Glucomannan, a form of plant soluble fiber popularly being used as a food additive, has gained tremendous regard as a fat burning supplement. You must be having certain questions in mind: is it really true?
Glucomannan is a nutritional soluble fiber supplement, originates from the roots of Japanese elephant yam, and is also referred to as the plant Konjac. Glycomannan is nothing but a polysaccharide present in the roots of Amorphophallus Κonjac, a plant which grows in Asia. Glucomannan is an insoluble fiber that absorbs huge quantities of water in its molecule. It contains two well-known sugar forms such as β-D-glucose and β-D-mannose, molecules that bind to each other by means of β-1,4 glycosidic bonds.
Its major use is in food industry for thickening as well as emulsifying processed foods including pastas, tofu, and flours. But in recent years, glucomannan has been introduced in the market as a nutritious, high fiber weight loss supplement.
Glucomannan always claims to support fast as well as easy fat burning. Unluckily, a majority of nutritional supplements that make such promises end up being too good to be true. Not only do a majority of fast-acting weight loss supplements does not succeed to deliver on their claims, but a few may have side effects, including hindrance with calcium absorption.
Thus, glucomannan acts as a weight loss supplement by keeping your appetite satiated for longer duration of time. As we already discussed above, glucomannan is a soluble fiber supplement, in addition to having been constituted with the capability to absorb a ton of water. In fact, it is said to absorb almost 50 times its weight! This lets it to produce a gel-like consistency when it’s dissolved, similar to how your chia seeds inflate when you make a chia pudding. With the absorption of water, it produces a gel in the intestinal tract, generating a sensation of inflation as well as dispersion. This produces a feeling of less calorie intake, resulting in improved satiety.
The emulsifying properties of glucomannan makes it slowly digestible and lets it to expand slowly in your stomach, which might support a stronger sense of satiety, restrain your appetite as well as lower your cravings for detrimental foods.
Glucomannan Properties and Benefits
Polysaccharides, usually, are broken down by the enzymes of saliva as well as pancreas, in stomach and intestine, correspondingly. On the other hand, due to its chemical structure, the molecules of glucomannan fail to get broken down by human digestive enzymes, as a result passes moderately unchanged into the colon, where it is extremely fermented by colonic bacteria.
A number of research studies have revealed that as a plant fiber, glucomannan can also have an impact on the levels of cholesterol by lowering LDL and VLDL cholesterol in blood. As an insoluble plant fiber, glucomannan assists in normalizing the levels of blood glucose, chiefly by facilitating a reduction in the postprandial hyperglycemia.
Ultimately, as a plant fiber, glucomannan helps in improving the peristaltic gastrointestinal tract movements, enhances stool volume and promotes bowel motility, thus assisting to battle against constipation.
Attributable to the above features, research studies have found that supplementation with glucomannan adds to:
- Weight loss in overweight and obese individuals
- Increased satiety
- Treatment of constipation
- Decreased appetite for food and snacking
- A decrease in the levels of cholesterol, TGL and LDL cholesterol
- A decrease in the levels of postprandial glucose
More Glucomannan Health Benefits
We’ve talked about various weight loss supplements, but does it have any other health benefits that make it worth taking? The answer is yes: as a source of soluble fiber, it may make better your gut health.
Soluble fiber works as a prebiotic and helps to feed your healthy gut bacteria, which promotes your complete digestive health as well as immunity. When your healthy gut bacteria digest or “ferment” this fiber, they form a short-chained fatty acid named as butyrate. Butyrate has been found to make better your insulin sensitivity as well as checks off fat gain, which brings you back to the potential advantages of glucomannan as a weight loss supplement.
Soluble fiber works in a similar way as a prebiotic and feeds your healthy gut bacteria. While you can enhance your consumption of fiber with supplements like glucomannan, if you already follow a well-balanced diet, you’re most expected to already consuming ample of fiber from fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens, in other words, the requirement for a fiber supplement may not be essential.
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