Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide that is considered a dietary fiber. It is a hemicellulose component in the cell walls of some plant species. Glucomannan is a food additive used as an emulsifier and thickener. Products containing glucomannan, under a variety of brand names, are marketed as dietary supplements with claims they can relieve constipation and help lower cholesterol levels. Since 2010 they are legally marketed in Europe as helping with weight loss for people who are overweight and eating a diet with restricted calories, but as of 2014 the evidence did not support this effect.Supplements containing glucomannans pose a risk for choking and bowel obstruction if they are not taken with sufficient water. Other adverse effects include diarrhea, belching, and bloating; in one study people taking glucomannans had higher triglyceride levels.Glucomannans are also used to supplement animal feed for farmed animals, to help the animals gain weight more quickly.
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