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Is Glucomannan For Weight Loss Effective?
There are weight loss supplements hitting the shelves seemingly every hour. Every time you turn on your computer there’s a new weight loss supplement that’s being touted as the answer to your prayers.
And now, Dr. Oz throws one more at us.
According to the good Doctor, Glucomannan is one of the best ways to control hunger and is the best appetite suppressant available.
Is this true? Well, Dr. Oz says so and so far he hasn’t turned out to be a snake oil salesman like some other tv doctors.
Let’s take a closer look at this “miracle supplement” to see if it really does do all that it’s supposed to.
First, What In The World Is This Stuff?
Glucomannan is a sugar made from the root of the konjac plant (Amorphophallus konjac). Glucommanan powder, capsules, and tablets are used as medicine.
Glucomannan is used for constipation, weight loss in adults and children, type 2 diabetes, blood sugar control, and lowering cholesterol.
In foods, glucomannan is used as a thickener or gelling agent. Glucommanan flour and powder are used in food. (source)
And How Does It Work?
Studies have not completely confirmed how it works but it may work by absorbing water in the stomach and intestines to form a bulky fiber. This is thought to treat constipation. Also it helps slow down the aborption of cholesterol and sugar in the stomach. This controls sugar levels in diabetes and reduces levels of cholesterol.
But how does it work for weight loss?
Because it supposedly soaks up water in the intestines it reduces the absorption of carbohydrates thus helping a person lose weight. It also, according to Dr. Oz, helps you feel full without being bloated or gassy.
There is some evidence to support these claims.
In 2007, a study in the British Journal Of Nutrition found that participants lost 10 pounds in 16 weeks taking a supplement combination of glucomannan and psyllium husk. This was in comparison to a placebo group who only lost an average of 1.7 pounds over the course of the study.
Another study found that its participants lost, on average, almost 6 pounds over 8 weeks without making any other changes to their diet or lifestyle other than taking the glucomannan supplement.
How To Take It Safely
There are several ways to get glucomannan. It comes in powder, food, and supplement form.
Food: You may have heard of “miracle noodles.” These noodles are probably the most famous product that contains glucomannan.
Supplements: The supplement form is the most convenient BUT it’s also the form that’s more likely to cause side effects (like throat blockage mentioned before).
Powder: This is great for those of you who make smoothies. It adds a thick consistency.
Now, there are no additives, chemicals or drugs in glucomannan but you still need to make sure and be careful when using it. Experts recommend drinking plenty of water when consuming it. The fiber can “thicken up” in your intestines and even block your throat. Also, because it’s a “cleanse” you may want to take a small amount at first to see how your body handles it (you do NOT want to take it before going out on a Saturday night).
Experts recommend that you take the powder or supplement about a half-hour before you eat (make sure you drink water with it).