What Is Glucomannan?

powder-bowl

Glucomannan is a water soluble sugar and a source of soluble dietary fiber derived from the root or corm (with an “M” not and “N”) of konjac, a plant typically grown in Japan and China.  Glucomannan is used to make shirataki noodles and konjac blocks. The name glucomannan is made of up it’s two main components – glucose and mannose. Other constituents in Glucomannan include fiber, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus and iron.

Glucomannan has the highest molecular weight and strongest viscosity among any dietary fiber known to science.  It has the ability to absorb up to 200 times its weight in water and can create a gel in the stomach that creates the feeling of being full.  It is also able to pull foods along the digestive track, aiding digestion.

Although glucomannan and shirataki noodles have long been a part of traditional Japanese foods, it has recently gained popularity as a nutritional aid.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal in January, 2010, a researcher at Rush University College of Nursing was quoted as saying that the evidence so far suggests that regular consumption of glucomannan might lead to modest, short term weight loss.konjac plant and root

Glucomannan is believed to have the ability to regulate blood sugar levels (both low and high blood sugar), which may be of great help in cases of diabetes.  Glucomannan is slow moving and not digested by the body,  but instead forms a bulky, soft mass that is said to absorb dietary sugar and insulin and help to regulate variable blood sugar levels that often occur after a meal.

Regarding cholesterol, glucomannan fiber has shown excellent test results in helping to lower total serum cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Among the positive studies is one published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1995, entitled “Effect of Short-Term Ingestion of Konjac Glucomannan on Serum Cholesterol in Healthy Men.” In this experiment, 3.9 grams of Konjac eaten daily reduced total cholesterol by ten percent and LDL cholesterol by 7.2 percent.

In foods, glucomannan is used as a thickener or gelling agent. Glucommanan flour and powder are used in food.  Common uses for glucomannan flour include gummy bears, thickening agent for yogurt, low carb jams, and stabilizer for processed meats and cheeses.

Glucomannan can be taken in capsule or powder form.  Be sure to drink at least 8 ounces of water after taking glucomannan to help the powder and/or capsule reach your stomach before it expands.  You can find glucomannan capsules and powder in the shirataki store.


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