Losing weight is not an easy task. For instance, regular exercise and eating a balanced diet are its major tools. Thus, it takes commitment, patience, and perseverance to harvest its fruit. But admit it! Long-term weight loss is sometimes not fulfilling that you look for a short-term process. If you want an immediate fat loss, liposuction is one method to consider. But a safer and cheaper method than that is in the form of supplements.
Several kinds of supplements are now endorsed in the market, promising for a faster weight loss. Included in these marketed supplements is glucomannan. Glucomannan promotes a natural dietary fiber which may be effective in eliminating some unwanted pounds.
Let’s take a look at how real it is.
Glucomannan: An Effective Weight Loss Supplement?
Konjac or the elephant yam is the source of glucomannan. It offers a water-soluble dietary fiber which source is the elephant yam’s root. Glucomannan contains 40% of the elephant yam’s weight.
The supplement has many ways to use. You may either include it in your food or drinks. Typically, food products such as flour and pasta are where it is best partnered with.
Historically, the elephant yam is used in traditional foods such as noodles, tofu, and konjac jelly along the area of Southeast Asia. But it is also added in herbal mixtures.
Interestingly, the glucomannan product is not sold as a weight-loss supplement only but also an additive—it acts as an emulsifier.
Finally, the product has an exceptional ability to absorb water. In fact, a small amount can make an entire glass of water gel. Thus, it is considered as one of the most gelatinous dietary fibers. And it is believed that this ability of glucomannan is what makes it effective in losing weight.
How Does It Aid With Weight Loss?
Because the supplement is water-soluble dietary fiber, it has a lot to offer to promote weight loss. For instance:
It adds the feeling of fullness in your stomach, lowering your subsequent food intake in the process.
It has a lower capability in terms of the absorption of fat and protein.
Its calories are low
Your stomach does not empty easily, contributing to add up in its satiety property. Additionally, based on some animal studies, the supplement is good in promoting gut good bacteria, turning it into short-chain fatty acids. Thus, it protects your body against the absorption of fats.
Feeding the bacteria in your intestine is associated with other benefits. Some studies show that body weight and changed gut bacteria are correlated. But aside from these facts, glucomannan possesses the following that it makes it an effective weight-loss booster.
It improves blood sugar control
Controlling your blood sugar is crucial and glucomannan can impact in managing your blood sugar. As glucomannan helps with the level of satiety, it leads your sugar absorption in a gradual process. Additionally, it reduces the level of your blood sugar after you eat.
It lowers cholesterol
The supplement is not just an effective “pill” for boosting weight-loss, but also beneficial on overall cholesterol, triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and levels of blood sugar. The only down point does not have any effect on good cholesterol or blood pressure. Dr. Josh Axe, a co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, explains that by absorbing water in your gut, the gut is able to decrease its cholesterol absorption as well.
It relieves constipation
Eating a low amount of fiber causes constipation. And because glucomannan is a dietary fiber, it can promote a healthier gut, making you less constipated. The supplement is, in fact, a bulk-forming laxative which promotes bowel movement within 24 hours upon consumption. It works by improving your stools into a bulkier and larger one, making it easier for the colon to let through.
If you need a healthy balance between your gut bad and good bacteria, you need probiotics. But if you need a predecessor to probiotics, prebiotics got you. It is essential in feeding the good bacteria in the intestine. Once it enters the digestive tract, it will be digested for a long period. In actually, it cannot be easily broken down by the body. But once it reaches the colon, the microflora ferments it, and glucomannan in response produces probiotics.
Good Things About Glucomannan
The supplement has many advantages. Firstly, it is tasteless that it can be mixed in pasta or smoothies. Professionals just reminded that in selecting glucomannan powder, choose the 100% pure powder. Make sure it does not have additives or fillers. If you to make your own noodles using the glucomannan powder, or if you eat shirataki noodles, that is a better way to include glucomannan in our diet.
Adults usually take the capsules form of the supplement (though they take the powder form, too), and research finds out that either form is safe for them up to four months. Going beyond this period may cause some side effects though it is minor. Some side effects include bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea.
On the other hand, tablet glucomannan is considered unsafe both for adults and children. It may cause blockage in the throat or intestine.
Risks of Taking Glucomannan
First and foremost, experts advise taking glucomannan with water. Without water the supplement may expand even before getting in your digestive tract, resulting in blockage in the esophagus and throat areas.
Some minor side effects may also occur in some people. These include soft stools, flatulence, and bloating. However, there is a rare case of the side effect.
If you are taking certain medication(s) for specific medical conditions, glucomannan may interfere with your medications, thus ask your doctor first about taking it.
What is The Appropriate Dosage?
Compare with other dietary fiber supplements, glucomannan should take in a low dosage. It is because with water the supplement will expand greatly. Experts suggest starting as small as half a teaspoon which is equal to 2 grams. Take this measurement daily together with an 8 oz. of water 45 minutes before taking a meal. Perhaps you may increase the dosage gradually, as your body adjusts to the supplement. Or may ask your physician about it.