largely lower in the experimental group than in the control group. In the experimental group, there was a significant reduction in the body content of fat as well.
Thirdly, in the experimental group, the food intake was approximately 90% lower than in the group that ate the food without the extract.
In an experiment on human beings, eating foods with the white kidney bean extract fed after a 2-month treatment increased the feeling of fullness in healthy overweight and obese subjects .
What Are The Side Effects Of Carb Blockers
The gases released when bacteria digest carbs in the large intestine can cause unpleasant side effects. Diarrhea, bloating, gas, and cramping are some of the symptoms. However, the side effects are normally mild and fade over time.
Check out this article for more on vitamins and supplements on the keto diet.
There you have it. You certainly do not need carb blockers on the keto diet. As you are already eating a low-carb diet, your carb intake is restricted. There is no need to be getting rid of excess carbs as they are not there in the first place. You can achieve a healthy weight without the need for consuming these supplements.
Don’t Miss: How Can I Give Up Sugar
What Does The Evidence Say
Several studies show that carb blockers may be able to cause some weight loss.
The studies ranged from 412 weeks long and people taking carb blockers usually lost between 25.5 lbs more than the control groups. One study showed up to 8.8 lbs greater weight loss than the control group (
One reason for this effect may be because bean extracts also contain phytohaemagglutinin. This compound can increase the levels of some hormones involved in fullness .
One rat study found that the phytohaemagglutinin in carb blockers did cause a significant decrease in food intake. The rats that had been given the compound ate between 2590% less. However, this effect lasted only a few days .
However, there may be other ways that carb blockers .
Similar studies found that a carb blocker supplement could decrease the amount of food the rats ate by 1525% over a consistent period of time and even caused them to eat less of foods that are high in fat and sugar .
This effect has not been well-researched in humans, but one recent study found that a concentrated, standardized bean extract did decrease feelings of hunger, probably by suppressing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin .
Its hard to say if this effect is achieved with the carb blocker supplements currently on the market, or if the effect can actually contribute to weight loss in humans.
Some animal and human studies suggest that carb blockers can decrease appetite and cravings, but more studies are needed.
Base Carb Crush Cheat Meal Solution
This carb blocker is designed to prevent the effects of cheat meals when you are on a diet. The active ingredient in this starch blocker is grape seed extract and maqui berry extract. This is a multi-ingredient carb blocker you can try if white bean extract blockers dont work for you. Check out Best Carb Blockers Ultimate List.
Also Check: What Is An Unhealthy Blood Sugar Level
Carb Blockers And Weight Loss: An Overview Of The Research
The bulk of the research on carb blockers and weight loss was conducted using white kidney bean extract. Several studies show that this carb blocker causes a modest amount of weight loss.
A meta-analysis uncovered that the average weight loss in groups that took white kidney bean extract was roughly 1.77 kg more than control groups. A further meta-analysis revealed a statistically significant reduction in body fat of 1.86 kg more than control groups.
Interestingly, many of the studies indicate that people who ate the most carbs appear to lose the most weight while using these supplements. This makes sense because the higher the proportion of complex carbs in your diet, the bigger the difference carb blockers can make.
Unfortunately, the bulk of the studies on white kidney bean extract were small, poorly designed, and largely funded by supplement companies so the results may not be very reliable. More independent, high-quality studies are needed.
The data on Salacia based supplements is not as promising, but still worth noting. There are no clinical trials that measured weight loss directly, but Salacia based supplements seem to reduce the absorption of carbs and have an appetite suppressing effect for females. Both of these factors may help increase weight loss , but there is no high-quality data that backs up this hypothesis.
Orlistat Inhibits Fat Absorption
Is there ever a reason why you should consider using a true fat blocker?
The answer is maybe.
Some people, due to various reasons, are not able to completely control the type of food that they eat on a day-to-day basis.
Some people have work requirements, travel arrangements, etc. that may limit their food options.
If this is true for you then you may want to consider using a fat blocker for situations when you cant control your diet 100%.
There is really only 1 fat blocker to consider if you fall into this situation.
The fat blocker I am referring to is Orlistat .
Orlistat works by blocking a pancreatic enzyme known as lipase thereby reducing the absorption of fat by up to 30%.
The idea is that fat is hard to absorb, so your body must break it down with lipase in order to increase absorption.
If you block the enzyme that breaks down the fat, then less will be absorbed and you may lose weight.
Studies show that Orlistat does indeed result in modest weight loss :
Daily use of Orlistat has been shown to help people lose on average around 10 pounds or so over a 24-week period.
If you do decide to use Orlistat the best way to use it is in conjunction with both dietary changes along with aerobic exercise.
Studies show that the combination of these therapies along with daily Orlistat use increases weight loss by up to 2.5x.
One potential side effect of using Orlistat is loose stool that can be difficult to control.
Recommended Reading: Is 119 High Blood Sugar
Should Keto Dieters Take Carb Blockers
The best and most efficient way to reduce your carbohydrate absorption is to cut back on eating them. The ketogenic diet reduces your overall carbohydrate intake to less than five percent of your daily calories. Doing so puts your body into a state of ketosis, which has numerous benefits including better blood sugar control, weight loss, and improved neurological function. There are no shortcuts when you use the ketogenic diet, and it has been proven as a useful weight loss tool.
On the other hand, carb blockers could be risky and they allow for bad habits. Instead of giving up carbohydrates altogether, carb blockers give you the sensation that you can cheat or eat more carbohydrates than youre allowed on the ketogenic diet. We recommend avoiding carb blockers whenever possible and focusing your attention on making smart ketogenic choices.
Get your carbs from low-carb vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and zucchini. Its OK to enjoy berries in moderation, but this should be the extent of your sugar intake. Plus, berries and vegetables are loaded with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that benefit your health therefore, you wont want to block these carbs from being absorbed anyway.
Also dont confuse carb blocker with exogenous ketones, they are not the same thing. You can read our exogenous ketones review here to learn more about this keto supplement.
What Are Carb Blockers And Do They Work
Carb blockers are a type of diet supplement.
However, they work differently than most of the other weight loss pills on the market.
They block carbs from being digested, apparently allowing you to eat carbs without of the unwanted calories.
But are they really as beneficial as they sound? This is a detailed review of carb blockers and their effects on your health and weight.
You May Like: How To Know If Blood Sugar Is High Or Low
Why Bother Using Carb Blockers
To understand the potential impact of carb blockers, we must start with the basics of carb digestion. The starch and other sugar-based chains that we get from complex carbohydrate sources need to undergo a complex digestive process before they can be absorbed by the body.
When we consume starch, for example, our bodies need to use multiple mechanisms to digest them before they can enter our bloodstream. These digestive mechanisms include mastication , stomach acid exposure, and the breakdown of specific bonds with enzymes.
After this process, most of the starch is converted into simple sugars and absorbed through the small intestine into our circulation. This increase in sugar availability promotes sugar burning and decreases fat burning and ketone production. If more carbs are absorbed than the body needs at that time, you will store it as glycogen and fat.
Altogether, this process is normal and healthy, allowing us to use a quick fuel source while preserving our long-term energy stores . Once we burn off the sugar, we will then start burning more fat and ketones for fuel. This cycle repeats itself over and over again, helping us maintain a healthy weight.
However, as we started to make our food environment into a hedonistic heaven for our taste buds, our food consumption increased, overwhelming our bodies with energy.