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‘Boots’ Carb Control

This product is claimed to work by preventing the absorption of carbohydrates by the body. There is however no money-back guarantee or diet plan offered with the product.

Below we have reviewed Boots Carb Control against our review criteria to help consumers make an informed decision.

Boots carb control

'Boots' Carb Control Pros
  • Some scientific evidence to suggest that the key ingredient can block some starch consumed from entering the body
  • Very few side-effects reported, most of which are mild
  • Produced by a reputable company
'Boots' Carb Control Cons
  • Product itself and the patented active ingredient haven't been reliably tested
  • No money-back guarantee or diet plan
  • The dosage of active ingredient might not be high enough to have an effect

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Boots Carb Control Review

Boots is one of the largest pharmaceutical retailers in the UK, with business spreading to America and Canada in recent years, and with a turnover of over £22.4 billion pounds per year. In addition to retailing a number of big brand diet supplements, they also sell their own brand ‘Boots’ Carb Control (BCC) supplement, a carbohydrate-blocker that supposedly prevents absorption of starch into the body by inhibiting digestive enzymes. Boots claim that the product can block up to 66% of starch consumed from entering the body; evidence in support of this claim however is not provided.

Claimed weight loss benefits

Boots states that the product ‘may help reduce the amount of carbohydrate absorbed from a meal’, due to its active ingredient, Captocarb, which when ‘coupled with a healthy diet and exercise’ may help users lose weight. Otherwise, Boots make no claims about their product, though they recommend increasing the dosage for higher carbohydrate meals. A quick look at the ingredients list reveals that Captocarb is the only active ingredient, present in a 100mg dose, with the others provided to hold the supplement together.

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How Boots Carb Control Works


Boots’ website states that Boots Carb Control (BCC) ‘may reduce the amount of carbohydrate absorbed by the body’, which in turn supposedly reduces the number of calories the body has available and so causes the body to lose weight. Boots claim no other effects of the product, and suggest that BCC may be suitable for people who enjoy eating complex carbohydrates like bread, pasta and potatoes; they warn that BCC does not reduce the absorption of simple sugars like glucose, however. This effect is attributed to the 100 milligrams of ‘Captocarb’ each tablet contains, which contains a ‘glycoprotein complex from a GMO free source and simithicone as the active ingredients’. Although other ingredients are stated, only Captocarb is described as an active ingredient. In a safety notice at the bottom, Boots mention that BCC reduces the activity of enzymes that break down complex carbohydrates for absorption.


Captocarb contains a high concentration of white kidney bean extract (WKBE), which is a common ingredient in carb-blockers. WKBE has been suggested to inhibit the enzyme amylase, present in both the mouth and intestines of humans, which is responsible for digesting starch (plant-based carbohydrate) into glucose. Starch cannot be absorbed through the intestines as it is too large, and so undigested starch simply passes through the intestine without being absorbed. For consumers who enjoy ‘staple’ foods, like rice and pasta, this could be useful since they are almost entirely starch based.

Theoretically, the carbohydrates are simply passed from the body and the user can eat a lot of pasta/rice/etc. without putting on as much weight as they otherwise would. BCC contains 100mg of Captocarb, which in turn contains an unknown amount of WKBE; to put it into perspective, a leading study on Phase 2 (the manufactured form of WKBE) used 1500mg of Phase 2 twice daily with meals, demonstrating an average weight loss of 3.79 pounds over 8 weeks between subjects. This suggests that BCC may have too low a concentration of WKBE to have significant weight loss effects.

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Key Boots Carb Control Ingredients

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The only active ingredient in BCC is Captocarb. Created by Italian company S.I.I.T, Captocarb is one of three weight loss products tested by the company, including Captoglycolipid and Captoappetit. As stated above, Captocarb contains a form of white kidney bean extract which prevents the body from digesting starch in the small intestine and mouth; however, the amount of information provided about Captocarb by S.I.I.T is insufficient to determine what exactly it contains and whether it will be effective. S.I.I.T doesn’t provide direct evidence for its effectiveness, though they do provide a series of graphs with captions describing the effects of Captocarb in rats, primarily showing short-term effects. Without official recognition, the validity of these tests cannot be confirmed.


The active ingredient described, Captocarb, has its own website describing its effects; the ‘Products’ section reveals it is only present in three products, BCC being one of them, although a brief search on the web suggests there may be others. This section also reveals BCC to be a ‘class 11a medical device’, which supposedly means it has undergone special controls and methods to ensure its safety, possibly including performance tests.

Captocarb is described as containing glycoproteins (proteins with carbohydrate chains typically used as messengers in the body) which inhibit amylase, an enzyme present in the intestines which breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. Inhibiting the amylase supposedly reduces the absorption of the carbohydrate, which cannot be absorbed in a complex form as it is too large. Captocarb is claimed to be beneficial, therefore, in terms of reducing overall calorie intake, and also to diabetics, since it purportedly reduces the absorption of glucose with which diabetics have problems.

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Clinical Studies

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Often the best way to determine the effectiveness of a supplement is to look at the studies that have been carried out, in controlled environments against known controls, on its method of action and results, both long and short-term. Though the product as a whole hasn’t been clinically studied, the key ingredient of BCC, Captocarb, has a few clinical studies to support its effectiveness.


There are several studies to suggest that white kidney bean extract, the main component of Captocarb, is effective in reducing the amount of carbohydrate absorbed by the body. An overview of the evidence from 2011 stated that ‘there have been no serious side-effects’ following WKBE consumption and that ‘it has the potential to induce weight loss and reduce blood glucose level spikes. A more recent study from 2013, conducted over 12 weeks, saw a mixed gender group subjected to a healthy, slightly under-calorie diet with WKBE supplementation, with check-ups on body weight every 4 weeks. The end results showed a much more consistent and larger loss in weight in the WBKE group than the placebo group, and 36 of the 49 subjects were able to keep the weight off after the initial weight loss.

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Boots Carb Control Side Effects

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BCC is thought to be safe and has virtually no side-effects associated with it. Advertised as a carb-blocker, most of the carbohydrate should pass into the large intestine where a significant percentage of it will be broken down, releasing gases, which pass as flatulence. Additionally, the potentially altered composition of the food following digestive processes may lead to more regular toilet trips and possibly diarrhoea. Otherwise Boots list no side-effects. These symptoms should be mild and pass after a few weeks of taking the product; if they don’t, consider taking a break from the product for a while, and consult a doctor if problems continue.


Captocarb contains a derivative of the white kidney bean rich in glycoproteins that are thought to prevent starch from being absorbed in the digestive system, and another ingredient, simethicone, that supposedly works to reduce the build-up of intestinal gases. Because of simethicone, BCC might produce smaller ‘wind’ problems than other carb blockers, but due to the nature of Captocarb this is a likely effect. High-levels of starch in the diet is a common cause of gas since the bacteria in the large intestine use the starch to produce fatty acids, producing methane and other gases in the process; since BCC supposedly prevents starch absorption through the small intestine, much of the starch will travel to the large intestine, and therefore more gas will be produced. Simethicone works to prevent gas bubbles from forming in the intestines; whilst it does not decrease the production of intestinal gas, it may help pass it as belches rather than flatulence, though there is limited evidence for this. Otherwise, white kidney bean extract has no real associated side-effects.

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How to Use

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Boots state that ‘taken before a large meal’, BCC may help to reduce the number of carbohydrates absorbed in the intestines; they recommend taking 2 tablets before a carbohydrate dense meal, or 1-2 tablets before a normal main meal. Boots also advise not to exceed more than 4 tablets in 24 hours, which means, assuming three main meals a day, that one meal should be consumed without BCC.

Boots further advise a rest period of 3-5 days after every 30 days of taking the product. Otherwise, Boots state that BCC is not to be used by under 18’s or pregnant/breastfeeding women, by individuals of healthy B.M.I (around 18.5) or by bean-allergy sufferers. Diabetic patients are also warned to speak with their doctor about the amount of insulin that they take, since the carbohydrate absorbed is decreased by BCC, which could lead to low insulin levels.

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Who Makes It?

BCC is a product of Boots ‘the Chemist’, a UK pharmaceutical company with over 2500 branches nationwide. Boots was founded in 1849, growing from a small market pharmacy and herbal remedy shop to a larger drugs research company in the 20th century. It was awarded the ‘Queens award for technical achievement’ in 1987 for the development of Ibuprofen, a popular painkiller. The company expanded into Canada, though stores were later shut down; it also branched out and purchased and developed some smaller stores.

Additionally, Boots offer a range of healthcare services to the general public along with a wide range of products including cosmetics, food and drink, limited clothing and practical items and pharmaceuticals. They also offer ‘free health advice’ from pharmacists and offer prescriptions to housebound individuals.

The company manufacturing the key ingredient of BCC, Captocarb, is S.I.I.T, a much smaller and lesser-known company based in Italy. Since Captocarb’s website was underwhelming in terms of convincing studies or information about the product, more information could be hoped for from this company. They claim to be a 60-year old company, privately owned, which started researching, manufacturing and selling pharmaceuticals in the late 20th century. They claim to employ researchers (chemists and microbiologists) and production/sales staff, with a 10% turnover growth rate per year for the last 10 years. They produce medical and general healthcare products along with food supplements.

In an independent interview published on their website, the chairman, Andrea Costa, claims an extensive series of safety procedures for each product including a dedicated quality control team; they also claim to follow all European regulations regarding safety and allowed ingredients, or the guidelines of WHO at the very least. They also have multiple forms of contact and branches/sub-groups to contact, along with a listed address.

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Where to Buy Boots Carb Control


Since BCC is an own-branded product, Boots are the only retailer. Boots retail BCC at £19.99 for 60 tablets, which is approximately a 20-day supply (if the maximum dose is consumed). However, this is due to a sale at the time of writing- the standard price is £24.99 for the same amount. Delivery costs range from £1.95 to collect from the store following an order, though free if over £20 is spent, to £5.50 for delivery on a Saturday; customers are also able to select which day they would prefer the delivery on. Boots are a reputable and successful company so are likely to be reliable.

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Does Boots Carb Control Meet our Approved Criteria

Money-back-guarantee: No. There does not seem to be a money back guarantee.

One-off payment: Yes, purchase of this product appears to be a one-off payment.

Manufacturing Standard: There is no mention of any official manufacturing standards.

Accompanying Diet Plan: There is no mention of a diet plan with this product.

Ingredients and quantities disclosed: An ingredients list is provided.

Company contact details readily available: Contact details are provided on the official website.

Boots Carb Control does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria as there is no money-back guarantee or diet plan and some information is lacking from the official website, including manufacturing standards.

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Overall Verdict

Despite there being some scientific evidence to back up the potential weight loss effects of the key component of the active ingredient in the product, the dosages of active ingredient might be too low to have a noticeable effect. The product is sold by the reputable health chain, Boots, and can be purchased from high street stores in the UK. There is no money-back guarantee or diet plan provided with the product, but company contact details are readily available.

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