I’m going to do a series of short blogs on different diet pills and what they claim to do. They fall into different categories:
1) Fat binders/blockers;
2) Carb blockers;
3) Metabolism boosters;
4) Appetite suppressants;
5) Those that claim to do most of the above and then some!
This second blog is on the Carb blockers:
Examples of products include: “DEcarb™ is a brand new weight management product that contains PhaseLite™, a natural glycoprotein complex made from white kidney bean that can reduce calorie intake by blocking up to 66 per cent of dietary carbohydrates eaten.”
Zoë comment: Of all the mechanisms going on in my body, the carbohydrate/insulin response is one that I would not choose to mess around with. We are already testing the body’s ability to handle carbohydrates effectively on almost an hourly basis by bombing the body with calorie counted, processed carbohydrates, which it has no chance of recognising. The pancreas then has to release what it thinks is the right amount of insulin and it has a low chance of getting this right unless we eat a real carb (like an apple), which it can recognise. Is it any wonder that over 2 million people in the UK have Type II Diabetes? (this is the type where the pancreas has become unable to respond to carbohydrates with the ‘right’ amount of insulin). Even if the claim made by this product about blocking the calories in carbohydrates is right (and I have serious doubts) the fact that a carb has been ingested is still registered by the body and the body tries to release the right amount of insulin. Insulin is called the fattening hormone for good reason – and once it is released into the body, it will be turn any glucose detected into glycogen and this then turns into body fat, if not used up.
Think about bulimics – they are often of normal weight or even overweight. Even though they ‘get rid’ of the calories quite quickly (undoubtedly more effectively than any carb pill) the body has still released insulin and it can still turn glucose into fat. Additionally, I would be concerned that this messing around with the carb/insulin balance in the body is far from ideal and can’t help the body avoid insulin resistance or carb mismanagement in the longer term. I personally really would not risk messing around with this critically important bodily function.