What is White Kidney Bean Extract?

Todd M.

White kidney bean extract is a nutritional supplement that blocks a digestive enzyme in the intestinal tract that assists with the absorption of complex carbohydrates. As a result, it allows some of the starchy foods that are ingested to pass through the digestive system without being metabolized. Body builders and dieters commonly use this supplement as a weight loss aid. This product is also used by people who find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet due to the fast pace of their careers, such as field representatives and transportation professionals.

Bodybuilders commonly use white kidney bean extract as a weight loss aid.
Bodybuilders commonly use white kidney bean extract as a weight loss aid.

One of the main digestive enzymes that breaks down starches and other complex carbohydrates is called alpha-amalyase. When complex carbohydrates are broken down into simple carbohydrates, they are either used for energy immediately or stored as fat. White kidney bean extract may inhibit the action of this enzyme, allowing most unneeded starches to pass through the body without being broken down, while allowing sugar, fat and protein to be digested normally. It does not affect the enzyme glucomase, which also breaks down a small percentage of complex carbohydrates.

Side effects of white kidney bean extract may include heartburn.
Side effects of white kidney bean extract may include heartburn.

This nutritional supplement is made from the white kidney bean plant (Phaseolus vulgaris). The tuber of the white kidney bean plant has been an important food staple in South America for thousands of years. Other parts of the plant have historically been used as a curative in tribal medicine. The beans themselves have long been recognized as an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein and iron. The use of the extract for weight loss purposes did not appear until the turn of the 21st century. At that time, a double-blind pilot study published by Pharmachem Laboratories revealed that the extract had eliminated 66% of starch absorption in people who took the extract for a short period of time.

Dieters may use kidney bean extract to aid in weight loss.
Dieters may use kidney bean extract to aid in weight loss.

White kidney bean extract should be taken twice a day before meals. Nutritionists recommend that individuals who are currently taking prescription laxatives or diuretics approach this supplement with caution. The undigested starches that remain in the system when a person is on this extract can exacerbate the effects of strong laxatives, and it is also a fairly strong diuretic. Additional possible side effects include mild heartburn and excessive gas.

The use of white kidney bean extract in supplemental form did not appear until the turn of the 21st century.
The use of white kidney bean extract in supplemental form did not appear until the turn of the 21st century.

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Discussion Comments

myharley

How safe is white bean kidney extract? So many times when body builders and dieters use a supplement to lose weight, you find out later that it was not very safe to use.

bagley79

I agree with the article where it says white kidney bean extract should be taken before meals. I think taking it with a full glass of water before eating helps curb the appetite. The fiber and the water help you feel full longer.

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