Glucomannan is becoming very popular as more and more people are hearing about this natural ingredient, and are looking to try it out for themselves. But what is glucomannan? And how does it work?
Here are the answers to many of your questions. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find out about this unusual substance.
Glucomannan is a natural fibre rich sugar, derived from the root of a plant called the Konjac (Amorphophallus Konjac) which grows in Asia. It has long been used as a thickener in foods (E 435ii) and these days is becoming popular as an effective weight loss supplement.
The Konjac root is high in fibre and polysaccharides, which are natural sugars present in starch.
When added to water, it swells up like a sponge and forms into a viscous gel, and it is this mechanism which is so effective for weight loss and many other issues. It rests in the stomach and gives you feelings of fullness so you don’t feel the need to snack.
Konjac root is high in natural soluble fibre (meaning it dissolves in water) and is also contains natural starch sugars called polysaccharides, and it is this combination that makes it so effective as a thickener in foods and for weight loss.
Glucomannan can help weight loss because it stays in the stomach in a viscous gel, taking up space and filling you up so you don’t feel hungry. In addition it can help slow the absorption of sugar, so can help diabetes sufferers and it may help reduce cholesterol levels. Glucomannan is a natural fibre so will also help reduce digestive issues such as constipation.
As a fibre it may have a prebiotic effect meaning that it can help the proliferation of healthy bacteria (probiotics) in the gut, specifically bifidobacterium and lactobacilli.
According to scientific research, glucomannan may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Glucomannan is available in capsule form or as a powder that you add to liquid in order to make a drink. Always follow the product directions, but in general the most effective way is to take three times a day before meals. The general advice is to take it between 15 minutes and an hour before eating.
It is important to ensure that you always take glucomannan with plenty of water, in order to wash it down to the stomach where it can expand safely.
According to research, the most effective serving size is 1g to be taken three times a day. This is the standard serving size that reflects clinical studies. When you buy a glucomannan supplement it is important that it conforms to this size serving, or it is unlikely to work as described. Some supplements deliver a daily serving size of 4g which is also effective, and does not appear to cause any additional side effects.
Yes, it is very safe and does not appear to cause any side effects. However it is very important to take it with plenty of water, so that it is washed down to the stomach. This is essential because it could pose a choking risk if it expands in the throat or elsewhere in your digestive system. However it is perfectly safe if you follow this easy instruction.
If you are taking 1g of glucomannan you should drink 8oz of water.
No. As with all supplement you should not take it if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
Side effects are uncommon, but in rare cases it can cause mild effects such as gas or bloating.
If you have diabetes or a medical condition relating to blood sugar levels, you should see your doctor before use because it may interfere with your medication.
In addition, if you are taking other medication you may need to time your medication to one hour before you take glucomannan or four hours after. Ask your physician or pharmacist for advice before use.
Otherwise, glucomannan is safe but you do need to ensure you take it with plenty of water so that it can reach the stomach where it can expand in safety.
You need to discuss this with your doctor because it may be effective at lowering blood sugar levels. If you are taking any medication and are considering taking a supplement, you should always ask your doctor for advice in case of interactions.
Glucomannan has undergone lots of clinical testing. One of the biggest clinical tests was carried out on 176 obese volunteers, where it was proven to cause significantly improved weight loss results when compared to the placebo group.
Other clinical testing has demonstrated the same effects. One study for example looked at the food habits of 31 healthy teenagers, and found that taking glucomannan half an hour before eating at an all you can eat pizza meal lead to lower calories being consumed.
Another test on 29 people found that consuming glucomannan for 14 weeks led to reduced cholesterol levels, weight, waist measurement, and body fat. Source
Glucomannan has been widely tested on human volunteers, and the scientific evidence is that it does help increase weight loss and restrict appetite as claimed. Source
The European Food Standards Agency has looked at all the claims, and has concluded that it is effective for weight loss support.
After a lengthy investigation, EFSA concluded that “a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of glucomannan and the reduction of blood cholesterol concentrations” and that “a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of glucomannan and the reduction of body weight in the context of an energy-restricted diet” Source
The FDA has not yet approved glucomannan but there is clinical support for health benefits in the USA.
Health Canada have also authorised some weight loss products containing glucomannan.
Of course this will depend upon your physical make up, your diet and lifestyle. However results look very good. One clinical test carried out in 2007 by the British Journal of Nutrition saw an average weight loss of around 10lbs over 16 weeks.
Other clinical tests have shown similar positive effects upon weight, calorie intake, and the reduction of fat in (lipids) in blood.
Glucomannan will probably help you lose weight, even if you don’t make any changes to your lifestyle because it should help you restrict your appetite without even trying. However if you use it in combination with a healthy eating plan and increased exercise, weight loss results will be greatly improved.
As well as clinical testing, anecdotal evidence is very positive. The amount of weight you lose will be down to you, but it can certainly help reduce your appetite, increase your fibre intake, and generally have a beneficial health effect. Source
Glucomannan is growing increasingly popular and is on sale from numerous outlets online, and in the shops in either powder or capsule form. Keep an eye on Diet Pills Watchdog and check out our approved supplements to find the best glucomannan supplement for you.
Either form works equally well, but the important point is to take before meals so that the glucomannan can help you restrict your appetite before eating. We prefer the capsules because we find them easier to take. However it does not make much difference to effectiveness and it all comes down to personal preference.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.