A bulky body with several tiers of fat dangling all the time you make a move is simply a source of embarrassment. The distress of being fat or obese is just not a burden to the body, but a high end letdown for the entire appearance. Needless to mention, it has the worst adverse impact on the self esteem, making you all the more diffident. The end result is a heavy body with a heavier heart. The dilemma shifts all your concentration to losing off those troublesome extra calories. Means to lose weight are plenty though the effectiveness is the real concern. Ofttimes, resorting to exercise regimes proves to take ages to achieve the goal of a properly toned body. Dietary supplements then come into play; however, making the choice of the apt supplement requires a lot of expert advice and thought applied to it. The decision needs to be cautious as the supplements marketed stridently are not always found to be all that effective and sometimes, they can even cause harmful and undesirable effects to the body. Indeed, there is a boon for all those worried over the unwanted pounds in the body : Glucomannan - A weight loss supplement that works wonders for you.
What is Glucomannan?
A dietary fiber derived from the roots of elephant yam (also known as konjac plant), glucomannan is a water-soluble sugar that has been part and parcel of the Japanese kitchens since ancient times. Its main use was as a condensing agent, owing to its ability to absorb water quickly. The medicinal value of glucomannan, however, became evident with the Chinese making use of glucomannan as an essential component in several drugs. Abound in health benefits, weight loss is the aspect for which glucomannan is considered the most.
Apart from weight loss, a highly remarkable benefit of glucomannan is that it helps in lowering the cholesterol levels efficiently by drawing out unwanted cholesterol with its sponge like mechanism. Glucomannan acts as a good remedy for the disturbing concern of constipation. It is a very powerful detoxifying agent that helps in the purification processes. High blood pressure can be remedied using glucomannan. Studies show that glucomannan has proved its efficacy in treating diabetes as well; however, authentic evidence is still awaited. According to experts, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can also be cured using glucomannan. Glucomannan has been vastly used in the gel form for topical application in cases of skin allergies.
Glucomannan as a weight loss agent:
Widely available in the form of capsules, tablets and health mix powders, glucomannan is a major component of several renowned weight loss programs across the globe. The outstanding potential of glucomannan to absorb water aids in weight loss to a great extent. Being highly water-soluble is yet another advantage that assists glucomannan in promoting weight loss.
Glucomannan employs several mechanisms to enhance weight loss. The low calorie content in glucomannan is one of the useful techniques deployed. With the intake of few calories, glucomannan is said to create a feeling of fullness, which in turn leads to reduced intake of food. As the water content in the food is easily absorbed by glucomannan, the residual solid particles of the consumed food turn out to be bulky and this is how the sense of satiety is created. As the water content is drawn out, the emptying of the stomach takes a much longer time and the feeling of hunger is thus blocked for several hours. The fear of getting gassy or heavily bloated can be totally kept at bay. The fibrous nature of glucomannan further helps in the reduced absorption of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The good and human friendly bacteria in our intestine is fed by glucomannan and this leads to the formation of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, which helps in the prevention of fat gain as per the evidences from different animal studies. Considering the manifold ways in which glucomannan helps in weight loss, it is weighed quite high among the other weight loss supplements available in the market.
Efficiency of glucomannan as a weight loss catalyst:
Every weight loss aspirant, weary of trying several weight loss agents for no good reason, would indeed have suspicions like to what extent glucomannan would show success. Promising studies, revealing best results on the samples, deserve a colossal amount of credibility. A study of 2007 that was published in the renowned ‘British Journal of Nutrition’ throws ample light on how beneficial glucomannan is. The study had a sample size of 200 overweight and obese persons who were divided into two groups and put in a calorie restricted diet. One group was asked to consume a supplement that was a combination of glucomannan and psyllium husk. The other group was to take placebo. A 16-week observation unfolded that the group that took the glucomannan and psylluim husk combination supplement lost around 10 pounds whereas the placebo group had only a loss of 1.6 pounds to their credit. Another significant research review shows that the obese subjects, 20 in number, lost approximately 5.5 pounds in a short tenure of eight weeks, without being under any sort of diet control.
In another study, the subjects were divided into three groups and observed for 3.5 weeks. The first group was given a mix of 1 gram of glucomannan and 3 grams of psyllium husk twice daily. The second group was given the same combination of glucomannan and psyllium husk, without any alterations made to the proportions, thrice daily. The third group was subjected to the intake of placebo. The results were quite interesting. The initial group that took the glucomannan and psyllium husk combination twice a day could shed away 9.96 pounds. The second group that took the combination thrice a day lost 10.14 pounds. The third group that took placebo, on the other hand, could manage to lose only 1.75 pounds, which does not stand a comparison to the results of the first two groups. The sense of satiety was found to be really high among the subjects of the first two groups that took glucomannan. The first two groups also had a very low cholesterol level to mention during the observation period. The well-esteemed and truly popular Forbes magazine lists down glucomannan as one among the seven weight loss supplements that really work.
Further to all the above studies, a good number of highly qualified doctors and practitioners advice the intake of glucomannan for their obese patients. The only thing that the doctors insist in such cases is to be under regular medical observation by showing up for routine checkups during fixed schedules.
The dosage of glucomannan:
The intake of 1 gram of glucomannan, in capsule, powdered or any other form, three times per day, is considered the ideal dosage for losing weight in a matter of just few weeks. However, care should always be taken that the supplement of glucomannan is taken prior to meals as having glucomannan after meals have low or no effect on weight loss. For best results, the supplement should be taken 15 minutes to 1 hour prior to the time of meals. Also, the glucomannan supplement should be consumed with lukewarm water rather than juices or other liquids. The reason for water being the ideal combination for glucomannan is that when glucomannan comes in contact with water, glucomannan tends to expand and gets the ability to absorb almost around 50 times its own weight. The same virtue of glucomannan makes its dosage much lower when compared to the dosages of other water soluble fiber weight loss supplements.
The dosage of glucomannan for persons with other prevailing medical conditions like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure should be as per the advice of the physician.
Safety associated with the usage of glucomannan:
While depending on weight loss supplements, safety forms a major concern. The possibilities of any unwanted effects need to be carefully scrutinized before considering such supplements. Glucomannan, in the powdered form, is regarded as a possibly safe option for weight loss needs. The solid forms of glucomannan, capsules and tablets, have a tendency to cause choking and blockage of the throat and intestine. This is majorly due to the expansion of glucomannan taking place well before reaching the stomach. In such occasions, there is no need to panic. All that needs to be done is to take 1 or 2 glasses of water to properly wash down the entire glucomannan content. Usually, glucomannan is a highly tolerated choice.
Like for many other weight loss supplements and medications, little is known on the safety of glucomannan being used during the periods of pregnancy and breast feeding. It is always wise to refrain from the intake of glucomannan during pregnancy and breast feeding to avoid unknown risks. Also, it is a prudent practice not to use glucomannan if a surgery is scheduled in a time of two weeks or less.
Interaction of glucomannan with other medications:
Type 2 diabetes patients need to be extra cautious while using glucomannan. Glucomannan has the potential to lower the level of glucose in type 2 diabetes patients. Other diabetes medications that are already being used would also have the same effect of lowering the blood sugar level. The combined effect of glucomannan and diabetes medication might result in the sugar level going dangerously low, which if not addressed at the right time might cause several complications and sometimes even prove fatal. The medications that are primarily used by diabetes patients include insulin, glipizide, glimepiride, glyburide, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone and so on. Patients using such medications should consult the practitioner prior to using glucomannan. A reduced dosage of diabetes medication is the key to solving the problem of getting the blood sugar levels too low.
Another notable fact is that oral medications are found to interact with glucomannan. The quick absorption ability of glucomannan allows it to absorb particles in the stomach. Hence, taking glucomannan along with other oral medications tends to affect the amount of the medicine that the body actually gets. The effectiveness of the medicines taken by mouth gets questioned when taken with glucomannan. For ruling out such risks, it is suggested that glucomannan be taken an hour prior to or 4 hours subsequent to the intake of the oral medications.
Where to find glucomannan?
After all the aspects of efficiency and safety of glucomannan being taken into consideration, if the decision is to go ahead with usage of glucomannan, the next question would be the best place from where the weight loss supplement can be procured. The availability of glucomannan supplements is a needless worry. Being a favorite weight loss component, glucomannan is easily available in all medical stores, natural foods stores and stores selling dietary supplements.
Purchasing glucomannan is as easy as a tap of your finger as the glucomannan products can be accessed with a single click from the different dominant online stores. Several forms of glucomannan are available in the market and the choice on the right type of supplement is absolutely yours. Glucomannan supplements in the powdered form are the most widely used variant. With little or no taste to be mentioned, glucomannan powder is a great addition to smoothies as the powder renders the smoothie with the right consistency.
The famous Shirataki noodles, with its origin from Japan, is a rich source of glucomannan. The Shirataki noodles is known as ‘miracle noodles’ in some countries. The other favorite forms of glucomannan supplements include chew-able candies and gums. A less preferred, yet convenient form of glucomannan, is the solid tablet form. Due to the fear of choking hazards, tablets and capsules of glucomannan are often avoided.
Glucomannan is undoubtedly a fabulous aid to get you a perfect body, devoid of the disgraceful fatty layers that troubled you once. However, the change that glucomannan can bring to your body cannot be everlasting, unless some efforts are put into changing your lifestyle for good. A balanced diet, excluding away all junk and fried foods, would help in avoiding the risk of gaining back all the unwanted fat burnt away using glucomannan supplements. Also, a daily exercise plan is undeniably ideal for having that long craved beautifully toned body.