People have been singing the praises of dietary fiber for decades. Usually we hear about fiber either for its heart health benefits or for its aid in digestion. Recently, however, scientific research has found correlations between fiber intake and lower obesity rates. In science, though, a correlation isn’t enough. Researchers want to know how something is working, to be able to see it in action, before they’re willing to say there’s a link.
In this article, I’ll show the best research to date on dietary fiber and weight loss–and how that’s all good news for anyone using Glucomannan. Because it’s in some popular weight-loss products like Instant Knockout and Leanbean, that’s good news indeed for a lot of people.
What you need to know
What is Glucomannan, Exactly?
Taken from the elephant yam, or Konjac root (scientific name Amorphophallus konjac), Glucomannan is a soluble fiber that has been used in Asian medicine and cuisine for hundreds of years.
It is often used as a thickener for vegetarian gum items, such as fruit snacks. Following reports from traditional practitioners of its efficacy in weight loss, modern science has done its due diligence in discovering what, if any, the benefits may be.
How Glucomannan and Fiber Help Weight Loss
Like I mentioned above, there are three primary ways fiber and Glucomannan help us lose weight. We’ll cover each in turn. Because Glucomannan hasn’t been studied by name as extensively as dietary fiber, we’ll be following FDA guidelines in including Glucomannan as a dietary fiber.
1. Appetite Reduction
Several studies have shown that Glucomannan itself, specifically, is great for reducing appetite and leading to significant weight loss. In addition to that, diets that rely on calorie restriction are significantly more successful if they include a high fiber component.
The science goes deep on fiber and appetite–following the story is a virtual tour of the digestive tract from gut bacteria to the transfer of lipids across intestine walls. It’s fascinating reading if you’re into that sort of thing (and I am). Or you can take the word of the scientists who’ve studied it: fiber can reduce appetite.
2. Managing Blood Sugar
One of the mechanisms I’ve covered in other articles (especially “Can Supplements Increase Metabolism”) is how our blood sugar has a direct link to our weight–whether we gain it or lose it. Fact is, high blood sugar leads to weight gain. In order to mitigate that, the CDC recommends consuming more fiber. In fact, controlling blood sugar is the number one reason to eat fiber, according to them.
Fiber is so effective at regulating blood sugar that it’s been recommended in the care of diabetes for over thirty years. Study after study has supported the findings that fiber–like glucomannan–can help keep your blood sugar at reasonable levels. This can lead to less cravings for snacks, and even increased fat burning, our next topic.
3. Increased Fat Metabolism
I’ve covered two different kinds of fat metabolism in previous articles, and dietary fiber and Glucomannan came up in both cases. One of the molecular mechanisms of converting fat into energy involves the transfer of fat cells from the intestines into the rest of the body. Another involves keeping blood sugars down. We’ve already covered how fiber can help with both of those things. Now we’ll move on to how Glucomannan and other dietary fibers can directly lead to actual fat burning.
The first is via a process related to brown adipose tissue, or BAT. When our bodies get cold, they tap into the sympathetic nervous system to do things like shiver. This rapid stimulation of muscles generates heat. Just before that process, though, the body also turns on BAT cells to convert other fat cells into “beige fat.” The body then burns this “beige fat” for energy to keep warm. Or, when it’s induced by fiber instead of being cold, this process burns fat round the clock.
Additionally, researchers found only a few years ago that fiber can stimulate something called the uncoupling protein, which directly leads to the burning of white fat tissue, the most abundant fat in the body.
Before we leave, I should point out that not every fiber is created equal–and it turns out, Glucomannan may be in fact better than most. In addition to all of the general benefits of fiber–reducing appetite, burning sugar, and burning fat–Glucomannan has been seen in laboratory studies to lower cholesterol, burn through triglycerides (fats created from excess sugar), and lower total body weight.
In the end, there appears to be no downside to Glucomannan for weight loss. Not only are there no side effects reported in any study, but the benefits are as clear as any other in the supplement market. Glucomannan works, especially in conjunction with diet and exercise.