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White Kidney Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Herbal Monograph

When you think of White Kidney Bean you probably think of the more popular Red Kidney Bean first.  

Commonly used in Mexican food, red kidney beans are a common food. Beans, pulses and legumes are known for their health giving properties, being high is protein and many other micronutrients. The have a low Glycemic index (GI) and are high in fiber. 

Foods with a low glycemic index may reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease as well as their complications. As an alternative to a low glycemic index diet, there is a growing body of research into products that slow the absorption of carbohydrates through the inhibition of enzymes responsible for their digestion. (1) 

 

Background

After consumption of high GI foods, there is a large, rapid increase in blood sugar levels and in response a rapid increase in insulin levels. Insulin promotes the uptake of glucose from the blood into cells in the liver and skeletal muscle tissue, storing it as glycogen. Insulin also increases fatty acid synthesis and can result in the accumulation of lipids. (1) 

Accumulation of lipids in skeletal muscle and the liver is associated with a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance increases the chance of developing type-2 diabetes and heart disease. (1) 

One means of reducing the GI of a meal is the inclusion of resistant starches. Resistant starches are those that resist digestion in the small intestine, thereby passing into the large intestine, where they act like dietary fiber. These starches are naturally found in seeds, legumes and unprocessed whole grains. (1)

An alternative to a low GI diet are products that slow the absorption of carbohydrates through the inhibition of enzymes responsible for their digestion. These products include alpha-amylase and glucosidase inhibitors which have been used as pharmaceutical drugs. (1)

Alpha-amylase inhibitors are also present in grains, including wheat and rice. However, the greatest body of research has gone into glycoproteins extracted from kidney beans. (1) 

 

White kidney bean extract - Phase 2

The Phase 2 product is a water extract of the white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) with a standardized alpha-amylase content. hase 2 is produced from non-GMO whole white kidney beans, which are ground and then extracted for 4 hours. The liquid is filtered and concentrated under vacuum. (1) 

Phase 2 is used as a dietary supplement in various forms, including powders, tablets, capsules and chewables. There are approximately 200 brands of nutritional supplement/weight loss products in the worldwide market that contain Phase 2. A typical dose is 1 to 2 capsules, each containing 500 mg (1) 

 

White Kidney Bean

 

White Kidney bean extract - Clinical Trials

Ten clinical studies have demonstrated weight loss over time following administration of Phase 2. Three studies demonstrated significant loss of body weight with Phase 2 compared to a placebo control in people who are overweight or obese. The doses ranged from 445 mg for 4 weeks to 3000 mg for 8 to 12 weeks (1)

Four cross-over clinical studies addressed the potential effect of Phase 2 on post-prandial increases in blood sugar. All four studies indicated that Phase 2 could reduce post-prandial spikes in blood sugar with a suggestion that the effect is dose-related. (1)

 

Adverse effects

In the human clinical studies reviewed above there were no reports of serious side effects resulting from ingestion of white bean extracts. Clinical efficacy studies using doses of Phase 2 up to 3000 mg per day in divided doses for periods of 30 days to 24 weeks also reported no significant adverse events. (1)

 

Conclusion

There is a solid rationale behind the use of white kidney bean extract and its use in a weight loss program. Not only will eating beans, legumes, pulses and whole grains assist in regulating blood sugar levels and controlling appetite, but the addition of white kidney bean in supplement form will assist in speeding weight loss.  

You will find white kidney bean in the following products. 


Best of luck with your program

Brett Elliott

 


References:

(1) A proprietary alpha-amylase inhibitor from white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): A review of clinical studies on weight loss and glycemic control. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071778/

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