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Glucomannan is what is known as a complex sugar and may lower blood sugar and cholesterol, in addition to helping to prevent constipation, fight off the signs of aging, and ease asthma symptoms (according to Chinese traditions). There is also early research evidence that it could help in a range of other areas, including protecting your skin, improving gut health, and managing weight.
As mentioned previously, glucomannan is a complex sugar. It is also a soluble fiber. The most common type you are likely to come across is konjac glucomannan. As you will probably be aware, this is the primary ingredient in our ZERO Noodles, rice, fettuccini, and lasagne. We also sell Zero Glucomannan Fiber.
Glucomannan is a kind of fiber originating from konjac plant roots and is helpful in quickly creating feelings of fullness. The glucomannan is taken from the tubers of this native Asian plant. Glucomannan can also come from lilies, orchids, higabana, eastern white pine, and redwood.
One of its best-known properties is that it has the greatest viscosity of any dietary fiber known to man and absorbs water extremely well. Just a few mere grams of glucomannan in powder form could make an eight-ounce glass of water turn into gel, and it can absorb as much of 50x its weight in water while in your stomach. This is why the fiber has long been used to bind and thicken foods, as well as a preservative and fat substitute. It has also gained a new fan base in recent years thanks to the evidence indicating that it could be used as an effective weight loss tool and a valuable part of a healthy lifestyle.
One of the major health benefits of glucomannan is its ability to help manage weight. It can do this in a number of different ways. These include:
Taking up stomach space to help you to feel full faster and, ultimately, to eat less. The fact that it can absorb so much water helps it to make you feel fuller quicker and for longer.
Lowering levels of ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone
Lowering the amount of sugar, fats and proteins that the body absorbs
Glucomannan has also been shown to be effective at getting rid of bile acids and promoting the growth of good gut bacteria
Bile acids are formed from cholesterol, and it has been shown that glucomannan can bind with these acids to help remove them from your body. Because of this, your body has to convert a greater amount of cholesterol to make bile acids. This results in the lowering of cholesterol levels . Research has suggested that this can reduce both non-HDL and LDL cholesterol, which have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
There is also some research to suggest that glucomannan can cause sugar to be absorbed more gradually and lower spikes in blood sugar , which could be significant for diabetes sufferers, in addition to being able to relieve constipation without any side effects .
There are also potential benefits involving a variety of other conditions, although more research is needed in some areas. The types of benefits that glucomannan may offer, however, include:
Increasing beneficial bacteria in the gut. This has the potential to reduce discomfort and improve overall health and wellbeing. It is known that this viscous form of dietary fiber is a favorite meal for gut-friendly bacteria such as Bifidobacterium.
As part of a treatment for insulin resistance associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Lowering thyroid hormone levels and health issues associated with elevated amounts.
Decreasing skin redness associated with UV rays and improving the appearance of the skin.
Reducing the effects of acne by blocking bacterial growth. This could mean a transformation for teenagers and adults adversely affected by what can be a severely impactful condition.
Decreasing inflammation associated with arthritis and other conditions, including skin inflammation.
Preventing allergic reactions such as dermatitis and rhinitis.
Increasing antioxidant levels.
Delaying aging, although this has only been tested on mice so far.
There is no doubt that glucomannan has the potential to offer a wide range of benefits, from the immediate to the longer term. It is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to ease asthma symptoms and detoxify the body. There is a long history of use and plenty of evidence to support the benefits it has to offer.