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

Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 May;105(5):1239-1247. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.142158. Epub 2017 Mar 29.


Background: Evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) suggests the consumption of konjac glucomannan (KJM), a viscous soluble fiber, for improving LDL-cholesterol concentrations. It has also been suggested that the cholesterol-lowering potential of KJM may be greater than that of other fibers. However, trials have been relatively scarce and limited in sample size and duration, and the effect estimates have been inconsistent. The effect of KJM on new lipid targets of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is also unknown.Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the effect of KJM on LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B.Design: Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central databases were searched. We included RCTs with a follow-up of ≥3 wk that assessed the effect of KJM on LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, or apolipoprotein B. Data were pooled by using the generic inverse-variance method with random-effects models and expressed as mean differences (MDs) with 95% CIs. Heterogeneity was assessed by the Cochran Q statistic and quantified by the I2 statistic.Results: Twelve studies (n = 370), 8 in adults and 4 in children, met the inclusion criteria. KJM significantly lowered LDL cholesterol (MD: -0.35 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.46, -0.25 mmol/L) and non-HDL cholesterol (MD: -0.32 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.46, -0.19 mmol/L). Data from 6 trials suggested no impact of KJM on apolipoprotein B.Conclusions: Our findings support the intake of ∼3 g KJM/d for reductions in LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol of 10% and 7%, respectively. The information may be of interest to health agencies in crafting future dietary recommendations related to reduction in CVD risk. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02068248.

Keywords: CVD risk reduction; LDL cholesterol; konjac glucomannan; non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B; systematic review and meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amorphophallus / chemistry*
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Child
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mannans / pharmacology*
  • Mannans / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Mannans
  • (1-6)-alpha-glucomannan
  • Cholesterol

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02068248