All Fat Burners Should Contain Glucomannan
But Why? Let’s Find Out
You will eventually come across glucomannan if you spend some time browsing high quality fat burning supplements.
Glucomannan, also known as Konjac Root or sometimes as Amorphophallus konjac, is a natural plant extract.
Glucomannan it is not used in the majority of fat burners today. Cheap, mediocre, bog-standard fat burners will generally use things like garcinia cambogia and mango extract to try to mimic the effects of glucomannan.
Yet these substances don’t come close to the effectiveness of glucomannan.
As such, we think that it is an absolutely vital constituent of all premium-grade, professional quality fat loss supplements.
Without glucomannan, a fat burner is simply incomplete.
By choosing not to use this substance, or to use it in small amounts, manufacturers are essentially choosing to ignore an extremely important pathway to fat loss: the prevention of over-eating.
But you shouldn’t just take our word for it.
Why is glucomannan such a powerful fat burner?
Why do we think it is a necessary part of a great fat burning supplement?
What’s wrong with other substances which claim to do the same thing?
In this article, we’re going to answer all of these questions so you know everything you need to know about glucomannan.
We’ll talk about what it does, why it is so effective for fat loss, and how it should be taken for maximum results. We’ll also look at safety, what other people get from glucomannan use, and which supplements make best use of this stuff.
If you get to the end of the article and you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to post it in the comments section below. We always try to get back to our readers within 24 hours.
What Is Glucomannan?
At its most basic, glucomannan is a polysaccharide.
However, don’t let the name fool you. It is not a simple chain of sugars.
Polysaccharides are more complex than you probably realize, and they come in numerous forms. You may be surprised to learn that some of these substances are indeed polysaccharides.
Two polysaccharides we usually consume in our diet are starch and glycogen.
Another two polysaccharides we consume regularly are cellulose, a constituent of plant cell membranes, and chitin, the substance which shellfish use to make their exoskeletons.
So when you hear polysaccharide, don’t necessarily think “sugar” (although they are composed of monosaccharide units).
Glucomannan is what we call as water soluble polysaccharide. It is an important component of the cell walls of some plant species, along with cellulose. The technical term we give for this kind of substance is hemicellulose.
This is why it is actually considered a form of dietary fiber, not a carbohydrate like some polysaccharides.
Generally speaking, we get glucomannan from the roots of the Konjac plant.
There are other natural sources of glucomannan of course, but they are nowhere near as efficient for extraction as konjac root.
Almost 40% of the dry weight of konjac root is glucomannan.
This is a much higher concentration than you will find in other sources, such as certain orchid species roots.
You will see glucomannan variously referred to as Konjac root, Amorphophallus konjac, Elephant Yam, and a handful of other, more exotic-sounding names. At the end of the day though, it’s all glucomannan.
So we’ve covered what glucomannan is in sufficient detail.
But what does it do?
Why is glucomannan such an effective tool in our arsenal?
How does it help you burn fat exactly?
What Does It Do?
The mechanism behind glucomannan is very easy to get your head around.
Basically, when you consume glucomannan, it begins to absorb water.
It forms a sort of gum which quickly thickens and expands.
This is why glucomannan has traditionally been added to drinks and desserts, most commonly in Turkey. It has also often been used as a soup thickener in parts of the world where the plant grows indigenously; Japan, Indonesia and China, to name a few.
But why does this help you with fat loss?
When glucomannan expands in your stomach, your stomach begins to think that it is full. It then sends a signal to your brain telling it that it doesn’t need to eat any more.
Simple as that.
It doesn’t block carbs.
It doesn’t prevent fat absorption.
It doesn’t screw around with hormones.
This is an incredible benefit if you struggle with over-eating, binge-eating, or general food cravings while you diet.
Our review team are all big eaters most of the time. When they get deep into a cut for whatever reason, it’s binge eating which causes the most setbacks.
You can be as dedicated as you want to a cut, but if you’ve been fasting for most of the day and someone orders pizza to the office at lunch, you very quickly realize how weak you are as a person. Two slices become three, you polish off somebody else’s crust, and the potato wedges start looking more appetizing by the second.
Consuming glucomannan with your food is a sure-fire way to prevent over-eating.
The fiber from the konjac root will expand as you start eating, meaning that you will start to feel full much quicker than normal, while consuming fewer total calories.
Consuming glucomannan at regular interval throughout the day, as well as before training, is a good way to remain fairly satisfied all-day-long without ever taking in extra calories through snacks or drinks.
If you ever find that you get distracted in the gym because you’re hungry, then glucomannan could be just what you need.
So to sum up, glucomannan expands in your stomach to form a kind of gum or paste. This makes you feel fuller, much quicker, and for longer. This in turn prevents food cravings or over-eating (a major pitfall for those intermittent fasters out there).
It does this without conferring extra calories, and without playing havoc with your hormones or brain signalling. It doesn’t block carbs or fat. It simply tricks the stomach into thinking it’s had more food than it really has.
That’s all well and good, but does this actually translate into results?
Where’s the evidence to back this up?
Does It Work? – Scientific Evidence
There is a lot of evidence supporting the idea that glucomannan helps with fat loss.
Much of this evidence is quite compelling, with significant differences being observed in robust clinical settings.
This might be surprising for such a simple plant extract, but we think there’s always power in simplicity.
For example, take this 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the International Journal of Obesity in 1984.
Here the researchers used either glucomannan or a placebo on 20 obese participants and measured weight loss over an 8 week period. The researchers found the following: “a significant mean weight loss (5.5 lbs) using glucomannan over an eight-week period. Serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly reduced (21.7 and 15.0 mg/dl respectively) in the glucomannan treated group. No adverse reactions to glucomannan were reported.”
That’s pretty conclusive. If your training and diet are on-point and you are optimized to lose more fat than muscle, 5.5lbs is no small achievement.
Another study, published in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental in 2008, looked at the effect of introducing exercise into a diet which already contained glucomannan.
This is very interesting, as it is essentially re-creating the conditions under which most of you will; use glucomannan; in conjunction with regular exercise.
Overweight, sedentary men and women completed an 8-week diet with 3000 mg glucomannan combined with either no exercise, or a resistance and endurance exercise training program. The exercise consisted of 3, 1-hour sessions per week of a nonlinear, periodized, total-body resistance exercise program, followed up by half an hour of cardio. Think the conjugate method with a jog at the end.
The results of this study are fascinating.
Exercise augmented fat loss while improving results in physical tests such as the bench press 1RM and sprint speed – we wouldn’t expect anything else.
But interestingly, all groups lost fat. That means that just using a combination of konjac root and a healthy diet were able to induce fat loss.
The researchers weighed up the results and concluded that: “Addition of a resistance and endurance exercise training program to a glucomannan diet regimen significantly improved measures of body composition, HDL-C, and TC/HDL-C ratio.”
That might sound obvious and intuitive to you now, but we try not to say anything without having some solid scientific evidence to back it up. Now we can say without hesitation that glucomannan definitely helps with fat loss, and that konjac root, plus a healthy, sensible diet, plus exercise, equals even greater fat loss!
Health Benefits Of Glucomannan?
On top of the notable benefits it offers for fat loss via appetite suppression, binge-eating prevention, and so on, glucomannan also seems to have several health benefits independent of its effects on appetite.
The most notable effect glucomannan seems to have on general health is cholesterol reduction.
This study looked at glucomannan fibers and their effect on a range of bio-markers for cardiovascular health. The researchers found the follow: “GM fibers reduced total cholesterol (TC) concentrations by 10% (P < 0.0001), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations by 7.2% (P < 0.007), triglycerides by 23% (P < 0.03), and systolic blood pressure by 2.5% (P < 0.02).”
Notably, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was not affected.
This is amazing, as HDL cholesterol is the cholesterol usually referred to as “good cholesterol”. It seems to actively remove “bad”, heart disease-causing LDL cholesterol from the blood.
No adverse effects were observed at all.
This is why the researchers felt it acceptable to state, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that glucomannan “is an effective cholesterol-lowering dietary adjunct.”
If you are interested in utilizing glucomannan as part of your next cut, do some of your own research into the possible health benefits of this plant extract, as well as some research into the potential health dangers.
This brings us neatly onto a very important segment: health dangers and side effects.
Glucomannan Side Effects – What Are The Risks?
Glucomannan is tremendously safe.
Generally speaking, you are highly unlikely to experience any ill-effects from using glucomannan at all (assuming you use it within reason).
Glucomannan is, at the end of the day, a 100% natural plant root fiber.
It has been studied numerous times, often using doses much larger than you will find in fat burners, and no adverse effects have ever been observed (to our knowledge).
Indeed, this study found that using 4g of glucomannan daily did not bring about any adverse effects at all, noting that glucomannan is generally well-tolerated by most people.
But as with everything good in life, there are elements of bad in there too. No substance is 100% safe.
If used in extremely excessive amounts glucomannan might cause uncomfortable bloating.
You might have very particular biomechanics which makes glucomannan unsuitable for you.
You might have an allergy, or a pre-existing stomach condition that puts you at risks of side effects if you use something like glucomannan.
If you are looking to use glucomannan because you think it is a quick fix for obesity or general weight management issues, then you are barking up the wrong tree.
If you have trouble controlling your eating, you are dangerously overweight, or you think you have some kind of genetic weight management issue, then it’s a qualified health professional you need to talk to. Buying supplements on the internet is not the answer.
These substances are for people in good physical condition who want help with their next cutting phase. They have a good physique but they might need help reaching a body fat level they never have before, or they might need to lose weight quickly in time for a show, a fight, a powerlifting meet; whatever. They are not quick fixes for obesity.
Is Glucomannan Right For You?
Whether or not glucomannan is right for you really does come down to your personal needs and goals.
However, we do think that the vast majority of people would benefit from utilizing this fantastic natural fat burner as part of their next cutting cycle.
That’s because we think most people struggle with appetite control while dieting, and konjac root is the perfect fix for that.
In our opinion, glucomannan is the most effective method for the prevention of over-eating available today.
It is incredibly safe.
It is effective.
It doesn’t block carbs.
it doesn’t block fat uptake.
It doesn’t screw around with your hormones, and it doesn’t cause excessive water retention.
It simply fools your stomach into thinking it has eaten more calories than it has.
It doesn’t stop you from eating altogether.
When dosed correctly, it just makes sure that your appetite doesn’t get the best of you and you end up shoveling down 3 bowls of buffet pasta when you only meant to have 1.
We’re sure plenty of you struggle with this a lot when you’re dieting. If you’re used to eating for muscle mass and performance, then switching to a cutting phase can be really difficult. Psychologically difficult that is. For many of our writers, the psychological aspect of a cut is the most testing.
Glucomannan has proven time and again that it is able to safely, effectively, and reliably reduce appetite while still allowing you to eat what you need to eat (unlike some crazy dangerous weight loss pills out there which shut your appetite off completely).
It is therefore much more conducive to bodybuilding and athleticism than stimulants and other appetite killers.
If you don’t think you stand to benefit from better appetite control and reduced food cravings, then you can give glucomannan a miss.
If you know that a big hurdle during your diet will be food cravings and hunger-induced binges, then this stuff is probably just what you need.