Can glucomannan help you lose weight?
Can glucomannan help you lose weight?
Ever considered weight loss supplements because of obesity or being overweight? Obesity is a term used to describe a person who is overweight, with a lot of body fat. WHO also defines it as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation which presents a risk to general health. WHO uses the body mass index (BMI) as the criteria to measure obesity. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is considered obese. According to WHO, normal body weight should have a BMI between 18.5 to 24.9. In 2017 for example, 4.7 million people died prematurely as a result of obesity and it remains one of the leading causes of deaths by risk factor in the world.
Because obesity is a growing problem, weight loss supplements and drugs are in great demand. These weight loss supplements or drugs are designed to enable people lose weight more effectively than diet or exercise alone. It works by suppressing appetite, inhibiting the absorption of fat, or in some cases, increasing the metabolism in the body. It is difficult to lose significant weight with weight loss supplements alone without making dietary changes or being physically active through exercises. The time it takes for a person to lose weight using weight loss supplements will depend on how long it takes his or her body to adapt to the medication. This can take up to six months or more depending on the individual.
Appetite-suppressants can aid in the process of weight loss in 3 main ways;
- Firstly, it can help reduce appetite by blocking the part of the brain that makes you crave food.
- Secondly, it can also stimulate the part of the brain that makes you feel full even when you are not, also termed as satiated.
- The last way in which appetite suppressants work is to slow down stomach emptying, causing an individual to feel fuller with less food.
Unlike prescription drugs, some appetite suppressants or weight loss supplements can be bought over-the-counter and as some of these are not regulated by the FDA, they do not have to prove that they do work before being sold. Because of this, it is important to purchase products from trusted brands made in places like the UK and not ones that have been imported from unregulated markets or countries.
How glucomannan works
Glucomannan is a water-soluble fermentable dietary fiber extracted from the tuber or root of the elephant yam, also known as konjac. It can absorb up to 200 times its weight in water, thereby making a person feel more full, therefore, it is usually taken in smaller doses than other fiber supplements.
It has low energy density with bulking properties and it promotes weight loss by displacing the energy of other nutrients and producing satiety and satiation as it absorbs water and expands in the gastrointestinal tract.
It also seems to reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels by stimulating faecal excretion of cholesterol and bile acids and decreasing intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
Glucomannan may also improve glycemic parameters by inhibiting appetite and slowing intestinal absorption due to increased viscosity.
A scientific review of glucomannan and its role in weight reduction was carried out in 2005 and it was reported that at doses of 2-4g per day, glucomannan was well-tolerated and resulted in significant weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.
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In conclusion, yes glucomannan will help you lose weight, however, it important to combine the use of glucomannan supplements with regular exercise and maintain a healthy diet. How long it takes can depend on how long it takes the body to adapt to the supplement.