Carb Blockers: The Truth About These Type of Diet Pills

Truth About Carb BlockersThe Truth About Carb Blockers

One of the “newer” categories of over the counter weight loss supplement includes carb blockers. Although they aren’t technically all that new anymore, when compared to some of the other existing supplement categories, they were later to enter the scene.

The First Major Carb Blocker Fad

They are primarily the result of the craze that had people trying to stop eating carbohydrates in order to shed the excess fat on their bodies, at the height of the Atkins diet fad. Though that was not the official recommendation of that diet, it was how many people interpreted it.  After all, not everyone did their homework and consulted with their doctors to ensure they fully understood Atkins. Therefore, they believed the point was simply to try to cut out as many carbohydrates as they possibly could.

Since it would rapidly become clear to anyone trying to eliminate all carbohydrates that this is essentially impossible to do in any realistic ways, a new tool was required. Dieters looked to carb blockers as that tool.

Returning to Popularity

More recently, as diets such as Keto and Paleo have made it onto the scene, dieters are once again turning their attention to slashing carbohydrates.  Therefore, carb blockers have returned in full force.

Many dieters use them to help during the transition toward cutting down on carbohydrates as they come to understand the composition of their food and their macronutrient ratios.  Others use them to help achieve the right macro balance when they are close but not quite there yet.

Watch Out for Dubious Marketing

Though some carb blockers are marketed in a straightforward way, as is the case with virtually every kind of product on the market, there are some sketchy companies out there that will make claims that simply are not true.

Some companies offer their products as support for people who are applying themselves to a reduced-carbohydrate diet, but who need that extra little edge to reach their macro ratio goals. On the other hand, other companies make wild promises about their products to make it seem as though long-term carbohydrate reduction is easy and barely involves any lifestyle changes – if any.

The purpose of these products is supposed to be to allow people who wanted to be able to enjoy the benefits of a low-carb diet while still eating some of their favorite high-carb foods.

Also known as “starch blockers” or “carbohydrate blockers”, some manufacturers pretend that the pills can do the work for them.  They claim that they do the same for carbohydrates as fat blockers do for dietary fats.

How Do (Real) Carb Blockers Work?

The idea behind carb blockers is that they function by stopping some of the carbohydrates eaten in foods from being absorbed into the body, negating their caloric value. Therefore, the blocked carbohydrates simply pass through the body, undigested, and their calories won’t impact the body’s weight.

That said, this doesn’t mean that they eliminate all carbohydrates from being digested. In fact, in most cases, the difference made is quite slight. At best, they’re meant to support someone who is already nearly on track and who is consistently keeping macronutrient ratios next to where they should be.

Do Prescription Drugs Exist?

There are some carb blockers that are sold by prescription, which include miglitol (Glyset) and acarbose (Precose). Those are often used to help people to control their blood sugar when they have type 2 diabetes. As a result, these are typically not prescribed to help people to be able to lose weight.

That said, there are a large number of pills sold in the non-prescription industry that are supposed to provide similar carbohydrate blocking and that are advertised as being able to promote more effective weight loss.

Do Your Homework

The problem with the supplements is that while the FDA does require that prescription drugs be tested for effectiveness and safety, this is not the case for non-prescription supplements. Therefore, while many supplements claim to be effective carb blockers for losing weight, it doesn’t mean that this is what will actually happen.

As of the writing of this article, there were no large scale studies performed by reputable organizations that published their results in peer reviewed journals that proved that an over the counter ingredient or product could not only effectively block carbohydrates from being absorbed by the body, but that could do so to such a degree that the effect would result in measurable weight loss.

That said, potential side effects of using carb blockers – effective for weight loss or not – can result in stomach cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

As the evidence regarding these pills and their ingredients is not at all clear, it is important to speak with a doctor before starting the use of one of these products. At the very least, it will help you to know that your choice of product won’t be harmful to you, regardless of whether or not it helps you reduce that number on the bathroom scale.