Last Updated on 17 January 2022 by Ray Plumlee

What are carb blocker or starch blocker pills?

Carb/Starch Blockers Are White Kidney Bean Extracts
Carb/Starch Blockers Are White Kidney Bean Extracts

At this point I think we all know that carbs are found in virtually everything that we eat. Most of us love carbs, but know that when it comes to body fat and trying to lose weight, starchy carbs can be problematic. However, the body uses carbohydrates to make glucose, one of the fuels that keeps us moving throughout the day. So what are carb/starch blockers?

Carb/starch blockers are a form of dietary supplement that contain white kidney bean extracts. These extracts help block the amount of carbohydrates that your body absorbs. By reducing the amount of carbs absorbed they reduce your body’s whole day caloric intake. Many people feel that these supplements are great for people who can no resist the urge of consuming carbs/starches. Some advocates even suggest that these pills are good for diabetics, since they lower the glycemic index of the food consumed by the user.

How do carb blockers or starch blockers work?

Carb blockers work when users take them just prior to eating meals, which may be high in carbs. These supplements work by inhibiting alpha amylase, a digestive enzyme found in the body that is responsible for the digestion of starches. As you consume food, it travels along your gastrointestinal tract, and the supplements work by limiting the amount of carbs/starch that is used, leaving a portion undigested, and eventually eliminated as waste. As these calories are not absorbed, weight loss is promoted through the reduction of calories your body consumes and converts to glucose.

Are there any side effects from taking carb blockers?

As with any medication or supplement, there are side effects to regularly using carb blocker pills. Starch blocker pills are not fat blockers. That’s something that should be understood completely. They do not prevent the absorption of calories from protein or fat, only starchy carbohydrates. Also, Phase 2 Starch blockers, or carb blocker pills, can prevent the absorption of essential nutrients. Therefore, users should be careful that they do not become nutrient deficient due to prolonged usage.

Carbohydrate blockers can have additional side effects as well, such as: flatulence, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and bloating. Certain side effects many disappear with continued use, and users should discuss side effects with the doctor.


There is much debate in the medical world on whether carb blockers are successful when it comes to losing weight and blocking the absorption of starchy carbohydrates. While many agree that refined carbohydrates play a significant role in obesity and being overweight, some medical professionals feel that the amount of alpha amylase produced exceeds the capacity carb blockers have to function properly. Additionally, starch blockers play no role in eliminating the amount of calories from fat that the body consumes. However, patients with Type 2 Diabetes have found success using these supplements to control blood sugar. One huge factor is the difference between prescription blockers (Precose & Glyset) and non-prescription supplements. Supplements may have unlisted ingredients, like stimulants, which can be dangerous to users, while prescription based blockers are regulated by the FDA and will typically not have these other ingredients. In conclusion, it’s best to check with your primary care provider and decide which is best for your current needs.

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I’m Nick Wilkinson. I writer and radio personality who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

With over 14 years of experience in the Behavioral Health Field, I’ve been working in close contact with kids from all walks of life.

Specializing in teenagers and young adults, I’ve been a career long supporter of “verbal de-escalation” and non-violent crisis intervention. I believe that what you say, and how you say it, are the keys to successful communication. I currently write about men's health topics, parenting and child abuse topics, and other social issues. You can visit my blog at

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I’ve been very curious about these pills! I’ve been trying to keep things natural, but carb blocker pills do have an appeal for treat meals. (Refuse to call them cheats myself, my granddaughter says we shouldn’t punish ourselves for eating foods we like and I agree with her!)

Do you have any idea of what a good brand would be? I’m looking for one to just keep in my car for our once-a-week trips to Dunkin Donuts!

Ray Plumlee

White Kidney Bean Extract by Arazo Nutrition are what I use. I carry a few in my pocket all the time and when I eat out, if I eat something that has a few carbs I take a couple of pills for a little insurance.

Ray Plumlee
Over 60 Health Info


I find it amusingly ironic that beans are full of carbs and starches, but this particular kind can help block the absorption! Do you think it would be reasonable to simply start a carb/starch heavy meal with a serving of white kidney beans?

Ray Plumlee

No, the active ingredient is an extract of white kidney beans. Which means they extracted that ingredient from many beans. I don’t know how many beans it takes to get enough of the extract but it could be dozens or even hundreds. That would be a lot of carbs and calories added to your meal. I don’t know about you but beans have an unsettling side effect on me and a lot of beans can be explosive. LOL

Ray Plumlee
Over 60 Health Info

Alicia Bruce

When it comes to losing weight, results of carb blockers vary from person to person. Elderly people suffering from type 2 diabetics normally report with positive results while some complain that they don’t work at all. To me, they worked really well.

Brandon Johnson

Wouldn’t it just be easier to not eat carbs and things like that in excess? I just do not see anything good coming from a pill that can stop the natural process of something once it is in your body.


Eating out on a very strict diet seemed impossible until now. I think I’ll get some of these pills to take after going to a restaurant!

Ray Plumlee

Be sure and read the instructions and take them before the meal. These are not a morning after kind of pill. 🙂


Tony Clements

Question: Is it advisable to use blockers while following a diet, any diet? I am thinking it could be a little like mixing medications, not always a good idea.

Ray Plumlee

I agree and would not suggest it. Personally, I use a starch blocker very rarely, usually when I am eating out and low carb is sparse and not readily available. I do not use it often, say once every two or three months. I believe it would become a crutch and weaken my ability to live a low carb eating style. In affect building “cheating” as part of my diet.


Benny Moore

Thanks for the personal input Ray. I was dreading going out, especially to dinner parties where eating whatever I am served is mandatory. No one in my circle that I know of is on a low carb diet, so it stands to reason whatever someone prepares will be heavy on the carbs. I too will use starch blockers and, as you say, keep it to those times I can not avoid eating carbs.

Ray Plumlee

Keep in mind that depending on the kind of carbs you will be eating, Carb (Starch) Blockers only block starches, i,e.; potatoes, pastas etc. If the meal is heavy on sugar it won’t help at all. If it is heavy on sweets try a Sugar Blocker (Amylase Inhibitor). In either case neither will block it all. I have used both in the same meal with what I believe is some success. Caution, don’t rely on them as a ticket for a pig out. Eat minimally, only to satisfy your social obligation.


Jonathan K

While diet aids work often, it’s still a matter of a healthy diet and lifestyle. A low-carb diet has helped me a lot. I feel much more fit! I used one of the ebooks you sell to get me started, worked wonders!

Benny Moore

I have stayed away from diet aids for fear of side effects of long term complications. That said, white kidney bean extracts are a natural supplement so I am going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

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