Konjac Mannan

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Konjac Mannan Side Effects

Konjac mannan or glucomannan is a polysaccharide obtainable from the plant Amorphophallus konjac that has been utilized as a gelling agent in cuisines, most notably in Eastern Asia. Its ability to swell upon absorption of water has made scientists to explore its potential as a laxative and therapeutic agent to cure common digestive problems. Recently, konjac mannan has been discovered to be a possible agent in treating conditions and illnesses, such as allergic hypersensitivity of the skin, overgrowth of the thyroid hormones, and even lung cancer.

However, akin to other herbal medicines and supplements, the konjac mannan side effectsare nonetheless present, which if left to stay can cause further complications.

One of the visible side effects of konjac mannan is the appearance of allergies throughout the body, possibly due to the unrefined particles present in the product (either the plant itself or a processed supplement), which the body may perceive as a threatening foreign substance. Some of the symptoms include, but not limited to, chest pains, chest congestion, throat pains, swelling, hives, and skin rashes. As konjac mannan is a dietary fiber, it can create a gas buildup which slows down the movement of stool through the digestive system, creating a bloating effect, especially in the abdomen area. Too much absorption of water can cause the glucomannan to grow too big, which can cause blocking of the esophagus and, consequently breathing problems.

Konjac mannan can also bind with other substances in the body, which may hinder the ability to absorb nutrients by cells and tissues. For instance, the role of konjac mannan in binding with bile acids to cleanse the digestive tract can reduce absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin E. In fact, a study showed reduced calcium absorption in rats injected with konjac mannan due to loss of calcium-binding protein that bound with the dietary fiber; this implies a similar condition in humans. It is also not recommended for pregnant women and mothers who perform breastfeeding to consumer foods containing konjac mannan due to its lack of absorptivity by breast milk from the digestive tract into the rest of the body.    
Perhaps intake of konjac mannan can cause multiple trips to the bathroom, either through frequent urination or worse, diarrhea.The degradation of glucomannan into mannose and glucose causes an increase in glucose level, leading to quicker metabolic processes, including the removal of toxins from the digestive tract; this causes frequent urination. Meanwhile, high dosages of konjac mannan can disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the intestines, which can lead to disruption of the digestive process. Aside from the effects of bloating, this can take place through the harmful bacteria species like those belonging to the Clostridia and Escherichia genera producing toxins which can stimulate an increased fluid secretion of the intestines, leading to excessive stool excretion. The harmful microorganisms can also directly cause an infection, inflaming the walls of the intestines and effectively causing gastroenteritis and other processes in the digestive system, leading to the occurrence of diarrhea.

Although its healing properties are being established, the konjac mannan side effects remain mostly mildly dangerous; thus, it is recommended to consult a doctor before consuming it. We hope this was helpful to you.