Meta-analysis supports cholesterol-lowering activity of konjac glucomannan

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/marekuliasz
© iStock/marekuliasz

Related tags: Ldl cholesterol, Ldl cholesterol levels, Low-density lipoprotein, Cholesterol

A daily 3 gram dose of konjac glucomannan may reduce LDL cholesterol levels by an impressive 10%, according to data pooled from 12 randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

The same dose was also associated with a 7% reduction in non-HDL cholesterol, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​.

“The information may be of interest to health agencies in crafting future dietary recommendations related to reduction in CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk,” ​wrote the scientists, led by Prof Vladimir Vuksan. PhD, from the University of Toronto.

Hypercholesterolemia

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),​ almost 74 million American adults – or 32% - have high LDL cholesterol levels, and fewer than 30% of these have the condition under control.

High total cholesterol levels may double the risk for heart disease.

The nutrition industry offers a range of ingredients with significant science supporting their ability to lower or manage cholesterol levels, including Psyllium husk, beta-glucan from oats and barley, soy protein, and stanols/sterols.

Meta-analysis details

The new meta-analysis assessed the potential activity of konjac glucomannan, a viscous soluble fiber, for improving LDL-cholesterol levels.

During an extensive literature search for studies to be included in the systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers identified eight RCTs in adults and four in children.

The results indicated that konjac glucomannan significantly lowered LDL cholesterol by an average of 0.35 mmol/L and non-HDL cholesterol by an average of 0.32 mmol/L.

On the other hand, no impact was observed on apolipoprotein B, the main apolipoprotein of LDL cholesterol that is responsible for the transport of cholesterol to tissues.

“Our findings support the intake of 3 g KJM/d for reductions in LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol of 10% and 7%, respectively,” ​concluded Prof Vuksan and his co-workers.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.142158
“A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of the effect of konjac glucomannan, a viscous soluble fiber, on LDL cholesterol and the new lipid targets non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B”
Authors: Hoang Vi Thanh Ho, et al 

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