Fat, carbohydrate, and sugar blocker pills seem to have gained a lot of popularity over the past few decades. Because of this it comes as no surprise that many supplement companies have utilized their popularity and produced their own versions of these pills. In order to determine whether these diet pills are right for you, it's important to understand their ingredients and how they function.
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The ingredient found in fat blockers is called chitin. This is a carbohydrate most commonly found in shellfish. Although chitin is supposed to bind to small amounts of fat and block them from being absorbed, it would have to be taken in large quantities to yield desirable results; quantities that will cause uncomfortable GI upsets. Chitin side effects include GI upsets, a reduction in calcium and vitamin D absorption in pregnant women, and allergic reactions in people who have shellfish allergies.
Carb blockers, also referred to as starch blockers, have been around since the 1970's. They were taken off of the market around 1983 when they were officially classified as drugs. Carb blockers are supposed to work similarly to fat blockers by utilizing the key ingredient phaselous vulgaris; an extract of the white kidney bean. However, instead of binding to fat, phaselous vulgaris binds to complex carbohydrates. Unfortunately, there are no studies available that prove the effectiveness of these pills and they're side effects aren't pleasant. These include vomiting, upset stomach, and GI upsets.
Sugar blockers utilize the ingredients Chromium and Gymnema Sylvestre. Chromium is a mineral, found in many different foods and is thought to help your cells absorb blood sugar, which in turn will reduce cravings. However, Gymnema Sylvestre is the most promising of the two sugar blocking ingredients. Gymnema Sylvestre is a herb found in India that mimics glucose. Because of these capabilities, it's thought that this herb will bind to cell receptors instead of sugar.
There is little to no research available on the true effectiveness of these products, and because of this it's advised that you consult your physician prior to use.