Does it Work? - Carb Blockers??

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02-01-2003, 06:39 PM
Some of my friends are getting started on using some carb blocker pills. They sent me the description. Is this dangerous for them? It sounds like they might end up not getting enough calories.
Here is the description:
Carb Blocker 2
May block up to 500 calories per meal. 90 tablets per bottle, with recommended serving of three tablets.
Full Description

Introducing the first and only dietary supplement that provides an exclusive blend of natural plant extracts that blocks both sugars and starches to help you lose weight. Laboratory tests show that one three-tablet serving of Carb Blocker 2 has a powerful carbohydrate-blocking effect. These results suggest that a similar action in humans may help block up to 500 calories when consumed with a high-carbohydrate meal.

• A gentle way to help control calorie absorption from table sugar, and starches such as breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, peas, dried beans, and other carbohydrate-rich foods.

• Still gives your body the benefit of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in carbohydrate-containing foods.

• Natural, non-stimulating carbohydrate control.

• Helps to control swings in blood sugar that trigger hunger.

• Helps keep you feeling fuller longer.

Retail Price: $39.95

Suzanne 3FC
02-04-2003, 08:22 PM
No, it doesn't work. Someone else had questioned this at an earlier date, and I found the following information from a physician:

This is complete nonsense. If you managed to completely block all
digestion of starch you ate, the bacteria in your intestine would get the sugars and you'd blow up like a balloon from gas, and then have diarrhea. Exactly like having lactose intolerance, and for the same reason. In fact, the well-known gas from beans is also a result of incompletely digested sugars in beans. Stuff that isn't digested higher up, will always get digested by bacteria further down, and with disasterous results. There is actually a prescription starch digestion blocker on the market for diabetics (called "Precose" or acarbose), but its effect is only to slow digestion of starch down, not stop it. Nearly the same calories are absorbed, and even here, the major side effects are (you guessed it) gas and diarrhea.

Several studies of the actually effect of weight-loss "starch
blockers" are in the literature. In one famous one, the entire gut was washed out with a "colonoscopy prep solution" several hours after a test meal, or a test meal with starch blocker. This was done for a number of subjects. The caloric content of both kinds of washout mixtures was measured (yeah, gross work, but it's science). The result? No difference.* These things are scams. They don't even block starch digestion as well as Precose, and Precose is no good for weight loss.

Steve Harris, M.D.

*Citations of Basic Science

Bo-Linn GW, et al: Starch-blockers-- their effects on calorie
absorption from a high-starch meal. N Engl J Med 307:1413, 1982.

Garrow JS, et al: Starch blockers are ineffective in man. Lancet
1:60, 1983.

Carlson GL, et al: A bean alpha-amylase inhibitor formulation (is
ineffective in man). Science 219:393, 1983.


Starch blockers-- still no calorie free lunch. N Engl J Med
307:1444, 1982

MrsJim had also responded to a similar post with this great reply:

Starch blockers have been around for awhile now.

Save your money - they're worthless.

Check out this article from Quackwatch:

Be Wary of "Calorie-Blockers"

Many people wish that a pill or potion could counteract the effect of eating more than one needs to maintain weight. Many thieves cater to this wish by selling "miracle" products claimed to block the absorption of food components.

In the early 1980s, "starch blockers" were claimed to contain an enzyme extracted from beans that could block the digestion of significant amounts of starch. The enzyme works in the test tube, but the human body produces more starch-digesting enzymes than these products could possibly block. In addition, undigested carbohydrates that reach the large intestine can ferment and cause trouble. In 1982, the FDA received more than 100 reports of abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and other adverse reactions among users of "starch-blockers." As the reports poured in, the agency took regulatory action and drove most of these products from the marketplace.

During the early 1990s, Cal-Ban 3000 was said to cause "automatic" weight loss by decreasing appetite and blocking the absorption of fat. Its ingredient was guar gum, a soluble fiber used in small amounts as a thickener in sauces, desserts, syrups, and various other foods. Guar gum has some medically recognized value as a bulk laxative, a cholesterol-lowering agent, and an adjunct to controlling blood sugar levels in certain diabetics. But it has not been proven effective for weight control.

When taken by mouth, guar gum forms a gel within the stomach that may contribute to a feeling of fullness and block absorption of a few nutrients. However, neither of these characteristics is enough to produce weight loss. Many overweight people keep eating even when their stomach signals that it is full. Moreover, if food absorption is decreased, the individual may eat more to compensate.

But Cal-Ban tablets were not merely ineffective. When placed in water, they would swell to 4 or 5 times their original size and assume the consistency of putty. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration collected reports of at least 17 cases of esophageal obstruction among Cal-Ban users. Hospital stays were required by ten of these people, one of whom died. Other reports of harm involved stomach obstruction, upper and lower intestinal obstruction, nausea, and vomiting.

Extracts of Gymnema sylvestre, a plant grown in India, are alleged to cause weight loss by preventing sugar from being absorbed into the body. Chewing the plant's leaves can prevent the taste sensation of sweetness. But there is no reliable evidence that the chemicals they contain can block sugar absorption or produce weight loss.

In recent years, chitosan capsules have been claimed to cause weight loss and lower blood cholesterol by binding fats in the stomach and preventing them from being digested and absorbed. Some sellers refer to chitosan as a "fat magnet." It has even been marketed as a weight-control product for dogs. Chitosan is derived from chitin, a polysaccharide found in the outer skeleton of shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, and or crabs. Although chitosan may decrease fat absorption, the amount contained in the capsules is too small to have much of an effect. Scientific studies have found no significant differences in weight or serum cholesterol levels between subjects who took chitosan and those who received a placebo.

08-05-2003, 03:50 PM
I started researching Phase 2 Carb blockers and these new type of pills are different from the old ones which were ineffective.
I started taking them today and I hope that these along with the South Beach diet will help me to lose more weight.

10. How does new Phase 2® differ from the old Starch Blockers and other bean extracts?
Phase 2® has been clinically studied several times, and has proven to be effective in humans. Phase 2® is a brand new, highly-concentrated standardized extract made from
a specific fraction of specially-sized Great Northern white kidney bean through proprietary processes. The so-called amylase inhibitors of the 1980's, and typical bean extracts, are simple whole bean powders or extracts with little or no clinical background.

08-05-2003, 04:24 PM
Yeah riiiiiggghhtt...

Sorry to sound somewhat skeptical, but praise from the very company who is marketing the product doesn't exactly strike me as it's been clinically studied (most likely by the company know the tobacco industry has tons of clinical studies (funded by the companies of course) showing positively that cigarette smoking is NOT harmful... :lol: ). I find it interesting that the studies on the website (BTW I removed the URL from your post as it is against forum rules - folks can always Google it if they want to find it) have apparently NOT been published in peer-reviewed journals - otherwise they would list the publication, date published, author, etc.

I think I'll save my money...

Suzanne 3FC
08-05-2003, 09:09 PM
The South Beach Diet on it's own will give great results! Something else to consider is that your body needs some carbs, at least the good carbs that are allowed on the south beach diet. Regarding bad or excessive carbs, block them with your fork :)

This product, if it does work, claims to only work on the carbs in pasta and bread, and not on carbs derived from the sugars in foods. You'll be strictly limiting these foods on South Beach anyway.

08-06-2003, 06:26 PM
Remember the old saying....If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is???? I think this may be one of those things!


08-07-2003, 03:28 PM
The key word with these products is "MAY" - as in 'may block up to 500 calories' if you follow the low calorie diet they include you will lose weight - without the pill. Another waste of money.

RoseAnn in NY
08-08-2003, 03:56 AM
I just got finished reading an article on carb blockers in this month's Woman's World (o.k. it's not Newsday, but it's not the Enquirer either). Anyway they talked about carb blockers coming a long way since the 80's. Has anyone been on the newer versions of carb blockers (and the articles stresses that the ingredients must have the words Phase 2 -- not necessarily the brand Phase 2). I would love to know. I'm sick of denying myself food and could only dream (and that may be all that this is, I don't know), that this would work. My main concern also, is if this is considered healthy. I want to lose weight so as to improve my health, but I don't want to jeopardize my health in the process.


08-08-2003, 10:28 AM
Okay, let's put it this way as I see it:

1) Women's World has a 'miracle diet product' or 'miracle diet' EVERY ISSUE. (like all periodicals - they want to sell magazines and they need content - not necessarily verified).

2) Obesity is SUCH a worldwide concern that if these 'carb blockers' REALLY WORKED, you wouldn't just be reading about them in some crummy yellow journalism mag - they would be LAUDED on the front pages of the nation's leading newspapers, as well as JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) etc. BOB said...there is NO miracle out there, other than what you do on your OWN (lifestyle changes through diet and exercise).

Just my (final) two cents on the topic of carb blockers.

08-08-2003, 11:19 AM
If it really worked it would be too expensive for real people to afford. It's just another gimmick to get your money.

A pill didn't make us fat and a pill won't make us .02.

start 209# current 153# goal 150#
5'7" still 5'7"

08-08-2003, 01:37 PM
About carb blockers...found this elsewhere:

The best carb and fat blocker is your hand. Just leave the fork on the table.


08-08-2003, 02:20 PM
If Carb Blockers or any other diet aid was actually viable, you'd not be able to buy OTC, you'd have to have a prescription for it, cause some pharm co. like Glaxco would own it and charge a fortune for it, it wouldn't be readily available to the masses.

Mrs. J is right about "Woman's World." Who can trust a rag that touts a new 'miracle diet' weekly?

Spend your money on healthy food instead.

08-08-2003, 03:50 PM
To be honest, I have tried all of this stuff. These companies should be the ones under fire, not the Food and Drink companies. I have decided to take my own responsibility and begin to eat healthfully and exercise daily. I hope you all have a healthy weekend!

08-09-2003, 01:13 PM
My Father is diabetic and has been taking Starchaway (or whatever) available at WalMart for about a year now. Although he hasn't lost any weight, he has noticed a significant improvement in his blood sugar after eating meals with the blocker versus eating meals without.

08-11-2003, 03:54 PM
It is so sad that we all bite into these stupid products no matter what they are. They see us coming for sure. Ugly as it is, we are LAZY! Too lazy to eat right and work on a program, too lazy to get off our butts and exercise...We are not too lazy to waste time and money trying to find a MIRACLE PILL, BUT THERE AIN'T ONE! Not even the ones prescribed by doctors will just peel the fat off, you HAVE TO MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR LIFE FOR EVER AND THAT MEANS, PUSHING BACK FROM THE TABLE AND DO SOME PUSHUPS!

I have tried every stupid fad diet known to man but surgery which I think is WAYYYYYY too dangerous, so I can feel free to post here and be a little chastising.

I weighed over 400 lbs in January and the only way I have had success is to have a nutritionally balanced cal and fat reducing diet and EXERCISING EVERYDAY! When you weigh 400 lbs it is NOT easy, but it can be done. I still have 170 lbs to lose, but by gosh I am going to do it and not with some stupid pill.

I do use citrucel every morning and take a multi vitamin with green tea extract, but not for weight loss for menopause relief. The weight loss is a side benefit.



08-15-2003, 05:29 PM
Be careful when reading magazines and the "studies" or "articles" within them.

A lot of times, the "articles" are merely advertorials, which is a paid ad that is set up to look like an article. A lot of publications require the advertiser to put a border that says "advertisement" so the readers won't be fooled. Other publications don't care, take the advertiser's money, and make it look however the advertiser wants it to look.

I just got a magazine in the mail the other day that was full-color and looked very pretty. It was praising some new diet pill. But, since I'm a journalism major and write for reputable publications, I knew the signs to look for.

Plus, this little publication lost all credibility with me when the experts quoted within were referred to like this:

Dr. Jane Doe, M.D.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

08-20-2003, 02:19 PM
I have been discussing this with a friend from work for two weeks. There is no way in which one can block food from entering the system. If you don't want to digest it, don't eat it. Yeah, I know, easy to say... hard to do... Well, I turned a new leaf a few months ago, and decided to stop obsessing over food, and to start exercising. It has worked well, and I still have a snack food item almost once a day. The rest of my food is very natural and healthful. I do feel like I am as healthy as I have been since childhood. Leave the pills alone, they are unhealthy. Think about all of those weird chemicals in the pill. I would rather eat my pasta or bread and take a walk after dinner. Sure is better than taking some horrible pill.

08-21-2003, 09:45 AM
oh no!

i just bought starch away to help keep my bread in control..woah..wish I had read this before forking out 1.99..sigh..thank you gals..

08-22-2003, 12:53 PM
Well, 1.99 isn't that bad of a waste. Just be glad you didn't drop $50 on it. Enjoy your bread in a reasonable manner, then take a walk. Sounds better to me!!

09-15-2003, 10:06 AM
Me and my husband have been taking Carb Fighters (on and off)for over a year and I can honestly say they have worked for us. My husband actually lost about 35 pounds last year taking them. I guess, like everything else, they work for some, but not all. Good luck!

Rowan Bailey
09-25-2003, 11:43 AM
I use starch away and only when I have a particular meal that is high carb...not on a regular basis...I have used it twice in the last three weeks.

I have no idea if it works, but psycologically I feel that I am more aware of the amount of carbs that I am eating when I take it...don't ask me why, and I only take it if I am having a particlar meal not on a reglar basis....

If anything, it has just assisted going to the bathroon the next day. I don't think that anything that prevents absorbtion of carbs would prevent absorbtion of it probably is just psychological!