Konjac fiber health benefit and use for cholesterol reduction and constipation relief
March 22 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D. Natural Health Education Database

Amorphophallus Konjac is a dietary fiber employed quite frequently in Western countries for the past two decades. Peoples in East Asia have used this fiber for more than a thousand years. This dietary fiber is the main polysaccharide obtained from the tubers of the Amorphophallus konjac plant, a member of the family Araceae. The chemical structure of Konjac consists, mainly, in mannose and glucose in the ratio 8:5 linked by beta glycosidic bonds. This soluble fiber has a extraordinarily high water holding capacity, forming highly viscous solutions when dissolved in water. It has the highest molecular weight and viscosity of any known dietary fiber. It has been demonstrated that konjac may be helpful in weight management in those who are obesity due to the satiety sensation that it produces; as a remedy for constipation, because it increases the feces volume; as hypocholesterolemic agent, interfering in the transport of cholesterol and of bile acids and as hypoglycemic and hypoinsulinemic agent, probably, by delaying gastric emptying and slowing glucose delivery to the intestinal mucosa.
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Cholesterol level reduction
Phytother Res. 2008. Evaluation of the pharmacotherapeutic efficacy of Garcinia cambogia plus Amorphophallus konjac for the treatment of obesity. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), the main compound of Garcinia cambogia extract, is a competitive blocker of ATP-citrate-lyase, presenting a potential inhibition of fatty acid biosynthesis. Glucomannan fibers, abundant in Amorphophallus konjac, seem to reduce the absorption kinetics of dietary fat. The aim of this double-blind randomized study was to evaluate the pharmacotherapeutic efficacy of standardized extracts of G. cambogia (52% HCA) plus A. konjac (94% glucomannan) in the treatment of obesity. Fifty-eight obese subjects were assigned to the placebo group or the treatment group; no dietary restrictions were applied. Over a 12-week period, subjects were given daily doses of either Garcinia (2.4 g) plus Konjac (1.5 g) or placebo prior to their main meals (3 times/day). A significant reduction was observed in total cholesterol and LDL-c levels in the treated group, the final levels being significantly lower than those of the placebo group.

Amorphophallus Konjac supplement alleviated hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetic subjects--a randomized double-blind trial.
Chen HL, Sheu WH. Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C. J Am Coll Nutrition. 2003.
The present study was designed to evaluate effects of Amorphophallus konjac root supplement (3.6 g/day) for 28 days on blood lipid and glucose levels in hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetic patients and the possible mechanism for the reductions in blood lipid levels. Twenty-two diabetic subjects with elevated blood cholesterol levels, but currently not taking lipid-lowering medication, were recruited to participate in a two 28-day period, randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial. Fasting blood samples drawn on the initial and final days of each period were determined for plasma lipids and glucose levels. Feces collected at the end of each experimental period were analyzed for neutral sterol and bile acid contents. Compared with placebo, Amorphophallus Konjac effectively reduced plasma cholesterol (11%), LDL-cholesterol (20%), total/HDL cholesterol ratio (15%), ApoB (12%) and fasting glucose (23%). Fecal neutral sterol and bile acid concentrations were increased by 18.0% and 75%, respectively, with Amorphophallus Konjac supplement. The Konjac supplement improved blood lipid levels by enhancing fecal excretion of neutral sterol and bile acid and alleviated the elevated glucose levels in diabetic subjects. Konjac  could be an adjunct for the treatment of hyperlipidemic diabetic subjects.

Konjac as a laxative, for constipation
Konjac acts as a natural laxative by increasing stool bulk and improving colonic ecology in healthy adults.
Nutrition. 2006. Institute of Nutritional Science, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
Konjac glucomannan has been shown to relieve constipation, which could be associated with increased stool bulk and improved colonic ecology. This placebo-controlled study consisted of a 21-d placebo period, a 7-d adaptation period when volunteers consumed Konjac glucomannan progressively, and a 21 day Konjac glucomannan supplemented period (1.5 g / meal, 4.5 g per day). Supplementation into a low-fiber diet promoted the defecation frequency in healthy adults, possibly by increasing the stool bulk, thus promoting the growth of lactic acid bacteria and colonic fermentation.

Konjac and children
At least one good study shows it  is helpful in relieving childhood constipation.Fiber is beneficial in the treatment of childhood constipation.
Loening-Baucke V. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Pediatrics. 2004.
Constipation and encopresis are common problems in children. Still today, the role of fiber in the treatment of chronic constipation in childhood is controversial. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether fiber supplementation with glucoamannan is beneficial in the treatment of children with functional constipation with or without encopresis. We used Konjac  as the fiber supplement. We evaluated the effect of konjac fiber and placebo in children with chronic functional constipation with and without encopresis in a double-blind, randomized, crossover study. After the initial evaluation, the patients were disimpacted with 1 or 2 phosphate enemas if a rectal impaction was felt during rectal examination. Patients continued with their preevaluation laxative. No enemas were given during each treatment period. Konjac  and placebo were given as 100 mg/kg body weight daily (maximal 5 g/day) with 50 mL fluid/500 mg for 4 weeks each. Parents were asked to have children sit on the toilet 4 times daily after meals and to keep a stool diary.  Children were rated by the physician as successfully treated when they had > or =3 bowel movements/wk and < or =1 soiling/3 weeks with no abdominal pain in the last 3 weeks of each 4-week treatment period. Parents made a global assessments to whether they believed that the child was better during the first or second treatment period. Forty-six chronically constipated children were recruited into the study, but only 31 children completed the study. These 31 children (16 boys and 15 girls) were 4.5 to 11 years of age. All children had functional constipation; in addition, 18 had encopresis when recruited for the study. No significant side effects were reported during each 4-week treatment period. Significantly fewer children complained of abdominal pain and more children were successfully treated while on Konjac as compared with placebo treatment. Parents rated significantly more children as being better on Konjac versus as being better on placebo. The initial fiber intake was low in 22 (71%) children. There was no difference in the percentage of children with low fiber intake living in the United States and Italy. Successful treatment (physician rating) and improvement (parent rating) were independent of low or acceptable initial fiber intake. The duration of chronic constipation ranged from 0.6 to 10 years. Duration of constipation did not predict response to Konjac  treatment. Children with constipation only were significantly more likely to be treated successfully with Konjac  (69%) than those with constipation and encopresis (28%). We found Konjac  to be beneficial in the treatment of constipation with and without encopresis in children. Symptomatic children who were already on laxatives still benefited from the addition of Konjac. Therefore, we suggest that we continue with the recommendation to increase the fiber in the diet of constipated children with and without encopresis.

Weight loss, obesity
J Am Coll Nutr. 2015. Konjac Glucomannan Dietary Supplementation Causes Significant Fat Loss in Compliant Overweight Adults. Changes in body composition and blood chemistries between overweight adult subjects receiving a supplement containing either 3 g of konjac glucomannan/300 mg calcium carbonate or a placebo containing only 300 mg of calcium carbonate were compared as the primary objective. A secondary objective was to compare outcome differences between compliant and partially compliant subjects. A total of 83 overweight adults (66 women and 17 men) completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol in which they received either a glucomannan or placebo supplement for 60 days. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) total body scans and a 42-measurement blood test were completed at baseline and 60 days later. Compliance was assessed by rating self-reports of (1) how many tablets were taken, (2) adherence to taking the tablets 30 minutes before eating, and (3) a sum of the ratings for (1) and (2). An anonymous poststudy questionnaire and telephone calls were also completed by 80 (96%) of the participants who were used as the study cohort. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups on changes from baseline on the DEXA and blood tests. However, when subjects were classified as either compliant or partially compliant using the compliance measures, statistically significant reductions in scale weight, percentage body fat, fat mass, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were found in the glucomannan group compared to the placebo group. This study supports the efficacy glucomannan supplementation to reduce body weight, body fat, and circulating cholesterol levels without the concomitant loss of lean mass and bone density often associated with weight loss. However, these positive outcomes were not observable until corrections for compliance were applied.

Side effects of konjac root, safety, risk, danger
To the beneficial properties of this fiber, several disadvantages can be added. If Konjac is used in very high amounts, it may increase the production of flatulence, or cause abdominal pain. High amounts may also modify the bioavailability of other drugs.

Amorphophallus Konjac Root Fiber Research
Effect of Konjac  and the dosage form on ethinylestradiol oral absorption in rabbits.
Contraception. 2004.
To the beneficial properties of dietary fiber in human health, several disadvantages can be added as the possible modification of the bioavailability of other drugs when administered by the oral route. In this study, the influence of Konjac  in the oral bioavailability of ethinyl estradiol (EE), when administered to female rabbits in two different dosage forms (enteric capsules and dispersed in water), was established. To carry out the study, three groups of six animals each were used. All animals received 1 mg kg(-1) oral EE, and rabbits in groups 2 and 3 received 1.5 g Konjac  dispersed in water or in enteric capsules, respectively, immediately before EE. When comparing the results obtained after the administration of EE/ Konjac  dispersed in water with those obtained after the administration of this estrogen without fiber, we can see that C(max) is 1.4 times lower, AUC 1.9 times lower and that t(max) is identical (10 min). However, after the administration of fiber in enteric capsules, AUC and C(max) are higher than when the estrogen was administered alone. After the administration of Konjac in the enteric capsule, the fiber forms, as in the stomach, a highly viscous solution in the gut that would limit EE access to the mucosal surface delaying its absorption. However, this effect could be compensated by a reduction of EE metabolism in the intestinal wall, leading to a higher absorption of the estrogen.

Study on molecular chain morphology and chain parameters of Konjac
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2003.
The konjac molecule is stentering semi-flexible linear chain without branch.

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Nature's Way Glucomannan (Amorphophallus konjac) is a 100% dietary fiber source obtained from the root of the konjac plant. It is an excellent addition to a sensible weight loss program. Our Konjac  is especially grown and prepared to Japan according to our exacting specifications.

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Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 3 Capsules
Servings Per Container: 33
  Amount Per Serving %Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 2 g <1%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
Glucomannan (Konjac root) 1.99 g (1,995 mg) **
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
** Daily Value not established.

Amorphophallus Konjac supplement facts
Serving Size 3 Capsules
Amorphophallus Konjac root - 1,990 mg
Recommendation: Take one to three Konjac capsules with a full glass of water at mealtimes

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