December 2011/NutraSolutions -- In North America, the number of overweight and obese people has increased some 75% since 1980. Medical costs associated with treatment of preventable diseases associated with excess weight in the U.S. alone are increasing by $48-66 billion, yearly1. Although carbohydrates provide the majority of energy in the diets of most people, overconsumption is frequently associated with weight gain. Starch is the primary dietary carbohydrate.
Weight-reduction aids called “starch blockers” promote weight loss by interfering with the breakdown of carbohydrates--thus reducing the availability of carbohydrate-derived calories and/or by providing resistant starches to the lower gastrointestinal tract. Alpha-amylase is a key enzyme involved in carbohydrate breakdown. Pharmachem Laboratories’ Phase 2®, a proprietary, concentrated white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) powdered extract, shows potent inhibition of alpha-amylase2.
Insulin responses are also favorably impacted by slowing carbohydrate absorption, which, in turn, leads to lower fat accumulation. Following 4 weeks of Phase 2 (1,000mg twice/day), significant reductions in waist size and weight loss (8.7lbs) in subjects who consumed the most carbohydrates was reported in comparison to the placebo group (1.7lbs)3.
Further, in a study of 60 overweight volunteers whose weight had been stable for about 6 months, half consumed 445mg of Phase 2 for 30 days prior to a carbohydrate-rich meal4. The results included significant reductions in average weight loss (3kg), fat mass (2.4kg), waist circumference (3 cm), hip circumference (1.5 cm) and adipose tissue thickness, which decreased 4.2mm, with no loss in lean body mass. While not a resistant starch, Phase 2 appears to make starches “resistant” to absorption, yet it is easier to incorporate into foods, with little to no effect on taste or texture.
Through similar mechanisms, Phase 2 also increases the rate of clearance of glucose and has been shown to effectively lower meal-induced hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) in diabetic subjects5. Fasting subjects were given four slices of white bread and 42g of margarine with or without either 0.75g or 1.5g of Phase 2. A dose-response inhibition of starch absorption of 28-41% and 66%, respectively, was reported.
Phase 2 has been shown to reduce glycemic index (GI), a measure of how quickly the body breaks down the carbohydrates in foods. In 15 subjects, GI testing was conducted following consumption of white bread with and without the addition of Phase 2 (1,500mg, 2,000mg and 3,000mg)6. Clinically meaningful reductions in the GI of white bread were seen at all dosages and formulations, except at 1,500mg. Significant reductions of 34% were found with the 3,000mg powder. The Phase 2 white bean extract appears to be a novel and potentially effective method for reducing the GI of existing foods, without modifying their ingredient profile.
All natural, GRAS and non-GMO, Phase 2 can be successfully added to baked food products without affecting the product quality or consumer acceptance. NS
References: 1. Wang, YC, et al. 2011. Lancet: 378(9793):815. 2. Meyer BH, et al. 1984. S. Afr. Med. J. 66:224-25. 3. Udani J. and Singh BB. 2007. Altern. Ther. Health Med. 13:32-7. 4. Celleno L, et al. 2007. Int. J. Med. Sci. 4:45-52. 5. Vinson, JA., et al. 2009. Open Nutra. J. 2:88-91. 6. Udani, JK, et al. 2009. Nutr J. 28(8):52.