With the focus on finding different supplements that help with weight loss, we take a close look at one of the more popular ones recently, white kidney bean extract.
More importantly, we focus on white kidney bean extract side effects to see if they’re safe enough to make them worth taking.
What is White Kidney Bean Extract?
Kidney bean extract is a supplement that’s designed for helping with weight loss.
Essentially, it is a carbohydrate blocker. So it’s main purpose is to block carbohydrates.
From that alone, you can see how it can help anyone who’s looking to lose weight. After all, carbs are one of the biggest culprits in weight gain as well as increase in body fat.
What this weight loss supplement does is in inhibits the digestion of starches (carbs). These components in food are left undigested. And as such, you don’t get their effects, which include the blood sugar rise, and calories.
Instead these starches are later excreted and none of the calories are absorbed. So basically, you can enjoy your carbs without the unwanted effects.
This makes it valuable for anyone who wants to restrict calories without controlling their eating (at least of starches). It also helps keep blood sugar and triglycerides from going up.
White Kidney Bean Extract Side Effects
Here are some side effects that have been associated with white kidney bean extract.
1. It Interferes with Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
White kidney bean extract naturally produces substances known as alpha-amylase inhibitors.
These substances inhibit amylase action and consequently interferes with carbohydrate metabolism.
Through this similar mechanism, the white kidney bean may interfere with your digestion. It can also affect absorption of other essential nutrients.
The reason for this is that our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food depends on our digestion. Changes or interference to it changes the way we absorb nutrients from food and drinks.
It is for these side effects that come with white bean extract that people with certain gastrointestinal, liver, or kidney disorders should use amylase inhibitors with caution or avoid them.
2. It Can Cause Hypoglycemia in Certain Individuals
In addition, the extract may result in hypoglycemia via its inhibition of the breakdown of carbohydrates in your body.
This is especially true in diabetics and other individuals who are particularly prone to low blood sugar levels.
3. Gassiness and Bloating
Major side effects include gassiness & bloating. You may experience some gas and possibly diarrhea due to the increased fermentation of carbohydrates.
According to researchers, consuming raw, incorrectly prepared, or undercooked beans can lead to flatulence, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. This occurs mainly as a result of the increased fermentation of carbohydrates.
While this can happen with other varieties of beans, red and white beans contain the toxin phytohaemagglutinin in the highest concentration. This increases the possibility of gas and bloating to happen.
Regular Use and Use for Extended Periods
Little is known about the safety of consuming white kidney bean extract on a regular basis or for an extended period. This is owing to the lack of long term clinical trials.
Certain minor side effects like severe nausea, constipation, or bloating can occur after consuming this extract regularly and for a certain period of time.
However, according to a nutritional review that was published in the “Nutrition Journal” March 2011 edition, all such side effects disappeared following a few days of continued use.
Their expert opinion was that the temporary gastrointestinal issues are only similar to what one may encounter if they suddenly increased the fiber amount in their diet.
Reviews on extracts from white beans reveal that they don’t generally cause any serious side effects.
Allergies, Interactions and Warnings
It is advisable that anyone who is allergic to white kidney beans, or legumes in general, not to take the extract. At the same time, we do recommend that they avoid white kidney bean extract supplements altogether.
Be aware that amylase inhibitors can also be extracted from wheat as well.
Apart from that, bear in mind that white kidney bean extract shouldn’t be used by children, pregnant or breastfeeding women. It’s also not recommended for anyone with kidney or liver disease.
As with other supplements, we advise that you should consult your healthcare provider or physician before taking white bean supplements.
For one, as it works as an amylase inhibitor, it can lower your blood sugar levels to unsafe levels without you being aware of it. For that reason, they might not be safe especially if you take other medication to regulate blood sugar.
This also can become dangerous if you have hypoglycemia or diabetes.
There haven’t been any reports of serious side effects linked with the use of white bean extracts when used at recommended doses.
While there haven’t been any conclusive tests of white bean extracts for safety, keep in mind that clinical trials for its efficacy have been performed with doses of 2,000 or 3,000 mg per day. These tests were done for periods of time up to 24 weeks. And in them, there were no reported adverse side effects found.
Do note that since it is high in phenolic content, consuming this supplement may block carbohydrates digesting enzymes.
However, all reported side effects of the extract were just temporary. It is mainly brought about by some adjustments in the intestines to the alpha-amylase process of neutralization. And given a few days, things should return to normal.
As usual, when you experience side effects that don’t go away after a couple of days or so, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor. Or stop the supplement or medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.