Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates or starches in the body. Because of their purported ability to prevent starch breakdown and absorption, alpha amylase inhibitors have been used for weight loss. At this time, commercially available amylase inhibitors are extracted from wheat or white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).
In humans, amylase inhibitors have been shown to decrease intestinal absorption of carbohydrates by reducing intestinal amylase activity. However, there are few high-quality human studies that support the use of amylase inhibitors for any indication.
AAI, alphaAI-1, alphaAI-2, arcelin-5, bean amylase inhibitors, Calorex, Fabaceae (family), Phase 2®, Phase 2 Starch Neutralizer®, phaseolamin, Phaseolus vulgaris extract, starch blockers, Starchex, wheat amylase inhibitor, wheat proteinaceous alpha-amylase inhibitors (alpha-AIs), white kidney bean extract.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Amylase inhibitors have been shown to decrease levels of blood glucose. Large, well-designed studies are needed before a firm recommendation can be made.
Preliminary studies have shown that taking an amylase inhibitor with meals may lead to weight loss. However, well-designed clinical studies are needed in this area.