Understanding Glucomannan and the Healthy Diet

By: Bel Marra Health | Diets | Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 07:37 AM

dietsA major route to good health primarily involves eating healthy diets and engaging in regular exercise, two activities that are associated with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and burning of calories to prevent weight loss.  For some individuals struggling with the problem of excessive weight or diabetes, finding the right food items to include in the daily diets may seem to be extremely challenging, especially when one experience a cravings for their favorite sweet item, such as chocolates, donuts, or ice cream.

Designing Your Healthy Diet Plan

Designing healthy diets remains the most effective way in achieving good health and increasing the chances of weight loss.  Excessive weight gain has been strongly associated with various chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and even cancer.  Nutritionists and dieticians are also actively searching for different ways of presenting food items in daily diets, with the goal of including not only healthy, but presentable meals.  In other avenues for weight loss and good health, alternative food items are now being examined in terms of their potential for inclusion in regular diets.

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According to a recent medical report published in the journal Medical Chemistry, the addition of glucomannan in daily diets may assist in the reduction of fat absorption, which may eventually result not only in weight loss, but also good health.  Glucomannan is a dietary fiber that originates from the konjac plant, which has been commonly grown in Japan for centuries.  This plant has been used as an ingredient in noodles and other delicacies as thickener in food items.  Glucomannan contains hemicellulose, which is the polysaccharide present in the cells walls of plants, assisting in the maintenance of external cellular features.

The research study on the use of glucomannan involved approximately 256 children. These pediatric patients had an average age of 14 years and were recommended to undergo a treatment to support good health.  The young individuals were randomly assigned to one of three types of diets in the presence of a specific treatment such as glucomannan (1 mg/day), atorvastatin (10 mg/day), and ezetimibe (10 mg/day).  A control group receiving a regular diet without treatment was also included in the research study for comparison.

How Glucomannan Treatment Helped With Weight Loss Efforts

The treatment scheme lasted for approximately 9 months, of which the study participants were monitored at every three months.  Monitoring included the determination of levels of various lipid molecules in the blood, such as total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides.  The study participants were also weighed to determine any change in body mass index.

The results of the study showed that the glucomannan treatment group was associated with the highest support of lipid levels, as well as a significant decrease in the mean body weight (22%).  On the other hand, the atorvastatin and ezetimibe treatment groups also showed a decrease in lipids levels among the study participants (16%), although the weight change in these groups were not significant.  The study participants assigned to the control group showed a lowering in blood lipid levels (4%), yet the change in body weight in the group was reported as not significant.

The Conclusion of the Healthy Diets Study

The findings in this research study on the use of glucomannan in supporting healthy cholesterol and weight loss suggests that proper diets may serve as an effective approach in achieving good health.  The study involved young patients who, if left untreated, may potentially develop life-threatening diseases during their adulthood.  Future studies might also want to look into the effects of combining glucomannan with exercise and sufficient amounts of rest.  Glucomannan may serve as an alternative food additive in meals, increasing the amount of fiber and hopefully reducing the urge of consuming extra servings of food to achieve that sensation of fullness during each meal.

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