Glucomannan is a complex sugar that can lower cholesterol and blood sugar and prevent constipation. Early research suggests that losing weight, improving gut health, and protecting the skin may also be beneficial. This article contains more information about what is glucomannan, What does Glucomannan do? its potential benefits, and its side effects. It provides a detailed look at the science behind glucomannan and whether this supplement is something you should take.
What is Glucomannan? What is Glucomannan Supplement?
Glucomannan is a natural, water-soluble dietary fiber extracted from elephant yam roots, also known as konjac (a foul-smelling plant native to Southeast Asia (especially the Philippines) whose tubers can be eaten).
It is included in beverage mixes as a supplement. It is also added to food products such as pasta and flour. It is also the main ingredient of shirataki noodles (shirataki noodles).
Glucomannan accounts for 40% of the dry weight of elephant yam originally from Southeast Asia. It has a long history of use in herbal mixes and traditional foods such as tofu, noodles, and konjac jelly.
In addition to being sold as a dietary supplement, it is used as a food additive – an emulsifier and thickener, indicated by the E-number E425-ii.
Glucomannan has exceptional water absorption and is one of the most viscous dietary fibers known.
It absorbs so much liquid that a small amount of glucomannan added to a glass of water turns all the contents into a gel. These unique properties are believed to mediate their effects on weight loss.
Summary: Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber extracted from elephant yam roots. Glucomannan supplement has gained great attention as a weight loss supplement.
Mechanisms of Action
Glucomannan works as follows:
- It takes up space in the stomach, makes the person feel full, and eats less
- It decreases the amount of hunger hormone ghrelin.
- Reduces the absorption of nutrients (proteins, fats, and sugars). Activates bile acids.
- Promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestine.
How Glucomannan Helps You Lose Weight
What does it do? Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber.
Like other soluble fiber, it’s believed to promote weight loss in a number of ways (1):
- It’s very low in calories.
- It takes up space in your stomach and reduces food intake at a later meal, giving a feeling of satiety. (For this reason, it is also known as the drug that gives the feeling of satiety)
- It delays gastric emptying and contributes to increased satiety (2).
- Like other soluble fiber, it reduces protein and fat absorption (3).
- It also feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut. This converts it into short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which has been shown to protect against the fat gain in some animal studies (4Trusted, 5).
Glucomannan is different from many other soluble fibers. Because it is extremely viscous and this feature makes it effective in losing weight.
Summary: Like other soluble fiber, glucomannan absorbs water from your stomach and contributes to a feeling of fullness. Additionally, it can promote reduced calorie intake and weight loss in other ways.
What Does Glucomannan Do? Other Health Benefits
In addition to promoting weight loss, glucomannan may improve some heart disease risk factors.
According to a systematic review of 14 studies, glucomannan may decrease ( 8 ):
- With total cholesterol 19 mg / dL (0.5 mmol / L).
- “Bad” LDL cholesterol at 16 mg / dL (0.4 mmol / L).
- Triglycerides with 11 mg / dL (0.12 mmol / L).
- With fasting blood glucose 7.4 mg / dL (0.4 mmol / L).
Reducing the absorption of cholesterol in your gut primarily lowers blood cholesterol.
According to this research, adding glucomannan to your diet could potentially lower your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Summary: Glucomannan may improve several key heart disease risk factors such as total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting blood sugar.
Potential Benefits of Glucomannan
Glucomannan is approved as a food additive, but supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use. The regulations set manufacturing standards for them but do not guarantee that they are safe or effective. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a qualified doctor before taking it.
Bile acids are made from cholesterol. Glucomannan binds to bile acids and helps them to be excreted from the body. As a result, the body has to convert more cholesterol into bile acids by lowering cholesterol levels. In two meta-analyses, one containing 12 studies and the other 14 studies, this support significantly reduced LDL and non-HDL cholesterol types. When LDL and non-HDL cholesterol rises, it increases the risk of heart disease. In humans with high cholesterol, glucomannan, polycosanol or chromium polynicotinate did not affect low total and LDL cholesterol, HDL, and triglyceride levels. In another study, 2.4g / day of chitosan and glucosane reduced a total of 21 LDL and HDL cholesterol, but not triglycerides in 21 overweight people.
According to some researchers, glucomannan may cause slower sugar absorption, which reduces spikes in blood sugar levels. In a study on 22 diabetic subjects, this fiber helped lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Additionally, in two studies, each in 20 diabetic adults, glucomannan is taken before eating reduced blood sugar levels and decreased appetite by reducing ghrelin. [glu2]
Similarly, glucomannan enriched foods lowered blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetic patients. In another study with 11 types 2 diabetic patients, this supplement did not lower blood sugar but did lower HDL cholesterol ratio and blood pressure total. A study in 34 pregnant women showed that this fiber safely reduces blood sugar levels in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients.
In six studies, glucomannan alleviated constipation without side effects. However, in a study of 72 children, this fiber was not more effective than a placebo in treating constipation.
- Weight Management
In multiple clinical studies, glucomannan supplementation increased weight loss compared to a placebo. However, there was no significant effect on weight loss in other studies. it may aid weight loss in some groups of people, but has no effect on others. Future studies will be required to clarify.
- Intestinal Health it increased the proportion of beneficial gut bacteria (lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria) in seven constipated subjects and eight healthy adults. A small dose of this fiber also increased the number of beneficial bacteria and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the intestines of mice and rats.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) can cause insulin resistance. In a study of 30 women with PCOS, glucose supplements lowered glucose and insulin levels.
In a study of 48 hyperthyroid patients, those taking glucomannan in addition to standard therapy had significantly lower thyroid hormone levels during the first weeks of treatment.
- Skin Damage
It reduced UV-induced skin redness and protected skin cells from UVB-induced damage in 5 human volunteers.
Glucomannan and probiotic bacteria inhibited the growth of acne-causing bacteria in a cell study.
This supplement reduced inflammation in rats with arthritis. It also reduced gut and skin inflammation in mice. In these studies, glucomannan decreased the Th2 response (IL-4 and IL-1 3).
This supplement prevented allergic rhinitis and dermatitis (nasal and skin allergies) in mice. It did this by lowering IgE levels.
- Antioxidant Activity
This supplement increased antioxidant and antioxidant enzyme levels in mice and rats.
Long-term feeding with this supplement delays aging in mice and rats.
Does It Really Work?
Many randomized controlled trials have investigated the effects of glucomannan on weight loss. These types of studies are the gold standard of scientific research in humans.
In the largest study, 176 healthy but overweight people on a calorie-restricted diet were randomly given either a glucomannan supplement or a placebo ( 11 ).
Three different glucomannan supplements at different doses have been tested. Some of them also contained other fibers.
These were the results after 5 weeks:
As you can see, weight loss was significantly greater among glucomannan users.
Among those using glucomannan, this supplement is particularly effective when combined with a weight-loss diet.
The same goes for all weight loss methods – they work best in combination.
Summary: Glucomannan, when taken before meals, can lead to mild weight loss in overweight individuals, mainly by creating a feeling of satiety and reducing calorie intake.
Dosage and Side Effects
A dose of 1 gram 3 times a day is considered sufficient for weight loss ( 14 ).
When mixed with water, glucomannan expands and can absorb up to 50 times its weight. Therefore, the recommended dosage of glucomannan is lower than other fiber supplements.
Glucomannan is well tolerated and generally considered safe.
If glucomannan supplementation, also known as a stomach swelling slimming pill, expands before it reaches the stomach, it can cause blockage in the throat and esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.
To prevent this, it should be taken with 1-2 glasses of water or other liquid.
Some people may experience mild side effects such as bloating, gas, soft stools, or diarrhea, but these negative effects are rare.
Glucomannan may also reduce the absorption of oral medications such as sulfonylurea, a diabetes medication. This can be avoided by taking the drug at least four hours after or an hour before taking glucomannan.
Summary: Known as one of the drugs that make you feel full, glucomannan is generally considered safe. The recommended dose is 1 gram, taken 3 times a day with water. Make sure you take it before eating as otherwise, it has no effect on weight loss.
Should You Try Glucomannan Supplements?
Based on the evidence, it is an effective weight loss supplement. But as with any weight loss strategy, it won’t work alone.
The only known way to lose weight, in the long run, is to make a permanent change in your lifestyle.
It can help make this easier. However, it does not work miracles on its own.
Whatever diet you adopt, if you want to lose weight and reach a healthy body, you can start by creating a healthy diet instead of waiting to lose weight with various weight loss cures and weight loss drugs. You can take advantage of online diet opportunities prepared for you by online dieticians to step into a healthy and balanced diet. Now you can buy online diets prepared for you by dieticians to start slimming