Thursday, April 28, 2011

Konjac Root/Glucomannan - Blood Sugar Support & Weight Loss

Konjac/Glucomannan is a dietary fibre commonly added to many foods as an emulsifier and thickener. It comes from the Konjac Root, a perennial plant primarily grown in Asia. It has been shown to have one of the highest molecular weights and is one of the most viscous of any dietary fibres. Simply put, (konjac root) glucomannan absorbs water as it travels through the digestive tract, increasing the bulk of the stool and making the stool easier to pass or move through the colon. For individuals prone to constipation, this means less straining and a decreased risk of fissures or hemorrhoid formation. Many use glucomannan as a weight loss aid, in that it helps to get rid of excess water weight. Super Fibre (Konjac root) Glucomannan also promotes regular and healthy elimination and is an effective method of getting rid of excess toxins and hormones, including cholesterol, in the body. Efficient removal of these substances may give an individual more energy, make them less sluggish and fatigued (common side effects of toxic overload) and more apt to increase their exercise and eat a healthier, more well balanced diet, further contributing to weight loss. Studies have also shown that taking a glucomannan supplement one hour prior to eating can reduce caloric intake and keep individuals satisfied longer when compared with placebo. Konjac Root Glucomannan & Blood Sugar Support (Konjac root) Glucomannan, much like any fibre, is also helpful in regulating blood sugar levels and can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes. Diabetics need to be cautious when taking glucomannan, as it may interfere with insulin and other blood sugar medications. This product needs to be taken 2-3 hours away from any medication and blood sugar levels should be monitored closely in case there is a need to adjust dosages for prevention of hyper or hypoglycemic states. Konjac root is particularly useful for reducing the glycemic index of foods. "Glycemic index" refers to how quickly a carbohydrate is metabolized by the body. When a food is described as having a lower glycemic index, this means that it will cause a lower increase in blood sugar than foods with a higher glycemic index (GI). Taken with food, konjac / glucomannan effectively slows the release of the sugars in the food down, allowing the body more time to burn the calories they contain off as energy instead of storing them as body fat. This is part of the reason why konjac is recommended as a weight loss supplement. It also helps to reduce the fluctuations in blood sugar that can occur when you eat unhealthy carbs that can lead to cravings and subsequent poor food choices and weight gain. Konjac is available under a variety of trade names such as PGXPGX, GO4Trim, FiberFlow, as well as simply konjac and glucomannan. Health Canada has put out an advisory on (konjac) Glucomannan supplements in any form, stating that individuals need to take each gram of glucomannan with at least 8 oz of water to reduce risk of choking or developing a blockage in the throat, esophagus or intestines. For these reasons it is also recommended that these products be taken 2-3 hours before bed. Glucomannan can be taken on its own in capsule or powder form or is often combined with other forms of dietary fibre.

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