Konjac root, also known as elephant yam, is a plant native to Southeast Asia that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Recently, it has gained popularity in the Western world as a dietary supplement due to its numerous health benefits.
Here are some of the benefits of konjac root:
Konjac root is high in glucomannan, a type of dietary fiber that can help you feel full and satisfied, leading to reduced calorie intake and weight loss. According to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, overweight and obese adults who took glucomannan supplements lost more weight than those who took a placebo.
Blood sugar control
Glucomannan has also been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that consuming glucomannan for 12 weeks improved glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
Konjac root is a prebiotic, which means it promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This can lead to improved digestive health and a stronger immune system. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that consuming konjac glucomannan increased the number of beneficial gut bacteria in healthy adults.
Konjac root has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in several studies. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming glucomannan for 4 weeks lowered LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 16 mg/dL in people with high cholesterol.
Konjac root contains a high concentration of glucomannan, which has been shown to improve skin health by increasing moisture levels and reducing inflammation. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that applying konjac glucomannan to the skin improved skin hydration and reduced inflammation in people with dry skin.
In addition to these benefits, konjac root is low in calories, sugar, and fat, making it a great addition to a healthy diet.
It is important to note that konjac root should be consumed in moderation and under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as excessive consumption may lead to gastrointestinal side effects.
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Chen HL, et al. Konjac supplement alleviated hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetic subjects–a randomized double-blind trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):342-8.
Salazar N, et al. Konjac glucomannan hydrolysate and probiotics modulate the intestinal microbiome and increase the level of short-chain fatty acids in healthy adults. J Funct Foods. 2019 Oct;61:103496.
Vuksan V, et al. Konjac-mannan and American ginsing: emerging alternative therapies for type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Feb;20(1):370S-380S.
Ranzato E, et al. The role of botanicals in skin hydration. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018 Aug;17(4):423-429.