Traditional root meets modern promise
If you’ve ever lived in Japan and eaten oden, a fall soup with harvest vegetables and roots, you might be familiar with konnyaku jelly
If you’ve ever lived in Japan and eaten oden, a fall soup with harvest vegetables and roots, you might be familiar with konnyaku jelly. Konnyahu root’s healthy and weight-supporting effects are well-known overseas.
Now Canadians are beginning to discover the many benefits of konnyaku, otherwise known as konjac root, originally from Asia. Here, however, you’re more likely to find it in supplements and powders than in a hot pot.
Traditional roots, new research
Glucomannan is a soluble fibre from konjac root that was originally investigated for its effect on constipation and cholesterol. Newer research indicates it might also be useful for diabetes prevention and treatment. It has been shown to improve the lipid (blood fat) profile and improve fasting blood sugar (glucose) levels in type 2 diabetics.
One obesity study involved 200 obese patients who received either a fibre blend containing glucomannan or a placebo for 16 weeks. The glucomannan group lost 4.52 kg on average compared to 0.79 kg of the control group, and they also reported increased satiety. Their LDL (bad) cholesterol significantly dropped and they reported no side effects.
Weight and cholesterol check
In another human trial, 20 obese patients took either one gram of glucomannan fibre or a placebo one hour before each meal. No diet or exercise changes were made. After eight weeks, the glucomannan group had lost an average 5.5 lbs and, again, their cholesterol levels significantly dropped. Although this study was done several years ago, it provides insight into the possible weight-loss effects of glucomannan.
In a more recent study, 29 sedentary overweight or obese adults aged 20 to 65 consumed a fibre blend including glucomannan with 500 mL of water before each meal. After 14 weeks they had dropped significantly in weight, waist circumference, and body fat. Additionally, their total and LDL (bad) cholesterol values improved.
How to use glucomannan
Glucomannan provides a sense of fullness so you can eat less but still feel satisfied. When taken 15 to 30 minutes before each meal during the day, its sugar-balancing action also helps with healthy sugar metabolism.
Fibre blends are available in capsule and powdered stick form, the latter of which is particularly convenient for transport. You’ll soon discover why konjac root is also traditionally used as a thickener for liquids; be sure to add plenty of water!
Discover the benefits of this traditional root for yourself by incorporating glucomannan fibre into your weight maintenance program.