Ingredient in the Spotlight: 5 Benefits of Glucomannan
Glucomannan is one of the 4 soluble fibers found in Gut Garden’s Resistant Starch Prebiotic Fiber Blend. What is glucomannan and why did we include it in our product? Glucomannan is a soluble, fermentable dietary fiber that is derived from the root of the konjac plant, native to Asia. The konjac tuber has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy and to make traditional foods such as konjac jelly, tofu, and noodles. Read on for 5 benefits:
1. Feeds Beneficial Bacteria
Glucomannan is a natural prebiotic, meaning, in essence, that it helps to “feed” probiotics, or beneficial gut flora. A study published in 2008 demonstrated that glucomannan supplementation increased the concentration of beneficial probiotics in the gut, including specific strains like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
What makes this fiber so super is the fact that it can absorb up to 50 times its weight in water. Glucomannan works by promoting a sense of fullness. It also lowers the energy density of the food you eat. In other words, it bulks up food in your gut — creating a lower calorie content per weight of food you eat. A 2005 study of 176 men and women published in Medical Science Monitor revealed that glucomannan induced body weight reduction in healthy overweight subjects.
3. Blood Sugar Benefits
There are more than 20 scientific studies involving glucomannan and diabetes. One of the ways it can help diabetics is by delaying the stomach’s natural emptying process -leading to more gradual sugar absorption and lower blood sugar levels after meals. A study published in Diabetes Care found that Glucomannan fiber, “added to conventional treatment may ameliorate glycemic control, blood lipid profile, and sBP in high-risk diabetic individuals, possibly improving the effectiveness of conventional treatment in type 2 diabetes.
4. Improved Digestion
A number of double-blind trials found glucomannan to be an effective constipation treatment. One 2008 study specifically found that a modest dose of glucomannan supplementation encouraged bowel movements in constipated adults by 30 percent and improved colonic ecology.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
Glucomannan is able to decrease absorption of cholesterol in the gut by sponging up water in the digestive tract, which reduces the absorption cholesterol by the body. A 2008 study showed that “Glucomannan appears to beneficially affect total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides."