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What Is Glucomannon (Amorphophallus Konjak)?
Glucomannon is classified as a water– soluble fiber that is acquired from the root of Amorphophallus konjak which is commonly found in Asian countries most especially in tropical such as Japan, China and Indonesia. It is considered to be a perennial plant which can grow up to 25 cm in diameter. The plant contains several leaflets and can bear flowers in beautiful purple color. Other names of Glucomannon are konnyaku potato, devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm or elephant yam.
This plant is a common ingredient of noodles, tofu and gelatin – like food products. It has many health benefits which include:
1. Weight Loss Aid. This plant is very low in carbohydrates. Therefore, it is good for individuals who are undergoing weight loss program. High intake of carbohydrates without adequate amount of exercise will greatly increase your weight by storing carbohydrates in the form of flab in the body.
2. Constipation Prevention. Since Glucomannan is a dietary fiber, it can effectively promote normal bowel movement thus preventing constipation. It stimulates peristalsis which is the normal intestinal movement which facilitates passing of stool. It also absorbs more water which makes the stool bulkier. A bulky stool is easily passed because of its size.
3. Blood Sugar Control Agent. Glucomannan has also been found to be effective in slowing the absorption rate of sugar, thereby, controlling blood sugar levels.
4. Lowers Cholesterol. The absorption of dietary cholesterol is decreased if the diet of the individual is high in fiber. Fiber in the gut will effectively sweep out cholesterol which is attached to the gastrointestinal tract and lining. Thus, it can greatly help in the reduction of cholesterol levels.
5. Culinary World. Aside from its health benefits, glucomannon Konjak is commonly used as a food thickener or gelling ingredient of many food products. In fact, it is already commonly used as flour and powder mixed in many recipes.
Fortunately, Glucomannon is formulated as supplements. It is available in tablet, capsule, powder or flour – like forms that is usually fortified in many food items especially Japanese noodles. Glucomannan is relatively safe for use. However, it is important that you should seek medical advice before starting supplementation so that untoward effects will be prevented. You have to discuss with your physician your current and past health status, familial history and medications taken whether prescribed or taken over – the – counter. And since there are no enough studies on its safety on pregnant women and lactating mothers, it is advisable that these people must not take Glucomannan supplement, unless prescribed by the doctor after a thorough health assessment.
Drug – to – drug interactions include oral hypoglycemic agents. Glucomannan has been found to alter the normal absorption rate of blood sugar controlling agents. Therefore, if you are taking Glucomannan supplements while on blood sugar control medications and have diabetes mellitus, monitor your blood sugar closely and refer immediately if adverse effects occur. Also, if you will be undergoing surgical procedure, avoid use two weeks before and after the scheduled operation. Practicality sake, seek medical advice first!
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