The way in which carbohydrate blockers promise to make us lose weight is quite simple: by preventing us from temporarily synthesizing complex carbohydrates, the body ends up taking only the essentials of them, without absorbing them completely, thus avoiding fattening.
Like any supplement that becomes popular among specific groups of dieticians, these blockers are still something unknown to the general public. We synthesize its fundamental aspects: its operation, its security and its mode of use.
How do carbohydrate blockers work?
The supplements carbohydrate blockers are usually extracted from compounds Fasolina of foods such as beans. These compounds enter the body and block the enzymes responsible for processing complex carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice or pasta), so that these enzymes have less time to absorb and release them into the blood.
By blocking the enzymes, the body can not completely absorb carbohydrates as it traditionally does. Instead, they go directly to the digestive tract, where they are expelled without the body being able to absorb their calories and without compromising their blood sugar levels, at least in theory.
What effects do carbohydrate blockers have on the body?
This factor is not free of conflicting opinions. Carbohydrate blockers tend to be promoted under the premise that with them we can eat as many carbohydrates as we want. While they have proven to be useful as a method of weight loss, these supplements are not infallible, and some studies have pointed out diverse results that are worth considering.
A first factor to point out is that carbohydrate blockers have been shown to be effective over 50% or 65% of the enzymes that process complex carbohydrates. But this does not mean that enzymes “blocked” temporarily cannot absorb carbohydrates at some point. In this sense, when studying a strong carbohydrate blocker, it was found that although it blocked 97% of the enzymes, it only prevented the absorption of 7% of the ingested carbohydrates.
In addition, the complex carbohydrates blocked by these supplements usually represent a smaller problem than what they mean, for example, the compound sugars, when talking about weight loss
Despite this evidence, we cannot fail to point out that there are other studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of carbohydrate blockers to help lose weight, although on a smaller scale. It has been shown that its use can generate an average of weight loss of between 2 and 3 kilos, which is a small, but useful margin.
A side effect of carbohydrate blockers is to affect the hormones that generate feelings of hunger or satiety, thus altering our natural appetite.
One explanation for this is that the bean compounds that these supplements are usually made of contain phytohemagglutinin, a lectin that increases the number of appetite hormones.
A study in rats also showed that carbohydrate blockers can produce a gradual rejection by fats or sugar, although there are no studies in humans that clearly confirm this.
3.Reduction of blood sugar levels
While carbohydrate blockers are touted as “weight reducers,” their use to lower blood sugar may be equal or more significant.
By slowing down the digestion of complex carbohydrates, carbohydrate blockers also reduce the sugar that enters the blood. However, this principle is only met with carbohydrates that are effectively blocked.
4.Increase in resistant starch in the body
This unintended, or at least not publicized, effect of carbohydrate blockers suggests that by consuming them we increase the presence of resistant starch in the large intestine.
Like fiber, resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested in the small intestine, and has positive effects on digestion and weight loss.
By blocking the absorption of complex carbohydrates in the small intestine, carbohydrate blockers allow them to pass more easily to the large intestine, and act as doe’s resistant starch.
Are carbohydrate blockers safe?
Provided they are purchased from a reliable store, carbohydrate blockers do not pose a health risk. Otherwise, some side effects for health derived from its consumption could be the following:
- Abdominal swelling.
- Flatulence .
- Unwanted reduction of sugar levels, especially in cases of patients with diabetes who does not adjust their insulin dose earlier.
In any case, these side effects are usually the product of gases during the absorption process, or they respond to the causes of each person’s health. They are not dangerous and do not usually last for a long time.
Going to a trusted store and a supplement guaranteed on your label by medical or food federations is a very important first step to ensure the safety of carbohydrate blockers.
While carbohydrate blockers have less positive effects such as strengthening weight loss or helping control blood sugar levels, it has not yet been proven which of them could have any real long-term effect, so their consumption remains a question of own criteria.
On the other hand, we must insist on the fact that these supplements are just that: supplements. In no case should they be able to substitute the benefits of a long-term healthy diet.