Weight-loss seems like it’s a constant battle as you struggle to burn fat and keep it off for good. This is why supplements like Glucomannan can help you reach your goals. Glucomannan is simply a water-soluble dietary fiber that is used to treat obesity, constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more.
What is Glucomannan?
As mentioned, Glucomannan is a natural dietary, soluble fiber that’s been extracted from the roots of elephant yam or konjac. It is now available as an effective supplement, supporting weight-loss and other related health benefits. Originating from Southeast Asia, Glucomannan makes up around 40 percent of the elephant yam. It has long been used in herbal mixes and foods.
It is incredible as an absorbing liquid. If you were to break open a capsule of this fiber and place it into a glass of water, it would turn it to gel. Think of it as a sponge inside of your digestive tract, reducing the absorption of carbs, fats, cholesterol, etc. The result is that you feel full without feeling bloated or sick.
What are Soluble Fibers?
Soluble fibers are a form of complex carbs, meaning their harder to break down. These types of fibers also promote a healthy digestive tract, as bacteria ferment soluble fibers. These are naturally found in foods such as oats, barley, beans, rye, etc.
The root from the konjac plant are high in soluble fibers, contributing to positive digestive health and weight-loss benefits.
How Does Glucomannan Help with Weight-Loss?
Like many soluble fibers, Glucomannan is believed to aid in weight loss. This is said to occur based on several mechanisms. First, it offers a very low-calorie content. Second, it promotes the feeling of satiety or being full. Lastly, like many fibers, it takes longer to digest, delaying the emptying of stomach contents. It also reduces the absorption of fat and protein.
If you’re not aware of the bacteria in your gut, then it’s important to understand that there are both good and bad bacteria living inside of your intestines. Good or friendly bacteria help promote balance, reducing your risk of disease and increasing nutrient absorption. Glucomannan feeds this friendly bacteria which is also believed to contribute to fat loss.
This bulky fiber is then expelled from your body, supporting a cleansing effect. This is where benefits regarding constipation from into play, however, this also support the reduction of cholesterol and better blood sugar control. To summarize, here are the key ways in which Glucomannan benefits your weight-loss goals:
- Since Glucomannan is highly absorbent, meaning that it sucks of tremendous amounts of water and liquid. This contributes to feeling fuller, for longer so that you don’t snack or mindlessly eat as often.
- Promotes hunger signals, such as ghrelin. In turn, sensors in your brain and gut signal that you do not need more food to feel satisfied.
- Improves blood sugar and fat loss, based on better carb tolerance and lipid profile
Does it Work?
Although the FDA has not yet approved this supplement, there are plenty of natural and beneficial supplements that they haven’t approved for the US market. With that being said, research continues to evolve and studies appear to be promising, offering positive weight-loss results.
In one study conducted in 2007, participants consumed a combination of Glucomannan and psyllium husk for a total of 16 weeks. At the end of the study, the experimental group lost 10 pounds in comparison to just 1.7 pounds in the placebo group. In another study, an average of 5.5 pounds was lost over the course of eight weeks. The results were seen without making any other diet or lifestyle changes.
There have also been other benefits reported outside of the weight-loss community, including:
• Diabetic support: Glucomannan was shown to reduce blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol in individuals with diabetes.
• High cholesterol: When studied in people with and without diabetes, Glucomannan has a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
• Constipation: Glucomannan has been shown to be effective when taken by mouth to treat constipation in both adults and children.
Possible Side Effects
Glucomannan is likely to be safe when consumed within the recommended dosage. Always following the guidelines offered by the manufacturer and don’t hesitate to take the smallest dose to start. If you have any concerns, please approach your health care provider to see if it’s right for you.
Although it can help balance blood sugar, diabetics should monitor their blood sugar closely, as Glucomannan could promote hypoglycemia. If you are planning on undergoing surgery, please discontinue usage at least two weeks prior to your surgery date.
There have also been some reported interactions, including diabetic medications and oral drugs. As mentioned, Glucomannan could cause diabetics blood sugar to drop too low if not closely monitored. Also, medications taken orally could be affected by Glucomannan. The amount your body absorbs could decrease, reducing overall effectiveness.