Diet and Nutrition 2022

Glucomannan: what é, what it is for and how to take it

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Glucomannan: what é, what it is for and how to take it
Glucomannan: what é, what it is for and how to take it

Glucomannan or glucomannan is a polysaccharide, that is, it is a non-digestible plant fiber, soluble in water and is extracted from Konjac root, which is a medicinal plant scientifically called Amorphophallus konjac, widely consumed in Japan and in China.

This fiber is a natural appetite suppressant because together with water it forms a gel in the digestive system that delays gastric emptying, being excellent for fighting hunger and emptying the intestines, decreasing abdominal bloating and improving, as a result., constipation. Glucomannan is sold as a nutritional supplement in he alth food stores, some pharmacies, and online in powder or capsule form.

What is it for

Glucomannan helps you lose weight because it is rich in soluble fiber, providing several he alth benefits and can be used for several purposes:

  • Promote the feeling of satiety, as this fiber delays gastric emptying and intestinal transit, helping to control hunger. Some studies indicate that this effect may favor weight loss;
  • Regulate the metabolism of fats, helping to reduce the levels of free fatty acids and cholesterol in the blood. For this reason, consuming glucomannan may help lower your risk of heart disease;
  • Regular intestinal transit, as it favors the increase in stool volume and promotes the growth of the intestinal microbiota, as it exerts a prebiotic effect, helping to combat constipation;
  • Help control blood sugar levels, being beneficial in controlling diabetes;
  • Promote anti-inflammatory effect in the body. The ingestion of glucomannan can decrease the production of pro-inflammatory substances, mainly in atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis, however more is needed studies that prove this effect;
  • Increase bioavailability and absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc;
  • Preventing colorectal cancer, as it is rich in soluble fiber that acts as a prebiotic, maintaining bacterial flora and protecting the intestine.

Furthermore, glucomannan can also improve inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, as apparently the intake of this soluble fiber helps fight pathogenic microorganisms, stimulates healing of the intestine, regulates the immune system functioning and improves the ability to generate a systemic immune response.

How to take it

To use glucomannan, it is important to read the instructions on the label, and the amount to be taken varies according to the amount of fiber that the product has.

It is usually recommended to take from 500 mg to 2g a day, in two separate doses, along with 2 glasses of water at home, because water is essential for the action of fibers. The best time to take this fiber is 30 to 60 minutes before your main meals. The maximum dose is 4 grams per day. The use of dietary supplements must be accompanied by a he alth professional such as a doctor or nutritionist.

Side effects and contraindications

When not enough water is taken, the stool can become very dry and hard, causing severe constipation, and even intestinal obstruction, a very serious situation, which requires immediate medical intervention, but to avoid this complication should be taken each capsule with 2 large glasses of water.

Glucomannan capsules should not be taken at the same time as any other medication, as it may impair their absorption. They should also not be taken by children, during pregnancy, lactation, and in case of obstruction of the esophagus.

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