10% off €40

Code:SAVE
Buy 1 Get 1 Half PriceSummer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 pricePayday EventGreat SavingsOutletBetter than 1/2 priceBuy 2 for €23 Mix & Match1/2 PriceShort DatedVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubJoints, Aches & PainsGut HealthImmunityEnergyChildren's HealthHealthy HeartWeight ManagementExercise & RecoveryLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and AquaceuticalsDigestive EnzymesSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionCholesterolAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianRescue RemedyAshwagandhaMilk ThistleGinseng & GuaranaHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyFlower RemediesVegan Vitamins & SupplementsBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreBuy 1 Get 1 FreePayday EventSave up to 1/2 priceShort DatedGreat SavingsOutletHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicBetterYouBioglanNatures AidPE NutritionGrass & Co.H&B ExpertDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubImmunityExercise & RecoveryGut HealthEnergyJoints, Aches & PainsDental HealthWeight ManagementFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsDried FruitNutsSeedsMixesHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMoringa PowderSpirulinaGoji BerriesBaobabChia SeedsDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksTeaSuperfood TeaMatcha & Green TeaSleep & Relaxation TeaSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardCondiments & SaucesApple Cider VinegarSuperfoodsBreakfast CerealsHoney, Jams & SpreadsTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete FoodBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreePayday EventSave up to 1/2 priceOnline only 25% off or moreBetter than 1/2 priceGreat SavingsOutletHolland & BarrettNaturyaGrenadePukkaHeath & HeatherHuelPhDMeridianNakdOptimum NutritionGluten FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeEgg FreeSugar FreeMilk FreeSoya FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubExercise & RecoveryEnergyWeight ManagementSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinProtein VeganMeal ReplacementsWhey ProteinMass GainersDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsBCAAL-LysineGlutamineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossKetoSave up to 1/2 priceGreat SavingsBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreFree PE Essential Amino AcidsOutletBuy 1 Get 1 FreePayday EventPE NutritionOptimum NutritionGrenadeUSNPhDApplied NutritionHuelFoodspringSiSYfoodGluten FreeDairy FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubSkin Health - by skin concernDental HealthWomen's Health - Cycles & MenstruationWomen's Health - PregnancyChildren's HealthExercise & RecoveryJoints, Aches & PainsSexual HealthHealthy HeartImmunityNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsShop all Hair Skin & NailsNail ConditionsSkin ConditionsCollagenWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesMakeupElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreSave up to 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeOutletBuy 2 for €23 Mix & MatchPayday Event1/2 PriceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandMiaromaQ+AEthiqueTrilogyChilds FarmAlcohol FreePalm Oil FreeParfum FreeMicroplastics FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeFish FreeNew inWeight ManagementWeight Management HubExercise & RecoveryWeight ManagementEnergyHealthy HeartWeight Management Shop AllSlimming TabletsFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesWeight Management ShotsDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceGreat SavingsSave up to 1/2 priceOnline only 25% off or moreBuy 1 Get 1 FreePayday EventOutletGrenadeOptimum NutritionHolland & BarrettPhDPulsinEat WaterUSNNatures AidSlimExpertApplied NutritionSugar FreeGluten FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeNew inHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessGut HealthSkin Health - by skin concernEnergyWomen's Health - Hormonal HealthJoints, Aches & PainsWomen's Health - Menopause & PerimenopauseExercise & RecoveryImmunitySleep & RelaxationChildren's HealthJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthShop all Gut HealthGut Health FoodGut Health SkincareHair Skin & NailsShop all Hair Skin & NailsNail ConditionsSkin ConditionsCollagenStress AnxietyShop all Stress AnxietyEnergy SupportSleep & RelaxationShop all Sleep & RelaxationRelaxationFood & DietShop all Food & DietKeto FoodMenopauseBuy One Get One 1/2 PriceOnline only 25% off or moreBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 pricePayday EventBuy 2 for €23 Mix & MatchGreat SavingsOutletHolland & BarrettNaturtintDr OrganicVitabioticsWeledaSolgarEthiqueWildNew NordicHeath & HeatherDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeAlcohol FreeWheat FreeSesame Seed FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inShop for your WellnessJoints, Bones & MusclesWomen's HealthMenopauseSkincareGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessJoints, Bones & MusclesWomen's HealthPeriod & Cycle HealthMenopauseImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsArticlesAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

Glucomannan: Benefits, dosage, side effects & supplements

Find out all about glucomannan, including what it does, the benefits to taking it, side effects and how much you might need.

What is glucomannan/konjac?

Glucomannan, or konjac as it is sometimes known, is a natural, water-soluble fibre derived from the roots of a south-east Asian plant called the elephant yam.1

It has been traditionally used by the Chinese to detoxify and ease symptoms of asthma, and is still used to make noodles and tofu.2

It is often used as a bulking agent in foods, appearing as E425 on food labels.3 It’s also available as capsules and powder, and is added to some diet foods such as pastas and noodles.

What does glucomannan do in the body?

As with any fibre, glucomannan can help you feel more satisfied after eating, but what makes it interesting to scientists is that glucomannan has extraordinary water absorption capacities – it’s able to absorb up to 50 times its own weight in water!4

Summary

  • Glucomannan is a natural fibre sourced from elephant yam roots
  • It’s used to bulk up foods and is also a popular ingredient in diet foods like noodles and pasta
  • It can absorb 50x its own weight in water in your stomach – which is why it can help you feel fuller for longer

5 benefits of glucomannan

Now you know what glucomannan is, here are the top 5 potential glucomannan benefits.

  1. It may help you maintain your weight

Like all soluble fibres, glucomannan is highly absorbent, binding to water to form a gel.5 This helps:6

  • Create a sensation of fullness that can reduce appetite
  • Delay stomach emptying, keeping you feeling fuller for longer
  • Break down carbohydrates more slowly, stabilising post-meal blood sugar levels
  • Decrease fat absorption

A 2005 study by Norway’s University of Tromso reported that dieters who took glucomannan lost more weight than those taking other high-fibre supplements.7 

However, a 2013 study in Journal of Obesity found it had no effect on weight.8

  1. It may support gut health

As a viscous dietary fibre, glucomannan is the favourite food for certain friendly bacteria in our guts.

A 2010 laboratory study by the University of Reading found that it helped encourage healthy levels of gut bacteria populations, for example bifidobacterium, but more research on humans is still needed.9

And like all fibres, glucomannan can reduce constipation by increasing bulk, and speeding up food transit time through the colon.10

  1. It can lower cholesterol levels

According to a 2008 review of evidence in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, glucomannan can reduce levels of total cholesterol and cause a drop in ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, too.

Researchers suggested that glucomannan has this effect by altering both the way cholesterol is produced in the liver and how fats in the body are stored or used for energy.11

  1. It could help relieve constipation

Consuming glucomannan when you’re feeling constipated could help to ‘get things moving’ in your gut and help you find relief.

This is thought to be because more fibre in general will help relieve constipation – and glucomannan is an excellent source of that!

One study on 31 children found that supplementing glucomannan was beneficial for treating chronic constipation with no significant side effects. Significantly fewer children complained of abdominal pain, too.12

Another study with pregnant women suggested that supplementing glucomannan could help improve their constipation symptoms. The participants reported that taking glucomannan improved consistency and frequency of stools.13

  1. It could support healthy skin

Glucomannan could help to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

This is thought to be because glucomannan is a natural probiotic that can act as fuel for our skin’s microbiome and help keep it balanced.

There is limited research on its efficacy, but one 2013 study found that glucomannan may help to improve overall skin health, as well as potentially helping to soothe acne symptoms.14

Summary

  • Glucomannan is not just a supplement to help you maintain your weight, people also use it to support their gut health, cholesterol levels, healthy skin, as well as constipation relief

What is the best glucomannan supplement?

You have a few choices when it comes to konjac / glucomannan supplements and products, including:

  • Glucomannan capsules
  • Glucomannan tablets
  • Glucomannan rice
  • Glucomannan noodles
  • Glucomannan pasta
  • Glucomannan shots
  • Glucomannan meal replacement shakes
  • Glucomannan flour
  • Glucomannan powder

It totally depends on what you like!

Handpicked content: 7 of the best glucomannan supplements

Glucomannan dosage

How much glucomannan is safe to take?

A dose of around 2g to 4g per day has been used safely in studies, but always read the packaging or food label first.15 

Take glucomannan 15 minutes to an hour before a meal, and make sure you swallow it with 1-2 glasses of fluid to avoid it expanding before it reaches your stomach, as this could be dangerous.16

Glucomannan has not been proved safe for the following people:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Children
  • If you are diabetic, speak to your doctor before taking glucomannan as it can reduce the absorption of some diabetes medications.17

When to take glucomannan supplements?

It is generally recommended that you take glucomannan around 15-30 minutes before you eat a meal if you are using it to try and manage your weight.

For other reasons, it shouldn’t really matter when you consume it, but try to avoid taking it too close to bedtime.

Side-effects of glucomannan

Generally, glucomannan is well-tolerated. Mild side-effects can include:18

  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Soft stools
  • Diarrhoea

This is because glucomannan predominantly impacts our gut – and while it may help relieve constipation, it could also swing the other way and cause us to feel these other symptoms.

Just take it slowly with glucomannan and see how your body reacts before taking it regularly.

Is glucomannan safe?

Glucomannan is considered generally safe for adults, but you should always check with your GP if you have any health conditions before taking it – especially if you are diabetic.

Why is glucomannan banned in Australia?

Australia and the European Union banned konjac jellies as it may pose a choking risk, especially in children. This is because it does not dissolve easily and absorbs a lot of water – which is why it is important to chew konjac jelly thoroughly before swallowing.

Summary

  • Glucomannan is a natural ingredient with a lot of potential health benefits, from maintaining your weight to supporting your gut microbiome
  • It is generally safe to use by adults, with only mild reported side effects, but please listen to your body as we will all react differently to it

Now that you're clued up on glucomannan, find out which are the best glucomannan supplements available right now: 7 of the best glucomannan supplements

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 24 May 2021

Related Articles

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • AmericanExpress
  • PayPal
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.ie is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Limited. Registered office: 45 Henry Street, Dublin, Dublin 1, D01 E9X8. Registered in Ireland: Company no. 79819. Registered VAT no. 4682002U.