Obesity, and resultant health hazards which include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, are worldwide medical problems. Control of diet and exercise are cornerstones of the management of excess weight. 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. These products include alpha-amylase and glucosidase inhibitors. The common white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) produces an alpha-amylase inhibitor, which has been characterized and tested in numerous clinical studies. A specific and proprietary product named Phase 2® Carb Controller (Pharmachem Laboratories, Kearny, NJ) has demonstrated the ability to cause weight loss with doses of 500 to 3000 mg per day, in either a single dose or in divided doses. Clinical studies also show that Phase 2 has the ability to reduce the post-prandial spike in blood glucose levels. Experiments conducted incorporating Phase 2 into food and beverage products have found that it can be integrated into various products without losing activity or altering the appearance, texture or taste of the food. There have been no serious side effects reported following consumption of Phase 2. Gastro-intestinal side effects are rare and diminish upon extended use of the product. In summary, Phase 2 has the potential to induce weight loss and reduce spikes in blood sugar caused by carbohydrates through its alpha-amylase inhibiting activity.
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