White Kidney Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Herbal Monograph

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After consumption of high GI foods, there is a large, rapid increase in Blood Sugar levels and in response a rapid increase in insulin levels. Insulin promotes the uptake of glucose from the blood into cells in the Liver and skeletal muscle tissue, storing it as glycogen. Insulin also increases fatty acid synthesis and can result in the accumulation of lipids. (1)

Accumulation of lipids in skeletal muscle and the Liver is associated with a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance increases the chance of developing Type-2 Diabetes and Heart Disease. (1)

One means of reducing the GI of a meal is the inclusion of resistant starches. Resistant starches are those that resist digestion in the small intestine, thereby passing into the large intestine, where they act like dietary fiber. These starches are naturally found in seeds, legumes, and unprocessed whole grains. (1)

An alternative to a low GI diet are products that slow the absorption of carbohydrates through the inhibition of enzymes responsible for their digestion. These products include alpha-amylase and glucosidase inhibitors which have been used as pharmaceutical drugs. (1)

Alpha-amylase inhibitors are also present in grains, including wheat and rice. However, the greatest body of research has gone into glycoproteins extracted from kidney beans. (1)

White Kidney Bean Extract – Phase 2

Phase 2 is a water-extract of a common white bean (Phaseolusvulgaris) that has been shown in vitro to inhibit the digestive enzyme alpha-amylase. Inhibiting this enzyme may prevent the digestion of complex carbohydrates, thus decreasing the number of carbohydrate calories absorbed and potentially promoting weight loss. (2)

Phase 2 is produced from non-GMO whole White Kidney Beans, which are ground and then extracted for 4 hours. The liquid is filtered and concentrated under vacuum. (1)

Phase 2 is used as a dietary supplement in various forms, including powders, tablets, capsules, and chewables. There are approximately 200 brands of nutritional supplement/weight loss products in the worldwide market that contain Phase 2. A typical dose is 1 to 2 capsules, each containing 500 mg (1)

white kidney bean


White Kidney Bean Extract – Clinical Trials

Ten clinical studies have demonstrated weight loss over time following administration of Phase 2. Three studies demonstrated significant loss of body weight with Phase 2 compared to a placebo control in people who are overweight or obese. The doses ranged from 445 mg for 4 weeks to 3000 mg for 8 to 12 weeks (1)

Four cross-over clinical studies addressed the potential effect of Phase 2 on post-prandial increases in Blood Sugar. All four studies indicated that Phase 2 could reduce post-prandial spikes in Blood Sugar with a suggestion that the effect is dose-related. (1)

One study showed that the inhibition of alpha-amylase using Phase 2 extract, may result in the lowering of the effective Glycemic Index (GI) of certain foods such as bread. (3)

Adverse Effects

In the human clinical studies reviewed above, there were no reports of serious side effects resulting from ingestion of White Kidney Bean extracts. Clinical efficacy studies using doses of Phase 2 up to 3000 mg per day in divided doses for periods of 30 days to 24 weeks also reported no significant adverse events. (1)


There is a solid rationale behind the use of White Kidney Bean extract and its use in a weight loss program. Not only will eating beans, legumes, pulses, and whole grains assist in regulating Blood Sugar levels and controlling appetite, but the addition of White Kidney Bean in supplement form will assist in speeding weight loss.

You will find White Kidney Bean in the following products:

Best of luck with your program.

Brett Elliott ©

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