Healthnotes January 2014
|HUB OF THE HEALTHY LIVING MARKETPLACE™ | Healthnotes January 2014
Natural Products Foundation
A Bean Extract that May Support Weight Loss
In the never-ending quest for the secret tolosing weight and keeping it off, another natural product with promise comes to light: an extract from white kidney beans,Phaseolus vulgaris, that interferes with carbohydrate digestion and absorption. Researchers found in a preliminary study that the extract helped overweight and obese people lose weight during 12 weeks of calorie restriction and maintain the weight loss during 24 weeks of unrestricted eating.
The study, published in Obesity, was divided into two parts: weight loss and weight management. During the weight loss part of the trial, 123 overweight or obese people were put on individualized diets based on gender, age, weight, and activity level. The diets were designed to encourage weight loss through slight calorie restriction for 12 weeks. Participants were also assigned to take 1,000 mg of Phaseolus vulgaris extract three times per day or placebo.
During the weight management part of the trial, 49 of the original bean extract users were monitored for an additional 24 weeks while continuing to take the extract. They were told to eat a nutritionally balanced but unrestricted diet.
Bean extract brings better weight loss
Researchers found several positive effects:
“We conclude that [Phaseolus vulgaris extract] is effective and safe in weight loss and weight management, even with unrestricted energy intake,” the study’s authors said.
No quick fix
These results suggest that Phaseolus vulgaris extract might increase weight loss while on a low-calorie diet and further suggest that this bean extract might help with the stickiest of problems: maintaining weight loss, but the amount of weight lost and kept off over a total of 36 weeks (9 months) was modest, at 2.9 kg or 6.4 pounds. If you are trying to lose a meaningful amount of weight, a comprehensive program that includes diet, exercise, and supplements may be the best approach.
Here are some things to remember:
(Obesity 2013; doi:10.1002/oby.20577)
Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.