A lot of people today want to shed unwanted pounds via various techniques, people who want to play safe go for diet plans like this which are 100% safe and others take a different route.

However, decades of research suggests that changing the lifestyle is the effective way to lose weight and to accomplish that Diet plans come in handy.

This article takes a detailed look at the science behind glucomannan(Konjac) and also throws light on stuidies conducted to check the safety and effectiveness of glucomannan

What Exactly is Glucomannan?

Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide or Dietary fiber obtained from the root of Konjac also known as Elephant Yam,which is native to Asia. Preliminary evidence suggests that Glucomannan may promote weight loss.

Products containing glucomannan, marketed under a variety of brand names, are also sold as nutritional supplements for constipation, obesity, high cholesterol, acne vulgaris and type 2 diabetes(1)

Glucomannan comprises 40% by dry weight of the roots, or corm, of the konjac plant. Another culinary source is salep, ground from the roots of certain orchids and used in Turkish cuisine.

The main ingredient of shirataki noodles is Glucomannan and it is also available as supplement, in drink mixes and is also added to food products, such as pasta and flour.

Glucomannan weight lossHow does Glucomannan help in Weight Loss?

Fiber has low energy content. Adding it to the diet, therefore,lowers the energy-to-weight ratio of the food that is consumed.

Since studies suggest that eating patterns are consistent with respect to weight of food consumed rather than calories consumed, fiber can displace the energy of other nutrients for a given weight of food, yet still induce satiety(state of being full)

Soluble fibers reduce fat and protein absorption,possibly by limiting their physical contact with the intestinal villi.

Because this energy loss may be offset by the energy produced through the fermentation of soluble fibers and nutrients trapped in the colon.

however, the mechanisms of fecal energy loss remain unclear.Considerable evidence suggests that soluble fiber inhibits carbohydrate absorption and improves glycemic parameters.

Does it Really Work?

Two other short-term studies conducted during a 3-4 month period in obese children and adults found that 2-4 g of GM per day in conjunction with balanced or hypocaloric diets resulted in significant weight loss in the GM-treated groups.

Similarly, substantial weight loss was achieved in 2,8-week clinical trials in obese children and adults on normocaloric or hypocaloric diets. In one of these studies, significant weight loss occurred in both groups with no significant differences between groups.

In the second study, the GM-and-hypocaloric group was more successful than the placebo-and-hypocaloric group in achieving weight loss.

Besides reducing weight, GM also reduced total cholesterol(TC), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and/or increased HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) in several ofthe studies.
Other beneficial effects reported were increased satiety, relief of constipation, improved diet adherence, and improved glycemic status.

Adverse effects were minimal and included a few reports of mild bloating or flatulence and diarrhea, causing 2 participants to drop out of one study.

Safety and Toxicity of Glucomannan:
Glucomannan is available in capsule form, as a drink mix, and in food products, including flour and pasta. It is no longer available in tablet form, as contact with water can cause the tablets to swell before they reach the stomach.

There have been 9 case reports of esophageal obstruction caused by ingestion of GM tablets.There have been no reports of esophageal obstruction associated with ingestion of GM capsules, presumably because the outer casing shields the fiber from water before it reaches the stomach.

Glucomannan jelly candies have been implicated in several choking deaths around the world and have been banned in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Few adverse events have been associated with the use of glucomannan capsules. Most events involved minor gastrointestinal complaints, such as bloating, gas, and mild diarrhea.

Glucomannan has been shown to lower blood glucose levels and should not be taken in association with medications or other dietary supplements that have hypoglycemic effects.

Source: From here

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