Konjac and celiac disease

 Celiac disease is a long term autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine; it is caused by reaction to gluten. Gluten is a composite of storage proteins, stored together with starch in the endosperm of some grains like wheat, barley, oat, etc.

The symptoms of celiac diseascan range from damage to several organs on any part of the body, or no symptoms. It is characterized by gastrointestinal problems like malabsorption, abdominal distention, chronic diarrhea, loss of appetite, and failure to grow normally for children. It is associated with some autoimmune diseases like diabetes mellitus typle1, psoriasis, vitiligo, autoimmune hepatitis and more.

The only known effective treatment is a strict lifelong gluten free diet mixed with the intake of probiotic, found naturally in konjac.

Konjac glucomannan (KGM) is a fermentable dietary fiber that is soluble in water. It is derived from the root of Konjac plants, native to Asia. It is famous for its numerous health benefits.  For thousands of years, Asians have used the Konjac fiber, in powder form, to treat asthma, diarrhea, skin disorders and breast pain.

Dried Konjac root contains about 40­­% to 60% glucomannan fiber. Konjac Glucomannan is the most viscosity soluble fiber in nature. It has the highest water holding capacity of any soluble fiber; it can carry up to 100% of its own water weight. Because it is a soluble fiber, it lowers blood cholesterol when added to diet. It prevents sugar from rising too high after meals by keeping food in the stomach longer, thereby preventing free fatty acids and triglycerides from rising too high after meals. It binds to fats in the intestine, and  preventing fat absorption, this dissolves fluids in large intestine as well as forms the gel that will bind with the bile acids in intestines, thus, liver converts more of cholesterol to bile the acids, blood cholesterol level gets reduced.

Konjac glucomannan has been known to act as a natural probiotic, by feeding the friendly bacteria in the intestine, it helps the gut health and the overall well being of a person. Glucomannan, as a non digestible fiber, passes through upper part of gastrointestinal tract as well as remains undigested because human body can’t break it down fully. But once it reaches the colon, where it is fermented by the gut microflora, it creates probiotics. Glucomannan increases the fecal concentration of probiotics in general, as well as probiotics like bifidobacteri and lactobacilli. These bacteria exert protective properties on epithelial cells from damage caused by gliadin.

This in turn yields these benefits:

  • ·        Better gut health.
  • ·        Higher immune function.
  • ·        Lower inflammation and autoimmune reactions.
  • ·        Constipation relief. It is a bulk forming laxative, so its intake promotes a larger bulkier stool that passes through the colon easily

This leads to recovery of mucosa, improved symptoms, and reduced risks of developing complications in most people suffering  from Celiac disease.