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Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

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Also listed as: Phaseolus vulgaris
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Azufrado, bayo, bean, black bean, cai dou (Chinese), caraota, chícharo (Spanish), common bean, cranberry bean, dark red kidney bean, deogulgangnamkong (Korean), dry bean, dwarf bean, Fabaceae (family), Faboideae (subfamily), feijão (Portuguese), feijoeiro (Portuguese), field bean, flageolet bean, French bean, frijol (Spanish), gangnamkong (Korean), garden bean, Gartenbohne (German), great Northern bean, green bean, habichuela (Spanish), haricot bean, haricot commun (French), haricot vert (French), ingen-mame (Japanese), judía común (Spanish), juldangkong (Korean), kidney bean, Leguminosae (family), light red kidney bean, lima bean, navy bean, nuña (Spanish), ñuñas (Spanish), Phase 2®, Phaseolus acutifolius, Phaseolus angustissimus, Phaseolus coccineus, Phaseolus communis, Phaseolus filiformis, Phaseolus lunatus, Phaseolus maculatus, Phaseolus nanus, Phaseolus parvulus, Phaseolus pedicellatus, Phaseolus polymorphus, Phaseolus polystachios, Phaseolus ritensis, Phaseolus vulgaris, Phaseolus vulgaris L., pink bean, pinto bean, pop bean, popping bean, poroto (Spanish), shelling bean, small red bean, snap bean, string bean, vainita (Spanish), wax bean.
  • Combination product: PhaseolaminT 1600 (containing white bean extract [Phase 2®], clove, lysine, arginine, and alanine).

Background
  • The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is grown in semitropical areas of the world. Beans vary in color and shape and are a cheap and nutritious food. They are typically high in protein, fiber, and nutrients, and are usually low in fat.
  • Early research suggests that beans may reduce cholesterol levels and body weight. They may also benefit people with diabetes. Canned refried black beans may be a good source of iron for those with iron deficiency.
  • Some studies report that beans act as "carb blockers" by helping to block the process of carbohydrate digestion. A product called Phase 2® Carb Controller (Pharmachem Laboratories, Kearny, NJ) has been found to promote weight loss and reduce blood glucose after meals.

Evidence Table

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. GRADE *


Preliminary research suggests that pinto beans and black beans may lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as increase HDL cholesterol. More studies are needed before conclusions can be made.

B


Eating dry beans may reduce the risk of cancer, according to some research. More studies are needed before conclusions can be made.

C


Various studies have found that beans may act as "carb blockers" and slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. A bean extract product called Phase 2® Carb Controller (Pharmachem Laboratories, Kearny, NJ) has been found to lower blood glucose and insulin after eating in both healthy and diabetic people. However, the results are not consistent, and more research is needed.

C


Beans have been found to increase stool output and may be safe for children with sudden diarrhea. Beans may also be safe for newborns with diarrhea after bowel surgery. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Early research suggests that eating beans may reduce the risk of heart disease. More studies are needed before conclusions can be made.

C


Some studies have found that bean extract may lower body weight, body fat, and waist size in overweight and obese people. Beans may act as "carb blockers" to slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. More studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Acne, arthritis (joint pain), anemia, antiaging, antioxidant, bladder disorders, body building, burns, cardiovascular disease (heart disease), carminative (prevents gas), colorectal cancer (bowel cancer), constipation, cough, diabetes, diarrhea, diuretic (promotes urination), dropsy (fluid buildup), dysentery (stomach disorder), eczema (skin disorder), food uses (weaning), hiccups (hiccoughs), HIV, hypertension (high blood pressure), iron deficiency, kidney stones, laxative, lung cancer, myocardial infarction prevention (heart attack prevention), pruritus (itchy skin disorder), rheumatism (joint pain), sciatica (leg pain and numbness), skin moisturizer, ulcers, urinary tract infections.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • To treat high cholesterol in overweight or obese people, two 150-milligram capsules of northern white kidney bean with locust bean gum extract have been taken by mouth three times daily for three months. A dose of 1,500 milligrams of bean pod extract (Phase 2®, Pharmachem Labs) has been taken by mouth twice daily with meals. A meal of consisting of 130 grams of dried, cooked pinto beans has been taken by mouth daily for 12 weeks. A dose of 1/2 cup of vegetarian baked beans has been taken by mouth for eight weeks.
  • To promote weight loss, 1,000-1,500 milligrams of a specific bean pod extract (Phase 2®, Pharmachem Labs) has been taken by mouth twice daily, with lunch and dinner.
  • Note: Secondary sources say that the ingredients in commercially available bean extracts such as Phase 2® may vary among products.
  • Note: According to Pharmachem Laboratories Inc., doses of Phase 2® should not exceed 6-10 grams daily.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for beans in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to Phaseolus vulgaris, its parts, or other members of the Fabaceae family.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Beans are considered safe when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods. Bean pod extracts are considered possibly safe when taken by mouth for up to three months.
  • Beans may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Beans may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Use cautiously in people who have anemia, folate deficiency, gout (joint inflammation), or vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Bean consumption may lower levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol.
  • Use cautiously in pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, and people with severe liver or kidney disease, due to a lack of safety information.
  • According to Pharmachem Laboratories, Phase 2® should be taken by mouth in doses of no more than 6-10 grams daily.
  • Potential side effects include anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction), breathing problems, constipation, diarrhea, gassiness, giddiness, hives, increased frequency of bowel movement, increased risk of metabolic syndrome (factors that increase heart disease and diabetes risk), loss of consciousness, nausea, shortness of breath, and stomach pain or swelling.
  • Avoid consuming raw or improperly cooked beans due to the risk of food poisoning.
  • Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to Phaseolus vulgaris, its parts, or other members of the Fabaceae family.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Use cautiously in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of safety information.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Beans may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Beans may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Beans may also interact with anticancer agents, antifungals, antiobesity agents, antiretrovirals, cholesterol-lowering agents, and laxatives.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Beans may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
  • Beans may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Beans may also interact with amino acids, anticancer herbs and supplements, antifungal herbs and supplements, antiobesity herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antivirals, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, folic acid, iron, laxatives, sodium, and vitamin B12.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Azinge NO. Use of beans diet for control of diabetes. Trop.Doct. 1985;15(3):139.
  2. Barrett ML. and Udani JK. A proprietary alpha-amylase inhibitor from white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): a review of clinical studies on weight loss and glycemic control. Nutr J 2011;10:24.
  3. Beans for body building. Philippines, Food and Nutrition Research Institute. FNRI Publication. 1977;27
  4. Birketvedt GS, Travis A, Langbakk B, et al. Dietary supplementation with bean extract improves lipid profile in overweight and obese subjects. Nutrition 2002;18(9):729-733.
  5. Bo-Linn, GW, Santa Ana CA, Morawski SG, et al. Starch blockers--their effect on calorie absorption from a high-starch meal. N Engl.J Med 12-2-1982;307(23):1413-1416.
  6. Celleno L, Tolaini MV, D'Amore A, et al. A Dietary supplement containing standardized Phaseolus vulgaris extract influences body composition of overweight men and women. Int J Med Sci 2007;4(1):45-52.
  7. Layer P, Carlson GL, and DiMagno EP. Partially purified white bean amylase inhibitor reduces starch digestion in vitro and inactivates intraduodenal amylase in humans. Gastroenterology 1985;88(6):1895-1902.
  8. Mkanda AV, Minnaar A, and Kock HL de. Relating consumer preferences to sensory and physicochemical properties of dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2007;87(15):2868-2879.
  9. Obiro WC, Zhang T, and Jiang B. The nutraceutical role of the Phaseolus vulgaris alpha-amylase inhibitor. Br J Nutr 2008;100(1):1-12.
  10. Okada Y and Okada M. Effects of radical scavenger protein from broad beans on glutathione status in human lung fibroblasts. Environ Health Prev Med 2007;12(6):272-277.
  11. Preuss HG. Bean amylase inhibitor and other carbohydrate absorption blockers: effects on diabesity and general health. J Am Coll Nutr 2009;28(3):266-276.
  12. Rodriguez-Burger AP, Mason A, and Nielsen SS. Use of fermented black beans combined with rice to develop a nutritious weaning food. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
  13. 1998;46(12):4806-4813.
  14. Schumann K, Romero-Abal ME, Maurer A, et al. Haematological response to haem iron or ferrous sulphate mixed with refried black beans in moderately anaemic Guatemalan pre-school children. Public Health Nutr 2005;8(6):572-581.
  15. Wolever TM, Jenkins DJ, Thompson LU, et al. Effect of canning on the blood glucose response to beans in patients with type 2 diabetes. Hum Nutr Clin Nutr 1987;41(2):135-140.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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