If you’ve landed on this page you probably here to find out what glucomannan is and how it helps with weight loss. Above all else, you are may want to know if it’s a natural weight loss aid that works.
The good news is, it’s not all hype. Glucomannan does work. Plenty of clinical trials prove it’s a natural fiber supplement that can control hunger and help you to lose weight.
However, although glucomannan is a good ingredient it doesn’t mean that every product that contains it will work. Some weight loss supplements don’t contain enough glucomannan to get the job done.
By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know what glucomannan is and have a good understanding of the things that it can do. This knowledge will help you to evaluate the glucomannan weight loss supplements you are considering using and decide if they can do what you want them to do.
What is Glucomannan?
The glucomannan manufacturers put in diet pills and other types of weight management supplements comes from the roots of an Asian plant. It’s called konjac (Amorphophallus konjac).
Konjac is cultivated in several countries including China, Japan, and Indonesia. People living in these countries have a number of interesting names for the plant such as Voodoo lily, devil’s tongue, and elephant yam.
The roots of the plant are bulbous. Digging them up is a little like harvesting small potatoes and, like potatoes, konjac “corms” are often used as food.
Milling the corms produces a flour that is a key ingredient in Japanese Shirataki noodles. It’s also used in fruit jelly snacks and as a vegan-friendly substitute for gelatin.
In the west, the processed konjac roots are primarily used as an ingredient in weight loss supplements.
How Does Glucomannan Help You to Lose Weight?
Glucomannan provides water-soluble natural fiber and the fiber’s ability to absorb liquid is nothing short of incredible. It can absorb up to 50 times its own weight in water.
When water and glucomannan fibers combine, the moisture causes the fibers to expand considerably and become gelatinous.
Let’s try and paint a more visual picture. If you were to toss a glucomannan capsule into a large glass of water, the water would quickly transform into a gel.
It’s this super-absorbency, coupled with the expansion of the fibers, that gives glucomannan such great value as a weight loss aid.
When you buy a glucomannan supplement, you always take it with plenty of water. That’s a must. Doing so causes the gel to form in the stomach.
The presence of such a large volume of gel satiates appetite and makes the stomach feel full. This causes the stomach to relay a signal that tells the brain it has had enough food. The brain responds to this by reducing appetite. Any hunger pangs you may have had will start dwindling in the same way as they do when you fill your belly with food.
Apart from making the stomach feel full, glucomannan may also delay gastric emptying. That’s just a fancy way of saying it sticks around for a while, allowing its appetite-suppressing benefits to last a little longer.
Fortunately, glucomannan contains hardly any calories. That means consuming it provides the body with very little energy at all.
The amount of glucomannan supplements provide is enough to reduce hunger. Obviously, you still need to eat food to obtain nutrients and energy. Good glucomannan appetite suppressing products can help you to keep your calorie intake low enough to encourage fat burning. They are designed to work alongside a nutritious, low-calorie diet and help you to lose weight in a safe and natural way.
Glucomannan and Weight Loss: Proof that it Works
There is a lot of research that proves glucomannan’s value as an appetite suppressant and weight-loss aid.
I could provide an outline of some studies and then provide some links but it would serve little purpose. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has evaluated all the important evidence and confirms glucomannan’s value.
The EFSA is a trustworthy source and its experts will have examined all the data with an extremely critical eye. Protecting the health of consumers is one of the main reasons the EFSA exists.
After evaluating all the most important glucomannan clinical trials, the EFSA found “a statistically significant effect of glucomannan on body weight loss in the context of a hypocaloric diet when administered as a pre-load before meals.”
In easy-speak, that means the EFSA is saying the evidence shows people who follow a low-calorie diet and consume glucomannan before meals should find they begin losing more weight.
However, the EFSA is very clear about the importance of using glucomannan correctly. The correct way being the same way the people were using it when they lost weight in clinical trials.
That means you will need to supplement with a similar amount of glucomannan and using a similar dosing schedule. You will also need to take the same (responsible) approach to weight loss instead of hoping the supplement will do all the work for you.
The EFSA says people who want to lose weight with glucomannan need to do four things:
- Consume at least 3 gram of glucomannan per day
- Take the glucomannan three times per day, in 1-gram doses, before meals
- Take the supplement with 1-2 glasses of water
- Use the supplement alongside a low-calorie diet
If a supplement provides the correct dose and you use it in the way the EFSA recommends, you should find your hunger is under control and you are losing weight faster.
The EFSA also evaluated several other health claims made for glucomannan. You can READ THE FULL REPORT HERE. It’s 27 pages long but you can find most of the information you need on the second page.
Needless to say, if you are keeping active and getting plenty of exercise, it will help you to lose weight faster still. However, if you have health limitations that prevent exercise you will still be able to lose weight and remain free from hunger. (Do You Have to Exercise to Lose Weight?)
Additional Usage Considerations
Timing is everything with a supplement like this. You need to give the fibers adequate time to expand, but don’t want to leave too long a gap between taking glucomannan and eating your meal. Timing recommendations range from 15 minutes to an hour so if you wait half-an-hour before eating you should be about right.
However, the best course of action will be to read the label on your chosen product and follow the instructions you find there.
Possibility of Side Effects
If you have read this far and examined the EFSA report, by now you should understand how glucomannan works and what it can do. Before you consider using glucomannan though, there are still a few things you need to consider.
First of all, glucomannan is a safe ingredient to use. If it wasn’t the EFSA would be telling you to stay away. Nevertheless, there is still a small chance a minority of users may experience side effects or other negative issues.
If you don’t heed the recommendation to drink adequate water, you probably won’t get the full benefits and may struggle to lose weight. You may also find you become constipated. Glucomannan fibers are so absorbent, if they arrive in the intestines in a partially hydrated state they will try to suck up extra moisture from your feces. This may cause it to dry out and become harder. As the EFSA so rightly stresses, you need to use glucomannan in the correct way.
Under no circumstances should you try to swallow glucomannan diet pills dry. If they become stuck in your throat and expand, they may cause choking and/or block your throat.
It’s uncommon but a few people find using glucomannan products makes them feel bloated, give them gas, or cause diarrhea. Again, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact such reactions are rare.
If bloating occurs, the best course of action may be to take a lesser dose and see how you feel.
Glucomannan can also interfere with the way your body absorbs certain medications. That means, if you are taking medication you may have to time your doses in a different way than you normally do.
There’s no good guessing with things like this though. Nor is it wise to take chances. If you use medication don’t use glucomannan without getting advice from your doctor first. There is no substitute for professional advice.
Why Do Some People Say Glucomannan Doesn’t Work?
When you are searching for a good glucomannan product and read customer reviews, you may say people who say certain products don’t work. You will also see plenty of people saying they do. How can this be?
This type of negative feedback is often left by people who don’t understand how calories work and don’t know how to create a sensible eating plan. Glucomannan suppresses appetite and helps you to eat less but eating less is not enough. You can still gain weight if the food you do eat is too high in sugar and/or saturated fats.
Another problem is, some people don’t keep track of what they are eating. Because of this, they are eating a more than they think.
Then, of course, there are the ones who are looking for a magic pill or a bag of pixie dust. They may eat a little less and make token gestures at exercise but they want a pill that will do the real hard work for them. That’s never going to happen.
The other thing to remember is when we regularly overeat the stomach stretches and becomes capable of holding a greater volume of food. That makes it easier to eat more. A greater space is also harder to fill.
The EFSA suggests a dose of at least 1 gram of glucomannan three times per day, but people who stretched their stomachs a lot and find 1 gram does not sufficiently quell their appetite may need to take more.
This isn’t so surprising. It all comes down to a matter of volume. It’s the same when you are repairing a damaged wall. Bigger holes need more filling.
How to Choose a Good Glucomannan Supplement
Some supplements combine glucomannan with other ingredients. Doing so can result in additional benefits, such as faster metabolism and increases in fat-loss. It can also increase the chances of side effects. Be aware of that and take care.
Glucomannan pills and powders are not hard to get hold off. If you pop down to your local pharmacy you will probably find a few different options and the pharmacist will be able to offer advice.
It’s also easy to buy glucomannan products online. You will find some of the product you see provide close to double the amount the EFSA recommends. A lot of people will find such options make them feel bloated, but they could be perfect for anyone who has a very big stomach to fill.
If you choose to go with glucomannan appetite suppressing diet pills, you will probably find you need to take two (500 mg) capsules, three times a day. It would be hard for manufacturers to cram a full gram of the ingredient into a single capsule. Even if they succeeded, such a big capsule would be very hard to swallow.
Some people find it a struggle to swallow pills, even if they are quite small. If you have this type of problem you may be better off choosing glucomannan powder instead.
If you choose a powder, you will need to mix it with water or low-calorie fruit juice and drink it quickly, before it becomes too thick. Wait too long and you may find yourself eating it with a spoon.
If you want to buy glucomannan online, Amazon has several good options, and, as if often the case, a lot of the options are very competitively priced. Click HERE* if you want to begin a search.