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Glucomannan Review – Does It Work for Weight Loss?

By Rob Poulos...

When we search for supplements to help us lose weight, generally we look in 2 categories: fat burners or appetite supplements. It’s no big secret about fat burners, they feature tons of substances that include stimulants and other things that facilitate greater fat burning.

The method behind appetite suppressants however, isn’t so clear. Many of these pills feature a wide range of ingredients that most of us have never heard of. Today we’re going to talk about one such ingredient; glucomannan.

Sold as capsules, powders or tablets, this supplement is purported be an effective appetite suppressant. Keep reading to find out how.

What Is It?

Glucomannan comes from the root of the konjac plant, a plant native to Asia. In fact Chinese medicine and Japanese cuisine often use the konjac plant.

[This is glucomannan before it gets turned to powder or pills.]

Glucomannan is a fiber, a water soluble fiber made up of glucose (sugar) and mannose, which is another form of sugar. Proponents of this substance tout it as having the best viscosity rate and highest molecular weight of any of the dietary fibers.

How Does It Work?

Many point to glucomannan as an appetite suppressant because of its high rate of water absorption. Additionally it becomes quite large during absorption, which gives you the sensation of feeling full.

In addition to making you feel satisfied, this substance is supposed to slow down the rate at which your stomach is emptied so you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Another by product of feeling fuller longer, is that you won’t eat as frequently or as much which will inevitably reduce the amount of calories and fat and sugar you consume throughout the day.

There have been studies pointing to the effectiveness of glucomannan for weight loss; however they were published in 1984 and 2008, respectively. The 1984 study involved 20 obese subjects who made no dietary or lifestyle changes. Over the course of 8 weeks, subjects were given 1 gram one hour before each meal. During that time the test group experienced an average of 5 ½ pounds of weight loss.

The 2008 study did rely on obese subjects, however the study produced no weight loss results. What it did reveal however is helpful for overweight and obese individuals because glucomannan induces satiety to help with weight loss. This study also revealed that the risk of cardiovascular diseases and LDL cholesterol was greatly decreased.

Is It Safe?

Many of these appetite suppressants fall under dietary aids that are not heavily regulated properly so it can be difficult to tell how much of each ingredient is contained within it. This also means it can have unintended negative side effects for certain consumers.

One of the most important things to remember about taking glucomannan is that it must be taken with at least 8 ounces of water for each dosage. Because of the way it works inside the body, blockages can occur that causes you to feel symptoms of dehydration.

Due to the risk of choking, it is advised that you do not consume it before bed because possible blockages can lead to choking. Additionally appetite suppressants of all varieties should only be taken prior to meals.

Diabetics should not take glucomannan as it may interfere with their ability to properly regulate blood sugar. Speak with your physician and monitor your blood sugar levels closely if you are considering taking this supplement.

Is It Effective?

Given all that is known about glucomannan the question everyone is asking is, does it work for weight loss?

Given that fiber is an essential part of any weight loss diet, it is quite possible that this substance may work to suppress your appetite and therefore reduce your energy intake. However as with all dietary supplements, glucomannan does not work in a vacuum; it must be part of a calorie controlled diet and regular physical activity.

[Add fiber and lots of activity and you’ll soon notice results without pills!]

Since this product has very few negative side effects you can take it without much risk, but there are easier ways to increase your fiber intake without the risk of blockages or choking.

Some of the very foods that will help you lose weight also happen to be quite high in fiber, as well as other nutrients that will keep you healthy and foster successful fat loss. Leafy green vegetables, peppers and cruciferous vegetables as well as fruits are also high in fiber. Whole grains like whole wheat bread and pasta and brown rice are also high fiber foods.

By adding these high fiber foods to your diet instead of taking supplements you can suppress your appetite so that you don’t eat too much between meals and feel satisfied by eating fewer calories. Products like glucomannan don’t force you to eat healthier foods that can help you lose weight, instead they promise that you can eat what you want and still lose weight, which is just a marketing ploy.

Hit your local grocery store and you can find all the appetite suppressants you need in the produce aisle.

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