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  • Glucomannan causes 5 lbs weight loss in six weeks


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    Wednesday, February 22, 2006 1:35 am Email this article
    Patients lost an average of 5.1 pounds in six weeks taking a combination of glucomannan, chitosan, fenugreek, Gymnema sylvestre and vitamin C before compared to no weight loss for those taking a placebo according to a study by Woodgate and Conquer (2003). Glucomannan is a gel-forming fiber that is similar to guar gum.

    One subject in the glucomannan group was massively obese. Not including this person in the data made the average weight loss 4.2 pounds.


    Weight loss: 1 to 13 lbs

    Weight loss ranged from 0.7 pounds to 13.4 pounds for those given glucomannan with the average being 5.1 pounds (Woodgate et al, 2003).43

    Fat loss: 4 lbs

    Subjects taking glucomannan lost an average of 4.4 pounds of body fat compared with a 0.4 pound gain in body fat in the placebo group (Woodgate et al, 2003).43

    Waist reduction: -1.6 inches

    Subjects taking glucomannan decreased their waist an average of 4.1 cm (1.6 inches) compared with a 0.7 cm (0.3 inches) in the placebo group (Woodgate et al, 2003).43

    Hip reduction: -1.6 inches

    Subjects taking glucomannan decreased their hips an average of 2.9 cm (1.1 inches) compared with an increase of 0.6 cm (0.2 inches) in the placebo group (Woodgate et al, 2003).43

    Belly reduction: -1.8 inches

    Subjects taking glucomannan decreased their belly an average of 4.5 cm (1.8 inches) compared with 0.7 cm (0.3 inches)in the placebo group (Woodgate et al, 2003).43

    Dose: 2 capsules three times a day before meals

    The dose was two capsules three times per day an hour before each meal (Woodgate et al, 2003).

    Two capsules contained a total of 1395 mg of a combination of glucomannan, chitosan, fenugreek, Gymnema sylvestre and vitamin C (Woodgate et al, 2003).43 Unfortunately the paper did not specify the amount of glucomannan per capsule.

    The placebo consisted of rice flower.

    Timing: one hour before meals

    Subjects took the glucomannan product one hour before meals.

    Personal experience: Best taken immediately before meals

    Based on personal experience with guar gum and psyllium for 15 years, I believe that soluble fibers such as glucomannan, guar gum and psyllium are most effective when taken immediately before eating.

    Previous study found psyllium worked best when mixed with food

    One study found that psyllium—which is much less soluble than glucomannan or guar gum—was only effective at slowing the absorption of food and thus lowering peak blood sugar levels when it was actually mixed with food.

    Study Design: Double-blind, placebo-controlled

    The study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

    It consisted of 8 women and 4 men in the glucomannan group—of which 2 dropped out—and 9 women and 3 men in the placebo group—of which 2 dropped out also.

    Subjects: 12 people in glucomannan group, 12 in placebo group

    It consisted of 8 women and 4 men in the glucomannan group—of which 2 dropped out—and 9 women and 3 men in the placebo group—of which 2 dropped out also.

    Average age: 37-years-old

    The subjects were 21- to 48-years-old with an average age of 37.

    Average BMI: 36

    All subjects were overweight or obese with body mass indexes (BMI) of 28.9 to 50.9, with an average of 35.7.

    Average weight: 222 pounds

    Average body weight was 222 pounds in the glucomannan group compared to 202 pounds in the placebo group.

    One subject in the glucomannan group was massively obese with a BMI of 50.9.

    Calorie intake

    Glucomannan did not significant affect calorie intake, protein intake, fat intake or carbohydrate intake, however, there was a significant reduction in alcohol intake from 5.1 percent of calories to 3.2 percent of calories by the end of the study.

    Even though the difference in calorie intake was not statistically significant it is worth pointing out that the placebo group decreased their calorie intake 2.3 times more than the glucomannan group.

    Comparing calorie intake during the first three days of the study with the last three days of the study shows that the glucomannan group decreased their calorie intake by 210 calories per day in the glucomannan group (from 2165 to 1945 calories per day) compared to a decrease of 484 calories in the placebo group (from 2268 to 1783 calories per day).

    There was no explanation given for this.

    No adverse effects

    No treatment-related adverse effects were reported.

    One person in the glucomannan group and one person in the placebo group reported constipation, headache, and indigestion, however, this was not considered treatment-related.

    Glucomannan is 5 times more viscous than guar gum

    Woodgate noted that glucomannan is five times more viscous than guar gum.

    The researcher sells the product used in this study

    It should be noted that the lead author of this paper (Derek Woodgate) owns the company (NxCare Inc., Ontario, Canada) which produces and sells the product (Calorie-Care) used in this study.

    COMMENTS

    Glucomannan and guar gum act in a similar manner. They form a gel after mixing with water.

    Many researchers have argued that glucomannan should be more effective than guar at causing weight loss because glucomannan forms a thicker gel.

    I do not necessarily agree with this.

    I believe that guar gum is probably just as effective as glucomannan, and perhaps even more effective, because the guar-gum-forming gel may be better able to mix with food and slow the absorption of calories.

    REFERENCE

    Woodgate D, Conquer J. Effects of a stimulant-free dietary supplement on body weight and fat loss in obese adults: a six-week exploratory study. Current Therapeutic Research, Clinical & Experimental. 2003 Apr, 64(4):248-62.

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