White kidney bean is also known as Phaseolus vulgaris. The seeds of the white kidney bean have been used in traditional medicine for many different purposes including to treat diabetes, coughs, skin conditions, pain, and conditions of the bladder and kidneys. White kidney beans themselves are nothing special and may be eaten as any other bean is.
A special extract of white kidney bean is known as Phase 2 ™ or Phaseolamin 2250 ™. The Phase 2 white kidney bean extract is proprietary, so the consumer does not actually know what the bean is extracted for. Phase 2 is marketed as a weight loss aid, which works by blocking carbohydrate absorption. Phase 2 neutralizes the enzyme alpha-amylase, which plays a role in carbohydrate digestion. As a result, some ingested complex carbohydrates are not broken down to glucose and utilized as energy or stored a glycogen or body fat, but instead are passed through the digestive system unabsorbed. This should lead to less calories and carbohydrates absorbed, and consequently a loss of body weight without a reduction in calorie intake.
There is not a ton of research available on white kidney bean extract, but the research that is available has shown Phase 2 to be effective in blocking carbohydrate absorption and safe at recommended doses. While Phase 2 may block some carbohydrate absorption which may cause some weight loss, simply reducing dietary carbohydrates and calories will have the same effect, and can be much more effective depending on the amount of carbohydrates and calories dropped from the diet. Phase 2 shows promise in treating obesity and as a diet aid, but the most effective method of losing weight and body fat is still to simply reduce calorie intake.
1. Chokshi D. (2006). Toxicity studies of Blockal, a dietary supplement containing Phase 2 Starch Neutralizer (Phase 2), a standardized extract of the common white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). International Journal of Toxicology. 25(5), 361-71.
2. Chokshi D. (2007). Subchronic oral toxicity of a standardized white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) extract in rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology : an International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 45(1), 32-40.
3. Udani J, Hardy M, & Madsen DC. (2004). Blocking carbohydrate absorption and weight loss: a clinical trial using Phase 2 brand proprietary fractionated white bean extract. Alternative Medicine Review : a Journal of Clinical Therapeutic. 9(1), 63-9.
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White Kidney Bean Extract (Phase 2 ™)