Glucomannan is a sugar made from the root of the konjak/konjac plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Japanese cooking as a thickener or gelling agent.
It is quite popular in the land of the rising sun and they have given it a nickname “The broom of the intestines”. Glucomannan creates a sense of fullness by absorbing water and expanding to form a bulky fiber in your stomach with intake of just a few calories.
Now, the question arises – how does it help to reduce or lose weight?
When consumed, glucomannan sponges or absorbs the water present in the digestive tract there by reducing the absorption of carbohydrates and cholesterol which gradually leads to a individuals weight loss.
Glucomannan supplements also makes you full without creating gases and leaving you bloated.
The research about it effectiveness is on but United States Food and Drug Administration i.e. FDA has not given its approval to any of the glucomannan products health or weight loss claims, though the results of research till now looks promising.
The usage is such that no harsh chemicals, strange type of drugs and additives is there and glucomannan powder or flour and capsules are considered “likely safe” to use as an appetite suppressant. This does not necessarily mean that glucomannan is free of any side effects.
To list a few – solid tablets containing glucomannan are possibly unsafe as they sometimes cause blockages of the throat or intestines; Pregnancy and breast feeding : not enough information is known about the use of glucomannan during pregnancy so stay on the safer side by avoiding the usage in any form; if a person is diabetic, he/she needs to monitor the blood sugar levels very closely as glucomannan may interfere with blood sugar control ; glucomannan may also interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. So it is advisable to stop using glucomannan at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Don’t forget that you need to be vigilant about drinking enough water. With every gram of glucomannan 8 ounces of water is advisable, so keep on sipping water to keep safe.
If you don’t drink enough water, the fiber can literally gum up your digestive system, causing intestinal blockages and in sometimes in few rare cases can also lead to choking in the throat.
Also, always remember that blessing to few can be a curse for others, so if you plan to go on a glucomannan diet, start slowly and work up to the complete dosage and see how your body handles it.
Now again, when you start trying glucomannan then experts recommend that one should take it 15 to 20 minutes prior to a meal and here again would like to remind you that you got to sip lots of water, really lots, as it will be your savior anyways.
To talk about dosage, scientific research states that for type 2 diabetes with high cholesterol : 3.6 to 10.6 grams of glucomannan per day is advised.
Glucomannan is possibly effective for:
1) Reducing cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.
2) It helps to control the blood sugar level in people with type 2 diabetes.
There is insufficient evidence available for:
2) Weight loss
3) High cholesterol when it is used with chitosan.
Glucomannan powder : it is practically tasteless. This can be great to be mixed with smoothies and other foods. It adds a great deal of nice consistency to the stuff.
Glucomannan in food products: the Japanese shirataki noodles often marketed in the name of “miracle noodles” are the most famous glucomannan food product. They are a little strange at first but are good enough to have. Various other products like gummy candies and chews are also available.
Glucomannan tablets: if one is really keen then probably the glucomannan tablets is something which is most convenient, if not the most tasty option though. However, while these are convenient but as mentioned before they are more likely to cause blockages of the throat and intestines.
To conclude, we can say that one can choose to take glucomannan as it has potential health benefits such as treatment of constipation, cholesterol and other lipids, type 2 diabetes and weight loss.