| Nutrition and public health experts and professors in Japan and China have made many clinical trials about medical and health—promoting functions of konjac and came to similar conclusions. Konjac glucomannan(KGM), in essence, is a soluble semi cellulose. The reason for its outstanding nutritional and health-promoting functions lies in its ability to regulate and correct nutritional imbalance just as other dietary fibers. But it differs from the non-soluble cellulose contained in cabbage, celery and other vegetables in that when taken into the human body, it is not excreted in its original form. Instead, it is involved in the metabolic processes of the human body and promotes a change of the microbial composition in the intestinal tract in a direction more favorable for human health. The health-promoting and medical functions of konjac fine flour, or crude KGM, are as follows:
1.Regulating lipid metabolism
The combination of soluble dietary cellulose and cholic acid in the intestinal tract accelerates the excretion of cholic acid and thus increases its synthesis and,as a result, the rate of transfer of cholesterol to cholic acid is increased and the level of cholesterol in the plasma is decreased. Soluble dietary cellulose also reduced by the metabolites of cholic acid. Konjac significantly lowers the levels of low density lipoprotein in the plasma (LDL-c), cholesterol and triglyceride, and blood fat content will not continue to drop when it has been lowered to the normal, thus indicating that konjac can regulate lipid metabolism and function to prevent hyperlipidemia and adiposis hepatica.
2.Improving sugar metabolism
Diet control is an important measure for treating diabetes. Dietary fibers cannot be digested and assimilated. Though containing no calories, they give the feeling that the stomach is full. They also reduce or delay the intake of glucose and, therefore, are good supplementary medicines for diabetes patients. The soluble cellulose alone can improve sugar metabolism significantly and the non-soluble cellulose does not have significant effect of this kind. Konjac based foods to diabetes patients reduced their levels of FBG(Fasting blood sugar), PBG(posteibal BG) and CHB, and improved their conditions.
3.prevention and treatment of constipation
The victims of constipation have been increasing in number due to in improvement diet of the people and the increment of their life expectancy. Increasing the content of dietary fiber in their diet represents the main measure to prevent constipation. KGM is a good-quality soluble dietary fiber characterized by a high water-binding capacity. Taken in with other foods, it increases water content in the facet. What is more, it produces short-bond fatty acids when decomposed by the bacteria community in the colon and facilitates the vermicular movement of the intestines. Thus shortening the intervals between defecations and reduces the time span for one defecation. Dietary fibers can dilute the carcinogenic substances in the intestinal tract or combine with then and shorten the time for them to pass the intestine tract and thus reduces their toxicity. KGM can improve the metabolism of the bacteria in the intestine. Owing to its fermentation in the intestinal tract, KGM lowers the PH in the intestinal tract, thus favoring the growth of beneficial bacteria communities.
Over-weight has caused over increasing concern as a disease of modern civilization. Over-weight brings people much inconvenience and affects their figure negatively. What is more important is the fact that many diseases, such as hypertipidemia, CHD, hypertension and diabetes, usually accompany over-weight.
Over-weight is attributed to many factors; inheritance, disorder of endocrine or metabolic diseases. But the fundamental cause for over-weight is imbalance of heal energy. When heat energy intake exceeds the demand, the surplus part of it is converted into fat end deposited in the body. As a result, body weight exceeds the normal level. Rigorous control of diet to reduce heat intake is not acceptable to many people, for the hunger involved is unbearable. FOOD containing much provides an important means for controlling heat intake and preventing or alleviating obesity.
Konjac fine flour has the activity of immunity regulation, being able to enhance the functions of specific and non-specific immunity in normal mice and immunity-depressed mice.
Epidemiological surveys and some experiments showed that dietary fibers have the function of preventing colon cancer and mammary cancer. Its mechanism for cancer prevention might be that soluble fibers absorbs a great amount of water, which dilutes the carcinogenic substances or their precursors in the intestinal tract and facilitates their excretion out of human body.
In summary, glucomannan, the main component of konjac, is a soluble cellulose. It by far exceeds the non-soluble non-soluble cellulose contained in other ordinary vegetables in the five above-stated health-promoting and healthful functions.