Glucomannan – Health Benefits, Usage, Side effects

Made from the root of the Konjac Plant, Glucomannan is a dietary fiber used as medicine in the form of Glucomannan powder, capsules, and tablets.

It is considered to be a medication for a wide variety of issues like constipation, Diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, among others.

Glucomannan is also used as a thickener or a gelling agent in food.

Additionally, the uses of Glucomannan powder and flour have also been found.

Glucomannan Konjac Plant

What is Glucomannan?

It is essentially a water-soluble natural fiber that works by absorbing extra water in the stomach to form heavier fibers, which treat constipation.

Additionally, it also slows down the absorption of sugar and cholesterol in the intestines and thus keeping the cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check.

Benefits of Glucomannan 

  • Constipation

Constipation is a common problem in older adults, and recently, even children. Constipation hinders bowel movements and thus does not let the excretory waste get out of the system.

Taking it in the form of powder or capsules helps in absorbing the excess water and relieves constipation in adults. It is also supposed to work in children, but research shows that it is not as efficient in children.

  • Diabetes

Diabetes is another very common, but serious issue faced by adults. Diabetes is aggravated by high blood sugar levels in the body.

Glucomannan, when taken by mouth, slows down the absorption of sugar in the gut and thus keeps the blood sugar level under check.

Since high blood sugar levels are the prime reason for Diabetes, Glucomannan, by controlling blood sugar levels, effectively prevents Diabetes.

  • Cholesterol

Glucomannan is a medicine that should be taken by people with low cholesterol, as it improves cholesterol levels. It is also effective in reducing high cholesterol.

It is a wonder drug when it comes to cholesterol. Usually, cholesterol medication increases or lowers cholesterol levels in the body. Glucomannan balances it out. If one is suffering from high or low cholesterol, Glucomannan will balance the levels

  • DumpingSyndrome

Dumping Syndrome or rapid gastric emptying is a phenomenon by which food travels to the intestines from the stomach, too quickly, and in the process leads the body to create large amounts of insulin, which in turn can drastically reduce blood sugar levels.

For people with this condition, oral consumption of Glucomannan helps to keep the blood sugar levels from falling after a meal.

  • Reduces Obesity

Like a lot of health issues on this list, obesity is fast becoming a major problem.

Some researches show that oral consumption of the Glucomannan acts as a catalyst in weight loss processes in overweight or obese adults and children. It is seen to be having a considerable effect on weight loss programs.

  • Effect on Lipids

Multiple studies show that Konjac Mannan or Glucomannan has a profound impact on lipid metabolism, both in animal and clinical trials. Consumption of Glucomannan has, in multiple tests, reduced the levels of plasma cholesterol and increased bile secretion.

  • Lung Cancer

Although there is no clinical data to prove that Glucomannan prevents lung cancer, there are multiple animal tests that show a drastic reduction from 70.87% to 19.38% in lung cancer rates in animals fed with Konjac Mannan. Hence even though not clinically proven, Glucomannan is expected to reduce the chances of Lung Cancer.

  • Immunization and Anti-allergic

Consumption of Glucomannan has been seen to increase antioxidant and antioxidant levels, along with acting as an anti-allergic by decreasing lgE levels and preventing allergic Rhinitis and Dermatitis.

  • Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism or Overactive Thyroid is a condition that increases thyroid hormone levels in people. Glucomannan, along with methimazole and propranolol, reduces the levels of thyroid hormones.

Usage of Glucomannan

According to studies, a dose of around 2-4 g per day of Glucomannan is recommended for its effects to take place.

It is best to take it about 15 minutes or an hour before any major meal.

It is important to have a Glucomannan supplement with about 1-2 glasses of water to ensure reaches the stomach before it starts to expand. It is best to check the content of Glucomannan when purchasing supplements to ensure that they are of the right dosage.

 Side Effects

  • Diabetes 

Even though the consumption of this product has been seen to help diabetic patients, it is imperative to monitor blood sugar levels in diabetic patients taking it.

It has been found that Glucomannan can interfere with blood sugar levels, and if it is not monitored, it might fall too much, causing severe complications.

  • Surgery

If one has a surgery scheduled, the consumption of Glucomannan can be cause problems because it might interfere with blood sugar levels.

Fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause complications during and after the surgery. Consumption of it should be stopped at least two weeks before surgery.

  • Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the mother’s body is usually very fragile and susceptible to slight changes in its environment. This warrants extra caution during pregnancy.

There is not enough evidence available through clinical studies that show that Glucomannan is safe for pregnant women, and therefore it is advisable to stop taking it during pregnancy.

  • Solid Tablets

Glucomannan consumption results in bloating in the stomach, which helps with a number of issues and disorders like obesity, constipation, cholesterol levels, and others.

However, since Glucomannan comes as tablets, it should be taking rather carefully so that it does not bloat before it reaches the stomach.

If the tablet bloats in the esophagus before reaching the stomach, it will block the food canal as well as the air canal. Hence it is necessary to consume Glucomannan tablets with one or two glasses of water or other liquids.

  • FunctionalGastrointestinal Disorder

Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder is a disorder seen mostly in children.

This particular issue causes stomach pains, bloating, and even cramping, among other things, in children. Though Glucomannan was used to try and treat the pain, bloating, and cramping in children with functional gastrointestinal disorders, it did not seem to have the desired effect.

Conclusion

Glucomannan is essentially a good weight loss supplement. It is natural, fibrous, and acts as a catalyst in reducing weight.

it can also be used to treat constipation and cholesterol, among other disorders.

Still, not enough clinical evidence is available to suggest that it is the one-stop solution for all the problems.

It  has specific side effects and is not proven to be effective against everything it is used for.

Therefore it should be consumed with caution and under Doctor Supervision. it is a good medicine if appropriately used, and can offer a lot of health benefits in the long term.

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