Botanical: Phaseolus vulgaris
Family: Fabaceae (pea)- Leguminaceae (legume)
White Kidney Bean is an American natural. Long known to be a highly nutritious source of fiber and minerals, it is now thought to interfere with the absorption of complex carbohydrates (pasta, breads, potatoes, etc.); and as a "starch blocker," White Kidney Bean is said to be very helpful in weight loss programs. Recent research indicates that supplemental White Kidney Bean may be able to reduce the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes and lower cholesterol.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
The White Kidney Bean is an herbaceous, bushy, climbing annual that is one of many varieties of common beans, which were domesticated independently in ancient Mesoamerica and Andes and is an oval-shaped, somewhat soft and bland-tasting legume that is indigenous to Central and South America. It is said that all beans are derived from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru. From there, they were spread throughout South and Central America by migrating Indian tribes. Archaeological evidence has proven that bean seeds were domesticated 7,500 years ago, long before maize was cultivated and long before pottery making. Despite these early beginnings, cultivated beans as a staple crop took a long time to spread through the Americas, but finally became a domesticated food staple in both North and South America by the 1400s. Beans were introduced into Europe in the fifteenth century by Spanish explorers returning from their voyages to the New World, and by the mid-1500s, cultivars were thriving throughout Europe, and thereafter, it is said that Portuguese explorers introduced them to Africa, where they have remained an important food staple. The English first used the name "kidney bean" in 1551, to distinguish our American common bean from others. The flavor of the White Kidney Bean is more delicate than its red counterpart and often used in recipes where the red variety would be too pronounced. It is always important to boil all kidney beans before eating to remove toxins that would cause extreme gastric disturbances, but the easiest way to acquire the wonderful benefits from the White Kidney Bean is to take a dietary supplement in capsule form. Some of the constituents in White Kidney Beans include a high starch content, proteins (isozymes), dietary fiber, phaseoline, albumen mucilage, pectic acid, legumin fatty matter, sulfur, inositol, an uncrystallizable sugar, and it is also an excellent source of iron, potassium, selenium, molybdenum, magnesium, folate and B-vitamins.
White Kidney Bean is a wonderful source of water-soluble and insoluble fiber that is very helpful for many bowel complaints and helps to prevent constipation. Research studies have shown that this fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diverticulosis.
Regarding weight loss, recent scientific studies have produced interesting results with respect to the use of White Kidney Bean. Apparently, it acts as a "starch blocker." Alpha-amylase is an enzyme that plays a key role in the digestion of foods and is essential for metabolizing of starchy carbohydrates. When starchy, "complex" carbohydrates (rice, bread, pasta and potatoes) are consumed, they are broken down into dextrins and finally glucose (sugar), which is either used immediately for energy, stored in muscle tissue or sent to the liver, where it is converted into lipids and stored as FAT. As an amylase inhibitor, White Kidney Bean is thought to block the action of the digestive enzyme and pass the starches through the system, undigested.
White Kidney Bean is a rich source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, and increased dietary fiber is thought to be an excellent way to promote good cardiac health. Fiber binds with the bile acids that are used to make cholesterol. Fiber isn't absorbed, so when it exits the body in the feces, it takes the bile acids with it. As a result, the body ends up with less cholesterol. Soluble fibers also prevent cholesterol absorption, and lowered cholesterol helps to reduce platelet aggregation (clotting). This action may be beneficial in reducing high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks.
With regard to regulating healthy blood sugar levels, the starch blocker extracts (amylase inhibitors) in White Kidney Bean, when given with a starchy meal, have also been shown to reduce or prevent the subsequent rapid rise in blood sugar levels after the meal in both healthy people and diabetics. This effect may be helpful in the treatment of blood sugar disorders, including those with insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. Research (November, 2009) from UCLA School of Medicine found that the glycemic index (GI) of foods could be reduced through the intake of a White Kidney Bean derived dietary supplement and that low GI diets decrease the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, while controlled clinical trials also indicate that low GI diets lowers cholesterol.
White Kidney Bean is an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites, which is useful for those who have sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed.
White Kidney Beans were an old folk remedy for stubborn, chronic coughs associated with bronchitis or consumption.
White Kidney Bean should not be used in conjunction with prescription diuretics or laxatives. High amounts of "starch blockers" (many times the recommended dosage) may cause diarrhea due to the effects of undigested starch in the colon. Diabetics taking medications to lower blood sugar should not take amylase inhibitors without first consulting a physician.