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'DIABESITY' On the Rise

Clinically-tested 'starch neutralizer' helps weight loss, blood sugar levels

Type 2 diabetes is growing hand-in-hand with increasing rates of obesity: carbohydrate control could be a key weapon. The term, DIABESITY, was coined when experts noted the growing number of people with Type 2 diabetes that are also overweight or obese. Diabetes affects over 15.7 million Americans and 2 million Canadians. Over 90% of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes, and of those, 60% are obese. For youth with Type 2 diabetes attributable to obesity, the number leaps to 97%.

Clinical studies show 21st century 'starch neutralizer' is safe and effective
Over 60 years ago, researchers discovered plants, particularly wheat and beans, contained a specific ingredient that blocks the action of the enzyme alpha amylase (that helps turns starch into sugar during digestion). There was huge interest in this discovery since researchers believed that reduction of starch digestion could improve carbohydrate tolerance in pre-insulin diabetics and aid weight control. While early 'starch blockers' as they were called, launched in the 1980s, failed to meet label claims, a new, concentrated, highly purified starch neutralizer, extracted from a portion of the white kidney bean, has shown much more specific anti-amylase activity and stability in humans. The new extract, known as Phase 2, is the first 'starch neutralizer' to show efficacy and safety in human studies.

Phase 2 slows the digestion and absorption of starches and sugars, thereby decreasing the rapid rise in blood sugar that occurs after eating. In clinical studies, it has been shown to reduce starch absorption and promote weight loss. In one study from Italy, participants lost an average of 6.6 pounds in 30 days, compared to only one pound for placebo. In another study, from the University of Scranton USA, Phase 2 was shown to help lower post-prandial glucose elevation to baseline values 20 minutes earlier than placebo. Sherry Torkos, an Ontario pharmacist and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Women's Health for Canadians, says, "the starch neutralizer derived from the white kidney bean appears to be a safe, non-stimulant carbohydrate control mechanism that promotes weight loss by reduction of fat mass while preserving lean body mass. It was well tolerated in the clinical trials and participants showed no adverse side effects."

What's the connection between carbohydrate consumption, weight and diabetes?
Though North Americans have lowered their fat intake, excess carbohydrate consumption remains a problem—nearly one-half of total calories in the average diet are obtained from carbohydrates (200-300g carbohydrates per day or between 900-1350 calories). During digestion, carbohydrates are quickly broken down into glucose for energy for the body. Active people utilize this fuel source; inactive people store it as fat cells. Rising glucose levels also trigger the pancreas to release insulin to lower the glucose levels to normal. Constantly elevated glucose levels can result in insulin resistance, a hallmark feature of diabetes. Many people can control their blood glucose by following a careful diet and exercise program, and losing excess weight. Reducing carbohydrate consumption and/or the temporary neutralizing of carbohydrate absorption is key to weight loss, blood glucose management.

WHO says, obesity could have as big an impact on health care costs as smoking…
The May 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey states 48% of Canadians are overweight, of which 15% are obese - that's one in every seven Canadians. In 1997, Health Canada estimated the direct cost of obesity on the health care system to be $1.8 billion or 2.4% of total costs. Obesity leads to increased risk not only of diabetes but also for heart disease, arthritis and asthma. In Canada, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death and accounts for $9 billion health care dollars.

Did you know…modest weight loss of 5-10% could improve insulin resistance?
The obesity epidemic has led to a never-ending introduction of weight loss programs, diets and drugs. According to AC Neilsen 2002, Canadians spend over $40 million per year on weight loss products. Consumers are looking for support to not only lose weight but maintaining that weight loss. How can people curb appetite, carbohydrate cravings and lose weight?

  • Limit the intake of starchy foods to three servings per day
  • Choose carbohydrates with a low glycemic index
  • Increase fibre intake to 25-35 grams per day
  • Eat plenty of protein. Aim for one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight, per day.
  • Utilize support nutrients such as citrus aurantium, green tea, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Phase 2, a clinically proven 'starch neutralizer' (this ingredient is now used in weight loss products by several Canadian manufacturers such as Jamieson, Innovite)
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