Faster weight loss through an artificial feeling of satiety: that’s what capsules with glucomannan promise. But what is behind it and what should you pay attention to? Experts advise caution.
There are many methods that are said to help you lose weight fast. One of them are so-called saturation capsules, in which many manufacturers rely on so-called glucomannan sources.
Although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) considers a weight-reducing effect to be scientifically proven, this only applies to overweight people in combination with a low-calorie diet. For this reason, manufacturers are allowed to advertise with the statement: “Glucomannan contributes to weight loss as part of a low-calorie diet.”
The capsules are not a miracle cure with which you can lose weight quickly and easily. Therefore, pay attention to such advertising promises.
Depending on the product used, you should take one to two capsules immediately before a meal and drink one or two glasses of water. As with other dietary fibers, increased intake of glucomannan can cause bloating, abdominal pain and gas.
You should pay attention to this:
The capsules contain bulking agents made from fiber and bind the water in the stomach. The swelling causes the feeling of satiety in the stomach to be triggered more quickly and you automatically eat less. The fiber then travels through the intestines and is not absorbed by the body.
The problem: It’s not just a full stomach that tells the body that it’s time to eat. The feeling of satiety is primarily regulated by the brain, and digestive hormones in the body are only formed when food passes through the gastrointestinal tract.
This means that the feeling of hunger can only be reduced, but not completely switched off. Also, with the help of the capsules, a lower weight cannot necessarily be maintained permanently.
The water-soluble fiber is similar to starch and can absorb many times more water than its own mass – up to 50 times as much. Glucomannan then swells into a firm gel.
The glucomannan is obtained from the konjac root, a tuber weighing several kilos that is crushed, dried and ground. The substance is finally extracted from this flour and dried again.