Let me just start with a video Layne Norton posted…
First of all, LOL
Secondly, our topic at hand can be found at roughly 1:38.
So what are we talking about here?
People take them to basically “undo’ eating carbs…
Lets chat about why these are complete and utter BS!
We will lead our discussion with some points from Layne’s ranting.
If something is essentially blocked in your body, this means not digested and if you flushed it that would mean diarrhea…
When someone takes these, do you see them runny rapidly to the bathroom after their meal?
“Thank goodness because that would be uncomfortable and, quite frankly, embarrassing.” -Layne
Why would you have diarrhea?
Diarrhea occurs when the body pulls water into the gut and that causes a ‘dumping’ or flushing of some of the intestinal contents as overly liquid stools. For example, if your body is trying to get rid of something it doesn’t want (perhaps a bacterial infection) or is trying to rebalance a major shift (you eat something with a really high osmolality), water will come in and that will evacuate it in a more quick manner.
And you run to the bathroom.
So no diarrhea is seen from popping these pills before you eat the entire bread basket, so what happens?
Well if those carbs are not digested in the intestines, they make their way UNdigested to the colon. Due to the colon not having enzymes to break down food, your bacteria goes to town on this undigested starch and ferments it. This produces a lot of byproducts (gases, acids) including short chain fatty acids, which can be used as a source of energy by the bacteria. Thing to note is that you essentially still took in all of the calories…
So, fact number one, carb blockers =/= calories being ejected out of the body.
“There can be a “virtual blocker” per say if you block one of the main carbohydrate enzymes..”
So if it doesn’t “flush it out,’ what other way could these things work? Inhibition of the carbohydrate enzymes!
Yes, if you loose/inhibit enzymes to digest starch, than yes some or maybe even quite a bit of it may go undigested. As he explained, you really cannot cause 100% enzyme inhibition…
Either way, you end up with the same undigested starch making it’s way to the fermentation factory that is your colon and get the exact same outcome as before..
Fermentation byproducts (SCFA) –> energy to large intestine –> you still take in the calories.
So again, not what you wanted.
He mentioned, which should be noted, is that this lack of digestion may in fact blunt some of the glucose response, which could be helpful for those with poor insulin control. But we are talking the normal population in this case.
Everyone, once again, pills are not magic. They cannot make you flush away calories in the food you are eating. They cannot make them go away.
If we didn’t have such an extreme way of doing things (i.e. restrict all carbs then eat the whole kitchen worth of carbs) maybe we wouldn’t have even a thought to come up with some crap like this.
This all leads back to a common theme from me…
Restriction leads to nothing good
Pills lead to nothing good.
I’m talking weight loss pills here..
Avoid both (oh and Dr. Oz…) and perhaps you will be a lot happier and healthier.
So, although I could just end off with that and say you should trust the words of Dr. Norton (which you should really take him seriously, he knows what he’s talking about), here are some articles for your science-nerds to read up on if you want
Huntington and Shewmake (2010) No clear evidence of benefits AND OR safety hazards of many weight loss aids such as carb/nutrient blockers
Preuss (2007) this was a rat study but I used it to point out a something. So it showed that the carb blocker (CB) they used reduced the insulin response after carbohydrate intake BUT notice there was not weight change in the controls vs. the CB. The thing that Layne discussed is that although the response to the carb intake may be blunted, the absorbtion of the calories won’t really change and this can be seen with the lack of weight loss occurring in the rats.
Keep in mind, animals are not humans…
Other studies like this one suggest that once again, these carb enzyme blockers/inhibitors may act to slow the absorption down (i.e. blunt the glycemic response as stated already) like a fiber would naturally. Again, slowing down absorption DOES NOT MEAN LACK OF CALORIE ABSORPTION
So I will leave you with that.
Leave the carb blockers on the shelf.
Eat some fiber.
Fiber can help slow the digestion of carbohydrates leading to longer satiety and perhaps control feeding.