Background: A proprietary fractionated white bean extract of Phaseolus vulgaris has been shown in vitro to inhibit the digestive enzyme alpha-amylase. This may prevent or delay the digestion of complex carbohydrates, potentially resulting in weight loss.
Methods: A 4-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 25 healthy subjects consuming 1000 mg of a proprietary fractioned white bean extract or an identical placebo twice a day before meals in conjunction with a multi-component weight-loss program, including diet, exercise, and behavioral intervention, was conducted.
Results: Both groups reduced their weight and waist size significantly from baseline. The active group lost 6.0 lbs (P=.0002) and 2.2 in (P=.0050), and the placebo group lost 4.7 lbs (P=.0016) and 2.1 in (P=.0001). The differences between groups were not significant (weight P=.4235, waist size P=.8654). Through subsequent exploratory analysis to investigate group findings further, subjects were stratified by total dietary carbohydrate intake. This probative analysis revealed that the tertile of subjects who had consumed the most carbohydrates demonstrated significant reductions in both weight (8.7 lbs vs 1.7 lbs, P=.0412) and waist size (3.3 in vs 1.3 in P=.0100) compared with placebo subjects in the same tertile of carbohydrate intake.
Conclusion: Subjects who adhere to a program including dietary modification, exercise, and behavioral intervention can significantly reduce their weight and waist size in a short period of time. In an exploratory analysis of data, the tertile of subjects who ate the most carbohydrates experienced a significant reduction in both weight and waist size with the addition of the white bean extract compared to the placebo group of the same tertile of carbohydrate consumption. Longer studies with a larger pool of subjects are required to validate these findings.