Glucomannan : Scientific health benefits, side effects and dosage

Weight loss is one of the most highly pursued objectives in today’s world. Countless people adopt different means to lose weight which include weight loss pills, exercise, proper diet, diet drops, injections, surgeries, supplements and Eve starvation. Not all of these methods are healthy and some of them, if done the wrong way, can even lead to weight gain and other harmful side effects.
Exercise and a proper diet are two of the most dependable and safe procedures to lose weight naturally. If you are looking to accelerate the weight loss process by means of something that actually compliments the diet and exercise, then weight loss supplements are a good means. But not all weight loss supplements are effective. It is worth noting that the effectiveness of weight loss supplements is a function of the ingredients that make up the composition of the supplement. Naturally, there are many ingredients used in weight loss supplements. Plus, it helps if the ingredient is naturally derived. One of the most safest, most efficient and reliable natural ingredients is glucomannan.

What Is Glucomannan?

Glucomannan is a water soluble dietary fiber derived from the roots of the elephant yam. This fiber makes up around 2/5th of the elephant yam’s dry weight. The elephant yam, also known as konjac, is found in parts of Southeast Asia.  Glucomannan is widely used in herbal drinks, chow mein and other food additives.
Glucomannan
The wide popularity of glucomannan is due to its property of being able to absorb water to a great extent. Even a little amount of glucomannan can absorb an entire vessel of water and turn it into an aqueous gel. This makes glucomannan a dietary fiber with very high viscosity. It is this water absorbing capacity of the glucomannan dietary fiber that has made it one of the most efficient weight loss supplements around.
This article intends to explore the weight loss functionality of glucomannan and also see the other possible health benefits of consuming this potent dietary fiber. We will also present the research supporting the various health benefits that can be derived out of glucomannan, note the dosage, consider the possible side effects and form a conclusion of just how effective the consumption of glucomannan can be to the human body. All of this will give a firm evidence of why glucomannan is so widely used among the ingredients in many health supplements.

Health Benefits of Glucomannan

Weight loss

This is undoubtedly the main application of glucomannan. As it has been mentioned, glucomannan is a powerful water soluble fiber. It has excellent tendency to totally absorb water in its vicinity. Much research has been devoted towards discovering the weight loss functionality of glucomannan.
There are several steps through which glucomannan promotes the loss of weight. These are summarised below:

  • The gel-like mass which glucomannan turns into after absorbing fat in your digestive tract makes it occupy certain amount of space. The accommodating mass of glucomannan gives you a feeling of fullness. As such, your appetite automatically tends to decrease and you consume lesser food.
  • The calorie count substantially decreases.
  • It keeps the stomach feeling full for longer periods of time. This has been evidenced by research.
  • Studies also show that the consumption of glucomannan reduces the absorption of fats and unnecessary proteins, just like any potent water soluble fiber.

Various studies demonstrate that glucomannan helps in facilitating the functioning of the good bacteria in your gut by helping it to convert fats into short chain fatty acids such as butyrate. Butyrate assists in the accumulation of fat and as such, prevents weight gain.
Research suggests that by helping the good bacteria in your gut with something like glucomannan, you actually contribute towards lesser chances of weight gain and can even go on to avoid obesity.
The fact that glucomannan has an exceptionally high viscosity makes it more efficient for weight loss than other dietary fibers.
A large scale experimental study on 176 subjects who were overweight included the administration of glucomannan to a certain number of the subjects. After little more than a month’s time, the results were reported. It was found that the subjects who took glucomannan managed to lose weight in a healthy and natural way. Other instances of studies provided similar results even for subjects with obesity. Further studies of the administration of glucomannan on obese people has cemented the position of this dietary fiber as an effective weight loss supplement. Needless to say, the results would be even more satisfactory if the consumption of glucomannan is accompanied with a proper diet.

Lowers cholesterol

Studies have shown that the presence of glucomannan reduces the rate of absorption of cholesterol in your gut. In addition, it also reduces the levels of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides. This contributes towards good cardiovascular health.

Reduces the risk of diabetes

Research has demonstrated that glucomannan may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels and the insulin sensitivity.

Helps to deal with constipation

Studies have also shown the absorption capacity of glucomannan helps in bowel passage and water absorption in the digestive tract. As such, it may be used for treating constipation.

Dosage

When glucomannan meets water, it undergoes expansion and the net absorption can go up to 50 times its own weight. As such, the dosage of glucomannan is lesser than other fibers.
Tests suggest that a meagre dosage of 1 gram should be taken 3 times a day.
It should be noted that the weight loss functionality of glucomannan works only if it is taken around half an hour before a meal.

Side effects

Normally, the consumption of glucomannan is considered absolutely safe.
However, if glucomannan undergoes expansion before it reaches your stomach, it may cause choking within your throat or oesophagus.
In order to avoid this, glucomannan should be washed properly with water before you consume it.
Some minor side effects reported include diarrhea, bloating and excessive flatulence. However, these are very rare.
If you are on some other medication, it is suggested to have a consultation with your doctor regarding the consumption of glucomannan supplements before you try them.

Conclusion

Indeed. Glucomannan is one of the most effective weight loss supplements around. It comes with a very effective weight loss functionality and is pretty safe for consumption. Furthermore, it is a completely natural ingredient.
However, one should realise that glucomannan, or any weight loss supplement for that matter, cannot works wonders and magically make you lose weight. The consumption of glucomannan should go along with regular exercise and a properly planned nutritious diet. Only then would you be able to lose weight in a natural and healthy way.