Glucomannan is becoming very popular as a weight loss aid. This natural fibre derived from a type of yam called the Konjac is one of the few substances that the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) have recognised as effective for weight loss support. Although the FDA have not yet made a similar recommendation, many people find that glucomannan supplements can help support weight loss, and the fact that it is safe with no nasty side effects is adding to its increasing popularity.
As ever, when something becomes popular, the scammers are never far behind. So getting the lowdown on how to avoid buying fake glucomannan is sadly yet another topic that we feel we must cover for customer safety.
Glucomannan is a natural substance derived from the Konjac root, a plant which grows mainly in Asia. The root is like a bulb, technically known as a corm which is similar to plant bulbs such as the dahlia or gladioli that we grow in the garden. Konjac root is high in natural soluble fibre (meaning it dissolves in water) and it also contains natural sugars called polysaccharides, and it is this combination that makes it so effective as a thickener in foods and for weight loss.
When water is added to the fibre, the polysaccharides help it to form into a thick viscous gel. When ingested the thick gel fills the stomach, so it is effective for weight loss because it causes the stomach to feel full thus preventing hunger pangs. It is also effective at maintaining blood sugar levels and may help reduce cholesterol levels.
Glucomannan will help keep bowel movements regular because it is a fibre, and all natural fibre has a bulk forming laxative function. So if you are looking for a mainly side effect free appetite suppressant with benefits to blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and digestive health, Glucomannan looks to tick all the boxes.
Unfortunately not all Glucomannan supplements are the same, so you have to be careful before you buy.
One of the biggest issues that we see around Glucomannan supplements, is the fact that many do not contain an adequate quantity and so are ineffective. Most health advice and the clinical testing have set the approved serving size at 3g a day to be taken over the course of the day in 3 x 1g servings. We have seen some research that claims anything from between 2g and 4g a day is effective, but most advice is that 3g daily is optimum. Source
Some supplement sellers tout all the benefits of glucomannan as a key ingredient, yet supplements contain insignificant quantities. There are numerous so called glucomannan supplements on the market that contain just 500mg a serving, for example with the advice to take only once or twice a day. Although these underpowered supplements are not strictly fake, they are misleading because they will not work as described.
The bottom line: If you are looking for a Glucomannan supplement be sure to check the label first. It should contain at least 2g of Glucomannan per daily serving, preferably 3g.
Supplements that do not provide adequate ingredients information, such as those which contain all the ingredients in a proprietary blend are misleading to customers.
A proprietary blend is when all the ingredients are named but there is no breakdown of individual serving sizes. In some cases there is a total figure provided – the sum of all the ingredients combined. In other cases you do not even get this basic information.
This is bad news for the customer. After all how will you know that the ingredients are in sufficient quantities to work, or whether they contain dangerous levels of strong ingredients?
The simple answer is that you don’t know. A list of named ingredients is not the same as a full ingredients list on a product’s label, that tells you exactly what you are taking and how much of each component.
We have covered many of these types of supplement in previous Watchdog investigations. As Glucomannan becomes increasingly popular, the more it is showing up in various proprietary blends marketed as general weight loss support or as an appetite suppressant. Even though the quantity of Glucomannan contained in a supplement may be totally inadequate, the product advertising will still tout all its claims and benefits.
The bottom line: It is always important to know exactly what is in a supplement before you buy it. When it comes to Glucomannan, the serving size is crucial to whether or not it will work.
Glucomannan is a hot product right now. And in the diet pill industry this means that the scammers will have this particular ingredient in their sights. Trust us, this scam will be coming soon, if it is not already out there somewhere.
How do we know? We know because we have seen this all before with supplements based on raspberry ketones, green coffee bean, garcinia cambogia, and the list goes on. The time is right for a Glucomannan scam because it is beginning to attract a lot of attention on the market, so people are becoming interested at trying it. This means that some will be susceptible to a powerful marketing campaign that seems to offer a way of trying Glucomannan for free.
The free trial scam is well known. Essentially it works like this; a punchy and powerful advert/ website online will offer you a month’s free supply for just the cost of the postage. You fill in your address details and then your payment details such as your card number in order to pay for the shipping. This usually costs around $4.99.
What you don’t realise is that the so called free trial is actually an agreement to buy fresh supplies of the product each month. The whole aim of the scammers is to get you to agree to a reoccurring subscription and although the details are usually hidden in the small print, the scammers know that very few people bother reading these. You sign up to it yourself without realising and once you have done this, your problems begin.
Once the scammers have got you locked into an auto ship agreement, you can expect to receive regular supplies of the supplement each month and your bank card or credit card billed automatically. In most cases, it is practically impossible to cancel the subscription, and is always overpriced and expensive. Many Watchdog readers have contacted us over the years having lost hundreds of dollars (and pounds) after being caught out by a free trial scam touted for so called wonder ingredients.
The bottom line: Never sign up for a free Glucomannan trial however tempting it may seem. 99.9 times out of a 100 it will be a scam.
To find out more about free trial scams take a look at some of our previous investigations such as our report into raspberry ketone scams. You may find our guide to getting a refund from free trial scams helpful too.
As with all supplements, you are never exactly sure what they contain, unless you have access to a testing kit or a lab, so it is very important to always buy from a reputable source.
An inexpensive or low grade glucomannan supplement may contain cheap substandard ingredients. It may have been made somewhere such as China, where safety and hygiene standards are ignored. If you buy online you leave yourself open to risks unless you follow basic safety concerns, and remember that just because a product comes with a flashy looking website it does not necessarily follow that the supplement on sale is good quality. After all you cannot take it back to the local shop and complain that it made you ill or did not work.
It is always important to check that manufacture has been carried out in accordance with GMP (good manufacturing practice) and that the company selling it provides clear contact details and is reputable. Supplement sellers who do not trust their products or are taking part in scams are unlikely to provide any real details such as a real life address, phone number, or any other contact details.
The bottom line: To avoid buying fake Glucomannan keep an eye on the Watchdog site for our constantly updated research into supplements. That way you know that when you buy you will stay safe and will not be ripped off.
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.