Elephant Yam or Konjac plant, konnyaku potato, devil s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm. Medicinal plant. Hand drawn botanical vector illustration

The Konjac Root Craze: Is It As Beneficial As They Say?

Konjac root has been getting a good deal of press lately, especially since appearing on Dr. Oz’s show and making his list of “Viewers All Time Favorite Tips” . . . not to mention all the buzz it’s getting on other TV shows and in various publications.

So, why is this mysterious root getting all this attention?  Well, the word is that Konjac root can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, and even help with diabetes.

What Is Konjac Root?
Konjac root is a perennial plant that is native to parts of Japan, China, Indonesia and other select areas of Southern Asia. Its health benefits come in the form of plant-derived, water-soluble dietary fiber. This fiber is one of the main ingredients in shirataki noodles and konnyaku, which are traditional Japanese foods. More recently, however, the fiber from the Konjac plant can be found in the form of supplements.

Konjac Root for Weight Loss
What makes Konjac root an effective weight loss aid is its ability to help you feel fuller for a longer period of time so that you eat less.  Not only that, but this dietary fiber attaches itself to bile acids and helps to eliminate them from the body.  Essentially it works as what is known as a bulk-forming laxative, which helps you to have larger and more solid stools for easier elimination.

Konjac Root and Cholesterol
An 8-week study conducted in 1984 and published in the Journal of Obesity found that patients who consumed one (1) gram of Konjac root had a notable decrease in their LDL cholesterol levels and their serum cholesterol levels. Another test conducted in 1995 found similar results, as well as a noted decrease in the triglyceride levels of the test subjects.

Konjac Root and Diabetes
Konjac root has been found to stop the rise of blood sugar levels after a meal, as well as slow the speed in which the body digests food; both of which have a positive impact on type-2 diabetes.

Potential Side Effects
The same thing that makes Konjac root so effective when it comes to digestion, elimination, and weight loss can pose a health concern, if not addressed.  When not taken properly it poses a choking hazard and can cause bowel obstructions.  There’s a simple solution though – It’s advised that you take any supplement containing the fiber of the root with a large glass of water.  It helps the fiber to pass through your system safely.
Also, because of its effects on blood sugar and cholesterol levels, those already taking medication to treat these conditions need to consult a doctor before taking any supplement containing the root.

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