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White Kidney Bean Extract

August 20, 2012 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

What if you really could have your cake and eat it too? I’m not asking you to consider a profound philosophical concept, but rather posing the question quite literally. The dream of many dieters is to one day be able to eat high carbohydrate foods without familiar consequences such as high blood sugar, an unhealthful lipid panel and weight gain. Until recently, this was universally accepted as “pie in the sky”. However, nutritional scientists have uncovered certain food based extracts that may, in fact, offer hope in this arena.

Phaseolus vulgaris, otherwise known as cannelloni or white kidney beans, possess a unique class of chemicals that partially interfere with the digestion of starches. Specifically, purified extracts of P. vulgaris contain alpha-amylase inhibitors. When consumed with carbohydrate rich meals or snacks, alpha-amylase inhibitors or “carb blockers” reduce the amount of calories absorbed from these foods. Some evidence indicates that this subsequently reduces both blood sugar spikes and weight gain associated with high glycemic foods. Thus far, several peer reviewed studies have utilized supplemental dosages ranging from 500 mg to 2,000 mg daily. The amount of weight loss reported has been modest and registers at about 1 to 2 lbs per month. A positive “side benefit” of white kidney bean extract is that it tends to reduce triglycerides and, thereby, may improve cardiovascular health. Side effects generally aren’t severe and tend to involve minor gastrointestinal upset.

Food manufacturers are also considering the possibility of incorporating white kidney bean extracts in prepared products. The idea is to lower the glycemic index of foods by adding this natural, alpha-amylase inhibitor. A study presented in the October 2009 issue of the Nutrition Journal reveals that this strategy may be viable. In the research, varying dosages of white kidney extract (1,500 mg to 3,000 mg) were added to a high glycemic snack (white bread). The 3,000 mg dosage was found to lower the glycemic index of the bread by approximately 34%. As promising as this data may seem, I’d like to end this column by quoting the concluding remarks of a review appearing in the June 2009 edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition:”In many respects, carb blockers mimic the beneficial effects of fiber”. Given this reality, I typically suggest eating more dietary fiber from whole food sources and leaving this supplement on the shelf.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – A Proprietary Alpha-Amylase Inhibitor from White Bean (Phaseolus (link)

Study 2 – Blocking Carbohydrate Absorption and Weight Loss: A Clinical Trial(link)

Study 3 – Digestion of Carbohydrate from White Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) (link)

Study 4 – White Bean Amylase Inhibitor Administered Orally Reduces Glycaemia (link)

Study 5 – Subchronic Oral Toxicity of a Standardized White Kidney Bean (link)

Study 6 – A Dietary Supplement Containing Standardized Phaseolus vulgaris (link)

Study 7 – Blocking Carbohydrate Absorption and Weight Loss: A Clinical Trial (link)

Study 8 – Isolation and Activity of an Alpha-Amylase Inhibitor from White Kidney (link)

Study 9 – Lowering the Glycemic Index of White Bread Using a White Bean Extract (link)

Study 10 – Bean Amylase Inhibitor and Other Carbohydrate Absorption Blockers … (link)

High-Protein, Low-Glycemic Meal Plans Protect Against Obesity

Source: Pediatrics. 2010 Nov;126(5):e1143-52. (link)

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Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements

10 Comments & Updates to “White Kidney Bean Extract”

  1. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    JP, I bet that supplement causes a lot of gas. Do you know?

  2. JP Says:


    I’ve never tried it myself. However, a recent review lists diarrhea and flatulence as possible side effects.


    Be well!


  3. Nina K. Says:

    Hiya JP 🙂

    sounds that white beans pair well with a delicous dressing that contains tumeric ans green or white tea ( http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf301147n & http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20561944 ) for blood sugar & a low carb lifestyle ☺

    I already tried that and sencha used like a dried herb tastes great in dressings.

    Do you think, that eating white beans is also a good thing?

    Be well,

    Nina K.

  4. JP Says:

    Hi Nina,

    Adding turmeric and other culinary herbs and spices would be a great idea re: carbohydrate absorption and otherwise.


    As far as green tea and grapes go … I prefer drinking them. The latter in the form of organic red wine. Both would be good additions to meals containing white kidney beans. 😉

    IMO, the best way to eat white kidney beans is in moderation – after soaking them overnight in purified water. It may also be advantageous to add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the cooking liquid:



    Be well!


  5. Nina K. Says:

    Thanks for the advice with the apple cider, JP 🙂

    A good deep red (organic) wine is always good, in moderation of course. Green tea, esp. matcha is also one of my staples 🙂

    Happy sipping!

  6. Lisa Says:

    ha ha like JP’s comment about the flatulence,kidney beans have always been my weakness. I read on http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/cinnamon-cinnamomum-verum–p-176.asp that true cinnamon can help with carb absorption and weight loss. Anyone heard similar things?

  7. JP Says:

    Update 06/11/15:


    Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014 Oct;18(20):3120-5.

    Beanblock® (standardized dry extract of Phaseolus vulgaris) in mildly overweight subjects: a pilot study.

    OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the efficacy of Beanblock®, a standardized extract of Phaseolus vulgaris L., on weight control in healthy overweight subjects on a weight management plan that combined lifestyle and dietary advice.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty overweight (BMI 25-30 kg/m2) healthy subjects were enroled. All subjects were instructed to follow a weight management plan, accompanied by dietary advice. Thirty subjects used Beanblock® for at least 12 weeks (50 mg tablets, two times daily). The remaining 30 subjects did not receive any supplementation (management-only). The main endpoints were changes in body weight and waist circumference, with plasmatic oxidative stress, satiey and appetite being also evaluated.

    RESULTS: At week 12, the supplementation with Beanblock® was associated with a reduction in body weight (from 82.8 ± 9.1 kg to 78.8 ± 8.9 kg; p < 0.0001) and a decrease of waist circumference from 94.4 ± 10.3 cm to 88.2 ± 10.0 cm (p < 0.0001). Conversely, only marginal changes were observed in the control group. Oxidative stress was also significantly decreased with Beanblock® (from 380.4 ± 14.8 to 340.7 ± 14.8 Carr Units; p < 0.0001). Satiety and appetite improved in the supplement group. No side effects were observed and compliance was optimal. CONCLUSIONS: Beanblock®, in association with a health management plan, was useful for weight control in mildly overweight healthy subjects. Be well! JP

  8. JP Says:

    Update 06/11/15:


    Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Mar;22(3):645-51.

    Weight reduction and maintenance with IQP-PV-101: a 12-week randomized controlled study with a 24-week open label period.

    OBJECTIVE: The safety and efficacy of IQP-PV-101, a proprietary extract of Phaseolus vulgaris, on weight management in two phases was evaluated here. The weight loss (WL) phase was conducted over 12 weeks and the weight maintenance (WM) phase took 24 weeks.

    METHODS: In the double-blind WL phase, subjects were randomized to receive either IQP-PV-101 or placebo. All subjects adhered to a mildly hypocaloric diet. Body weight and other body composition parameters were measured at baseline and every 4 weeks thereafter. During the single arm, open label WM trial, energy intake was ad libitum. Efficacy parameters were measured at baseline, week 12 and week 24.

    RESULTS: At the end of the WL study, the IQP-PV-101 group lost a mean of 2.91 ± 2.63 kg in body weight compared with 0.92 ± 2.00 kg in the placebo group (P < 0.001). During the WM phase, 36 out of 49 subjects (73.5%) were able to maintain their weight, even without dietary restrictions. No serious or related adverse events were reported over the combined period of 36 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that IQP-PV-101 is safe and effective for weight loss and maintenance. Be well! JP

  9. JP Says:

    Update 06/11/15:


    Br J Nutr. 2013 May 28;109(10):1789-95.

    Phaseolus vulgaris extract affects glycometabolic and appetite control in healthy human subjects.

    Extracts of Phaseolus vulgaris (beans) are known to reduce glycaemia and food intake in rodents and humans. The present study evaluated the effects of a new, standardised and purified P. vulgaris extract (PVE), when employed as a supplement in a mixed balanced meal (60 % carbohydrates, 25 % lipids and 15 % protein), on glycometabolic and appetite control. To this end, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed in twelve volunteers. Plasma glucose, insulin, C-peptide, ghrelin and satiety sensation ratings were assessed at baseline and during 3 h after meal consumption associated with PVE (100 mg) or placebo. Compared with placebo, PVE consumption resulted in lower increments in glucose (+15·4 (sem 5·4) v. 26·1 (SEM 7·3) %, P= 0·04 at 30 min), insulin (+981 (SEM 115) v. 1325 (SEM 240) %, P= 0·04 between 45 and 120 min) and C-peptide (+350 (SEM 27) v. 439 (SEM 30) %, P= 0·04 between 30 and 90 min). In the first 2 h, plasma ghrelin decreased similarly in both groups but did not rebound as in placebo thereafter (P= 0·04). Correspondingly, satiety sensation in the third hour was significantly reduced in the placebo but not in the PVE condition. PVE induced a lower desire to eat than placebo (P= 0·02) over the 3 h. In conclusion, PVE supplementation reduced postprandial glucose, insulin and C-peptide excursions, suppressed ghrelin secretion and affected satiety sensations, inducing a lower desire to eat. These results support that further studies are needed to prove the concept of employing PVE as a supplement in mixed balanced meals in obese, glucose-intolerant and diabetic subjects.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Updated 08/03/15:


    Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 30;5:12015.

    Green tea extract decreases starch digestion and absorption from a test meal in humans: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study.

    Green tea is known worldwide for its beneficial effects on human health. However, objective data evaluating this influence in humans is scarce. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of green tea extract (GTE) on starch digestion and absorption. The study comprised of 28 healthy volunteers, aged 19 to 28 years. In all subjects, a starch 13C breath test was performed twice. Subjects randomly ingested naturally 13C-abundant cornflakes during the GTE test (GTE 4 g) or placebo test. The cumulative percentage dose recovery (CPDR) was significantly lower for the GTE test than for the placebo test (median [interquartile range]: 11.4% [5.5-15.5] vs. 16.1% [12.7-19.5]; p = 0.003). Likewise, CPDR expressed per hour was considerably lower in each point of the measurement. In conclusion, a single dose of green tea extract taken with a test meal decreases starch digestion and absorption.

    Be well!


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