What is a Carb Blocker and How Does it Work?

What is a Carb Blocker and How Does it Work?

Erin Schnittker

Did you know that 9.3% of Americans are on a weight-loss diet right now? If you're one of them, no doubt you'd appreciate a little helping hand to get those excess pounds tumbling off.

Carb blockers are weight loss supplements that have been on the market for a few years now. But are you a little mystified as to how they work? Would you like to know what types of diet they work with and what results they can give?

Join us as we explore the world of carb blockers. We'll look at what they are, how they work, and how they could help you to achieve your weight loss goals.

What Are Carb Blockers?

Carb blockers, sometimes marketed as starch blockers, are weight loss supplements that disrupt the body's ability to absorb carbohydrates.

When we eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into sugars, and they enter the bloodstream. In response, the body releases insulin from the pancreas. Insulin helps the cells accept and use this sugar for energy.

Therefore, carb blockers are of interest to people who are trying to lose weight and people who want to control their blood sugar. By slowing down the digestion of complex carbohydrates, they may reduce the sugar spike when you eat certain foods. 

If you have diabetes, it's important to talk to your doctor before taking carb blockers. 

They may help people trying to lose weight by reducing the number of calories the body absorbs from complex carbohydrates. 

How Do Carb Blockers Work?

Complex carbohydrates are chains of sugar molecules that the body breaks down and turns into energy. We find them in pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, and vegetables. During the digestive process, the body breaks down these complex chains into glucose that the cells use for fuel.

To break complex carbohydrates down into glucose, the body uses the digestive enzyme amylase. Some carb blockers work as amylase inhibitors. They stop the body from breaking down some of the carbohydrates you eat, allowing them to move through the body without being digested.

 Your doctor may prescribe them, or you can buy carb blockers online.

The body processes simple carbohydrates differently. These are small chain sugars that we found naturally in milk and fruit. They also abound in goodies like candy, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. 

Carb blockers will not slow the absorption of these types of carbohydrates.

Another reported benefit of some carb blockers is that they increase the amount of resistant starch that reaches your large intestine. Resistant starch resists being broken down in the small intestine. The large intestine then ferments these starches.

It can then release beneficial short-chain fatty acids and increase healthy gut bacteria levels.

How Effective Are Carb Blockers?

It's good to be realistic about the effectiveness of carb blockers. Although they may help to neutralize some of the digestive enzymes, don't expect them to completely block absorption. The body is a complex machine and will find a way to break many of them down.

Some products marketed as carb blockers are derived from Garcinia Cambogia. This is a tropical fruit, native to India. The active ingredient is Hydroxycitrate (HCA). 

Hydroxycitrate (HCA) can be used to improve weight loss. It may do this by preventing fat storage and controlling appetite. Other people use this to reduce fatigue during exercise.

Some may also include chromium polynicotinate. Studies are ongoing into its effect on health. However, the FDA permits this health claim on chromium picolinate dietary supplements:

"One small study suggests that chromium picolinate may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and therefore possibly may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. FDA concludes, however, that the existence of such a relationship between chromium picolinate and either insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes is highly uncertain."

The NIH also reports that in 2019 tests on overweight or obese patients, those taking chromium picolinate supplements lost significantly more weight than those taking the placebo.

Before starting any supplement, check with your doctor about whether they will interact with any medications you are currently taking. 

What Are the Side Effects?

Side effects vary from person to person and more large-scale research is needed on these supplements. However, the NIH reports the following side effects are possible from Garcinia Cambogia:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Mania
  • Liver damage

The severity of the side effects will depend on the individual. Talk to your doctor before starting any supplement.

How to Use Them in Your Weight Loss Program

If you decide to use carb blockers, incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. They are not a substitute for eating a nutritious, varied diet and engaging in regular exercise.

Always carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions. Often you take the tablets around 30 minutes before a meal, usually with a glass of water. 

The Verdict: Should You Use Carb Blockers?

Carb blockers can be a helpful supplement as part of a healthy lifestyle.

By reducing the amount of carbohydrates broken down by the body, they may reduce the number of calories the body can absorb. This can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and help people to lose more weight. Most people do not suffer severe side effects, and they can have a positive impact on the level of good bacteria in your gut.

At Garcia Weight Losee & Aesthetic Centers, we stock a range of weight loss supplements. Used either on their own or in conjunction with other supplements, they may help you to achieve a healthy weight more quickly.

Check out our range today!