Phase 2 is one of the few diet supplements supported by multiple, large-scale clinical trials (18 studies)--an excellent adjunct to a healthy diet to promote weight loss. Phase 2 is an all-natural, non-stimulant White Bean Extract, which is cited in multiple clinical studies as delaying the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Its most important benefit is lowering the caloric impact of starchy foods--many of which will pass out of your body unabsorbed. Phase 2 has the added benefit of reducing carbs' glycemic index, which helps moderate blood sugar levels and avoid spikes and crashes and the cravings they often fuel. In 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration conducted an extensive review of Phase 2, and announced it would permit claims of weight loss and starch reduction, making it the first nutritional ingredient allowed to legally make these claims.
Phase 2 is no miracle pill--don't expect massive weight loss taking it on its own--for optimum effectiveness it should be combined with a sensible diet and ideally exercise. In one clinical study on a group of overweight and obese individuals, at the end of 30 days they lost an average of 6 pounds of body fat as well as a reduction in hip, waist and thigh circumference.
Phase 2 was developed in the late 1990s by Pharmachem Labs and launched commercially in 2001. It works by neutralising the enzyme alpha amylase, temporarily delaying the digestion and absorption of carbs and allowing some to pass through the system before they can be converted to glucose, and then fat. As one study concluded, Phase 2 was a "healthy weight loss Programme simply by restricting the calories absorbed through starch " especially since carbs represent about half the average person's caloric intake. It doesn't work the same on all carbs (which can vary in molecular terms from single chain glucose molecules to complex starches thousands of chains long) , so there is no clinically proven percentage of carbs we can definitely say it blocks, but under the optimum circumstances this can be as high as 75%. It has the added benefit of reducing the risk for insulin resistance (a fat trapping condition caused by excess blood sugar levels), with some claims of a 62% reduction in this condition.
The optimum time to take Phase 2 is 10 minutes before a starch-laden meal along with 8 ounces of water (not taking the full amount of water can lead to constipation). But studies also show that Phase 2 can provide some benefit if taken during, or just after, a starch-rich meal. There are many imitations to Phase 2 and various generic "White Bean Extracts" or "Phaseolamin," but only those which read "Phase 2" with the leaf logo picture to the right are authentic and have the backing of scientific studies. With all the 'snake oil' products for sale out there, we wouldn't settle for less than the tested Phase 2 formulation, especially as it's one of the cheaper slimming aids on the market.
Side Effects: There is real science behind this supplement, unlike so many, but do be aware that by interfering with the digestive process there may be side effects, including temporary excess wind in some individuals. In one study, up to 20% of initial users experienced mild nausea symptoms, which can often be alleviated by drinking peppermint tea. Compared to other prominent weight loss aids, we think the users that do suffer from any side effects will find them minor.
Prices: Phase 2 now comes in several products and forms, but the pill form reviewed here is among the best values you can find. Healthy Direct's version (with genuine Phase 2 as you can verify by the trademark and leaf logo) i is only £9.99 for 90 tablets, or 180 tablets for £16.99-. These pills have 333mg of Phase 2 per pill, and to match the clinical study dosages, three should be taken with each meal, for about 3,000 mg used daily. By purchasing the two bottle bulk price, this means a one month supply works out to around £23.79.
We find it ironic (and refreshing) that one of the most effective slimming pills is also among the cheaper ones. At this price, some dieters have even combined Phase 2 with with either Zotrim or Proactol to include a clinically verified appetite suppressant or fat blocker for maximum weight loss, but we should state that interactions between multiple weight loss supplements have not been studied, and so are not advised. Healthy Direct's formulation of Phase 2 includes additional Chromium, Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamins B1, B3, and B6.