Glucomannan is a natural substance that is one of the most clinically studied weight loss ingredients. It is used in a majority of leading appetite suppressing weight loss supplements. How does it work for weight loss? Read on.
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Glucomannan for Weight Loss
Does glucomannan work for weight loss or is its reputation for appetite suppression more to do with hype than results? You may be surprised at the answer.
Although a lot of diet pill ingredients are not as good as supplement manufacturers claim, glucomannan is one of the exceptions.
Its abilities have been subjected to extensive research and there is plenty of data that shows it’s a weight loss ingredient that works.
In fact, when it comes to its abilities as an appetite suppressant, glucomannan’s credentials are as good as they come. It used to some of today’s most effective weight loss pills.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has evaluated all the most credible studies and confirm consuming glucomannan before meals can help you to lose weight.
GLUCOMANNAN IS A GEL LIKE SUBSTANCE – IT CAN SWELL UP TO 20 TIMES ITS ORIGINAL SIZE AND HELP CREATE A FEELING OF FULLNESS IN THE STOMACH
What is Glucomannan?
Glucomannan is a water-soluble fiber that comes from the roots of a plant.
The plant has many names including Voodoo Lilly and Elephant’s Ear, but its Latin name is Amorphophallus konjac, so it’s more commonly referred to as konjac.
The thing to remember is, regardless of whether you see it listed on the back of weight management products as konjac or glucomannan, the products contain the same thing.
Konjac is a perennial species that’s native to Japan, Indonesia, and several other Asian countries.
It’s valued as a food and praised for its medicinal capabilities.
Cooks sometimes use glucomannan flour to make low-calorie noodles and Asian healers have been using it to treat ailments such as asthma and skin disorders for over 2,000 years.
Using glucomannan for weight loss is a more recent thing. Two popular slimming products – LeanBean and Boombod use the ingredient in their formula. There is also the GP43 diet (Slim Me) from Gabriela Peacock.
How Does Glucomannan Help Weight Loss?
To say that glucomannan is good at absorbing water would be a ridiculous understatement.
Its fibers are capable of absorbing up to 50 times their own weight in water.
This is the ability that gives glucomannan such value as a weight loss aid.
When the fibers absorb water, they expand.
The absorption process happens quite quickly and the expanded fibers develop a gelatinous composition.
Consuming a sufficient quantity of glucomannan and water causes this jelly-like formation to develop and swell in the stomach.
This provides a feeling of satiety that reduces the desire for food.
The presence of the gelatinous mass also leaves very little room for food.
How to Use Glucomannan for Weight Loss
As with any other weight loss aid, good results require glucomannan be used in the correct way.
It’s not just a case of getting the quantity right.
You have to get the timing right as well.
Research suggests the best time to take glucomannan is around 30 minutes before meals.
You need to take three doses per day. That’s one before each of your main meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The thirty-minute delay between taking glucomannan and eating your meal gives the fibers and water sufficient time to combine and expand.
It also gives your stomach time to relay a message to the brain that says it feels full.
Most of the credible studies involved doses of 1,000 mg (1 g) of glucomannan, taken three times per day.
After it’s evaluation of the data, the EFSA agrees this is the optimum amount.
The has to be taken with one to two glasses of water.
If you don’t provide enough water, the gel will not expand by a sufficient amount and you won’t get the benefit of maximum appetite suppression.
The EFSA also stresses the need to use the supplement alongside a low-energy diet.
If you are using a glucomannan supplement as a weight loss aid, it’s important you take this advice.
If you want to lose weight, you need to create the right condition to force your body to begin burning its fat. It will only do this if it lacks the energy it needs.
The gel that forms when water and glucomannan combine reduces hunger and helps you to eat less.
However, eating less may not be enough if the food choices you make contain too much fat or sugar.
You need to work with the supplement, not against it.
Additional Ways Glucomannan May Help You to Lose Weight
It’s easy to put all your focus on glucomannan’s ability to suppress hunger, but there is a little more to the ingredient than that.
Another thing glucomannan may do is delay gastric emptying.
That’s just a clever way of saying it hangs around in the stomach for a while.
This allows you to retain a nice full feeling for a little longer.
Glucomannan also appears to reduce the absorption of protein and fat.
A gram of protein contains four calories.
A gram of fat contains nine.
Once you know this, it becomes clear why the way glucomannan seems to affect nutrient absorption may assist weight loss.
The other interesting thing about the ingredient is the way it can influence probiotic bacteria levels.
As you are probably aware, probiotic bacteria is the friendly kind of bacteria that occurs naturally in the intestines.
It works against less desirable forms of bacteria that can cause ill health.
“Probiotic” has become a buzzword with people who take an active interest in their health and fitness.
Many people buy probiotic yogurts and yogurt drinks to add extra good bacteria to their guts.
Glucomannan provides a special type of fiber known as prebiotic fiber. It’s the type of fiber probiotic bacteria feeds upon.
Consuming prebiotic fibers like glucomannan can be a good way to encourage the good bacteria that is present in the gut to multiply.
Probiotic bacteria is associated with many health benefits.
It may also influence weight loss.
If “bad” bacteria levels become overly high, it can slow metabolism leading to weight gain.
A slow metabolism also makes it harder to lose weight.
By feeding the probiotic bacteria, glucomannan may indirectly influence weight loss by helping the good bacteria maintain the upper hand.
A Look at Some of the Research Data
There is such a multitude of studies to choose from, it’s difficult to pick which ones to reference in an article such as this but let’s take a look at one example.
Researchers at the University of Tromsø in Norway selected 176 volunteers. They gave some of them a placebo and the rest of them a glucomannan supplement.
The volunteers who got glucomannan were further segregated into three more groups.
Some of them got supplements that only provided glucomannan and the rest got a combination of glucomannan and guar gum or alginate (both dietary fibers).
All the volunteers adhered to the same low-calorie diet.
The resulting data shows all the volunteers who received glucomannan achieved greater levels of weight loss than the placebo group.
The data also shows glucomannan was more effective when used alone instead of being combined with the other dietary fibers.
In the words of the scientists in charge of the study, “Glucomannan induced body weight reduction in healthy overweight subjects, whereas the addition of guar gum and alginate did not seem to cause additional loss of weight.”
Many other studies are similarly interesting.
When the EFSA did its evaluation, it examined the studies focusing on the weight loss capabilities of glucomannan along with several studies aiming to establish its value in other areas.
The EFSA does not support all the claims made for glucomannan but it states there is a “cause and effect relationship” that shows consuming glucomannan as part of a low-calorie diet aids body weight reduction.
The EFSA also supports the claims made for glucomannan’s ability to help sustain healthy cholesterol levels. (https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1798)
Glucomannan for Weight Loss – Conclusion
Research has established a relationship between glucomannan and weight loss.
It’s a valid supplement ingredient that works by providing hunger suppression.
However, it’s important to remember it can only provide maximum benefits if you take it three times per day in doses that provide at least one gram of pure glucomannan.
It’s also important to take the supplement with an adequate quantity of water.
Failing to do so will limit fiber expansion, thereby reducing the amount of appetite suppression the ingredient can deliver.
Taking glucomannan with insufficient water may also cause constipation.
Due to its highly absorbent nature, any glucomannan that reaches the intestines but is not in a fully hydrated state will continue to attempt to soak up additional moisture. This can make the feces become drier and harder to pass.
When used in a responsible way, glucomannan is a safe weight loss ingredient that should not present any negative issues.
However, if you have any existing health issues or have doubts about the ingredient’s suitability for you, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before using glucomannan.
The same can be said for supplements in general.
Glucomannan Weight Loss FAQ’s
When immersed in water it can swell to 20x its original size. Inside your stomach glucomannan swells and creates a feeling of fullness (satiety). This reduces appetite which in turn reduces calorie intake and results in weight loss.
It is perfectly safe in taken in accordance with the product guidelines and usage instruction.
No, it is a natural ingredient and so can be bought over the counter or online as a natural weight loss supplement.