The increase in obesity in the United States and even Europe is not entirely a secret, modified foods, added to the easy acquisition of junk food (as well as its excess) make this problem (like many others) very easy to recognize .
Fortunately, today there are foods or nutritional supplements such as glucomannan for weight loss, a product that we will study in this article, adding other functions that it can provide to the body.
What is glucomannan?
Glucomannan is an extract of the “Amorphophallus konjac” root , it is a soluble natural fiber that is obtained by its cultivation in China and around Asia, it is a supplement that is used in numerous foods (such as noodles) and even in drinks.
Among its properties is “D glucose” , an important chemical compound in living beings and related to energy in cells , as well as “D Mannose” , that element that prevents infections caused by various bacteria. For this reason, glucomannan is considered a great food supplement.
Note: A data sheet highlights the following: “Glucomannan has anorexigenic properties, since it reduces appetite by absorbing liquids in the digestive tract, and when it swells it produces a sensation of gastric fullness” . (1)
What benefits does glucomannan have?
With the above, the following question arises: what benefits can glucomannan provide? Are there various benefits beyond weight loss? The answer will be presented below:
1. Reduces the risk of heart disease
Heart conditions have various causes, including obesity and a high development of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) or triglycerides, which are fats that clog red blood cells.
In this sense, the intake of glucomannan can prevent these diseases, together with other food supplements, greatly reducing the development of fats or free fatty acids, with the effect of soluble fiber that it has, which is beneficial for those who have a history of Heart problems.
2. Regulates blood sugar
The large amount of glucose in the blood is the cause of diabetes, it is a special case because it implies a much greater presence of sugar than what should normally be found in the blood.
Fortunately, glucomannan can keep the level of sugar or glucose in hemoglobin stable (preventing diabetes on the one hand), since it acts as a lipid-lowering and hypoglycemic agent , quite related to blood.
Important: This is supported by research, which states: “Among dietary factors for diabetes, interest in satiating fiber (konjac glucomannan) has grown for its effects .” (two)
3. Improves intestinal health
When we talk about fiber , we almost always associate it with gastrointestinal health because they really go hand in hand, for cases such as constipation , heartburn, and the formation of softer stools in the digestive system.
Why is it linked to glucomannan? As simple as saying that glucomannan is a naturally soluble fiber that works well with water, in addition to what was previously explained, it has an action with peristalsis , that is, the movements related to contraction of the digestive tract.
4. Fight constipation
We want to highlight how konjac glucomannan acts on constipation, that state where the stool becomes very hard (because it is not evacuated) which causes a great obstruction in the intestine and intense pain.
How does konjac glucomannan really work? Facilitating and accelerating intestinal transit, as well as the intestinal mucosa, noting that it helps with the texture of feces, absorbing water and becoming very soft to pass through the intestines, it’s as simple as fiber prevents constipation.
Important: A study mentions the following: “glucomannan increases the viscosity of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract, which, at the stomach level, delays gastric emptying.” (3)
5. Promotes weight loss
Konjac glucomannan is well known, for being a great element to combat obesity (weight loss or losing weight), through the long chain of burning free fatty acids , the low formation of cholesterol and even boosting metabolism .
To highlight: It has another point in favor and that is that it has the ability to delay gastrointestinal emptying, thus managing to control feelings of hunger (causing a feeling of satiety), helping in the absorption of liquids for this, thus favoring way to lose weight and lose weight correctly.
6. Increases the absorption of minerals
Konjac glucomannan has the ability to not reduce the absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium or copper. They are necessary minerals for the body and can even help in the formation of bone tissue in the body.
Note: This occurs due to an action called bioavailability, being a state of degree and speed with which a drug or metabolite accesses to take action in the system, thereby helping in the transformation of various components , providing energy to the body.
7. Decreases inflammation
Glucomannan has a certain degree of antioxidants in its composition, being ideal to prevent oxidation of cells , tissues and also to deal with inflammation that occurs in areas such as the intestine (gastrointestinal system).
You should know: Being a component that prevents constipation and, above all, hydrates various organs of the system, it is easy to deduce how it prevents inflammation caused by obstructed tracts and irritation in the colon or stomach, for this fiber acts positively .
How is glucomannan taken?
Glucomannan is obtained in two specific ways , both are of equal degree of importance, with the same components but they come in different forms, you choose your preference. These are the ways to take it:
This is the way we get it for the gastronomy area, as a food supplement, glucomannan powder is extracted from the root of the Amorphophallus konjac bulb , it is very easy to get and has a higher concentration of its properties.
Note: It is widely consumed in dishes such as noodles and a large number of pastas (as main meals), it can also be added or used for special flours, finally drinks or juices can be created with this powder, whether warm or cold ( two glasses of water is enough).
This is another very typical way to get glucomannan, these should always be endorsed by recognized brands or that are of organic origin, to prevent unnecessary side effects .
The ideal is to take specific doses for adults (without exceeding 2 doses in a case of diabetes), as well as maintaining the rhythm of 2 to 4 grams per day.
What are the health risks of glucomannan?
Why do we say that the doses of this drug cannot be exceeded? or also Why should it be consumed with well-known and high-quality brands? The answer is because unlike other food supplements, it carries risks if it is not consumed properly. Such risks are the following:
1. Intestinal obstruction and severe constipation
Glucomannan is an element with a probiotic effect , that is, it is composed of live microorganisms that serve as a food supplement, which is why in certain organisms it can cause severe abdominal pain , accompanied by constipation and intestinal tract obstruction.
Important: If this happens, you must stop the diet and see a nutritionist or doctor for adequate prescriptions.
2. Decrease in the assimilation of nutrients
This element absorbs the bile salts that are lodged in the intestinal tract, so it can reduce the absorption of nutrients such as vitamins , especially vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K, therefore it warns of the number of grams that Are consumed. However, the number of grams does not affect the minerals absorbed .
3. Avoid its use during childhood, pregnancy and lactation
It is not known for sure what happens with this element during pregnancy and lactation, therefore it is not required for women in these states , the health of the fetus is paramount. Also glucomannan is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
4. Avoid its use in case of esophageal conditions
The use of glucomannan, even capsules, should be prevented if you suffer from esophageal problems, since this drug can cause obstruction due to the hydration effect it causes , which can extend to the level of the esophagus. It is advisable not to take it during these stages.
- Glucomannan is a supplement from the konjac root of Asian origin.
- It is used as a treatment for weight loss, stimulation of intestinal transit and generating a feeling of satiety.
- Its consumption is in powder presentation or pharmaceutical capsules.
- It should be noted that it has certain risks and side effects if not taken with caution.