Konjac mannan alleviating constipation and reducing weight
|United States Patent||3,973,008|
|Sugiyama , et al.||August 3, 1976|
Water-soluble konjac mannan capable of undergoing gelation when heated in an aqueous alkaline solution is obtained by extracting the ground tuber of the konjac plant with water, separating insoluble matter, dialyzing the solids-free liquid against water and then lyophilizing the dialyzed liquid to remove water. This konjac mannan extract has utility for alleviating constipation and reducing weight.
|Inventors:||Sugiyama; Noboru (Tokyo, JA); Shimahara; Hideo (Mihara, JA)|
|Assignee:||Kabushiki Kaisha Shimizu Manzo Shoten (JA)|
|Filed:||October 9, 1974|
|Dec 30, 1970[JA]||45-128288|
|Current U.S. Class:||424/773|
|Intern'l Class:||A61K 035/78; A61K 031/70|
|Field of Search:||260/236.5 424/195,180 127/54|
|Foreign Patent Documents|
Primary Examiner: Moyer; Donald B.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Daniel; William J.
This application is a continuation in part of U.S. application Ser. No. 179,201, filed Sept. 9, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,856,945.
What is claimed is:
1. A method for reducing body weight in overweight Japanese humans fed with the general Japanese diet which comprises orally administering a therapeutically effective dose of purified, water-soluble konjac mannan in the range of about 0.1 - 10 g. per kg of body weight per day.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said konjac mannan is obtained by extracting with water the ground tuber of the konjac plant, dialyzing such extract against water and lyophilizing the thus dialyzed extract to remove water.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein said dose is in the range of about 0.1 - 1 gm per kg of body weight.
This invention relates to a substantially pure, water-soluble konjac mannan extract and to the use of this konjac mannan to alleviate constipation and reduce weight.
Konjac (Amorphophalus Konjac C. Koch) is a perennial plant belonging to the family Araceae. "Konnyaku", which is made from the tuber of this plant, has been used traditionally for food in Japan for several hundred years. The predominant component of edible konnyaku is a glucomannan called konjac mannan. Edible konnyaku is made from the konjac flour, which is obtained from the dried tuber of this plant.
Several techniques are known in the art for separating konjac mannan from konjac flour. In one, konjac flour is boiled in water, treated with Fehling's solution to convert the mannan to its copper complex, and the latter is decomposed again into the mannan after purification, as disclosed in J. Agr. Chem. Soc. Japan, 6, 991-995 (1930). In another, konjac flour is extracted with water, impurities are removed by precipitating with ethanol and redissolving the precipitate in water several times, and drying the precipitate finally obtained to obtain pure konjac mannan, as disclosed in Bull. Chem. Soc. Japan, 49, 298-322 (1927).
However, konjac mannan obtained by these methods is no longer soluble in water and is not able to form a konjac gel. This is probably due to a kind of denaturation during the processing as has been observed for amylose in alkaline solution, in J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 76, 4595 (1954).
As the result of research on a method of separating konjac mannan in substantially pure form without serious loss of its valuable natural properties, it has been found that a substantially pure, water-soluble konjac mannan can be obtained by extracting the powder of the dried tuber of konjac (Amorphophalus Konjac) with water, removing insoluble materials from the extract, dialyzing it against water and then subjecting the liquid material remaining after such dialysis to lyophilization or freeze-drying.
The water-soluble konjac mannan thus obtained is useful medicinally since it has been found to be effective in alleviating constipation and reducing weight in human beings. Since water-insoluble konjac mannan prepared by conventional methods has no such pharmacological activity, it is quite surprising that the water-soluble konjac mannan prepared by the process described above has such effect.
The object of this invention is thus a method of alleviating constipation or reducing weight in human beings by administering an effective dose of the substantially pure, water-soluble konjac mannan.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.
According to this invention, konjac flour is mixed with water under agitation to make a colloidal solution and the resulting solution is separated from insoluble materials by filtration, centrifugal separation or other suitable procedures, then subjected to dialysis treatment and finally to lyophilization to yield substantially pure konjac mannan.
The konjac flour used as the starting material in this invention is generally prepared either by crushing into fine particles the dried tubers of a plant which belongs to the genus Colacacia, preferably Amorphophallus Konjac C. Koch, or by removing starch, fiber, protein, etc., and ethanol-soluble materials from a slurry of ground tubers of the stated type. A commercially available konjac flour sold for the production of edible konnyaku is also useful as a starting material without further preparatory treatment.
A preferred embodiment of the process of this invention involves stirring one volume of the konjac flour with 10-200 volumes of water or grinding one part by weight of raw tuber with 10-100 parts by weight of water, whereby the water-soluble components of the konjac flour, such as konjac mannan, low molecular weight impurities and inorganic salts, are dissolved in the water while the water-insoluble components, such as starch particles, epidermis of tuber and fibrous materials, are precipitated. The insoluble components are readily removed by filtration, centrifugal separation or any of the other known conventional methods. The resulting aqueous colloidal solution is then dialyzed by the usual methods, for example, through a semi-permeable membrane against tap water for 24-48 hours. By this treatment, the water-soluble impurities and inorganic materials contaminating the konjac mannan are removed almost completely.
Finally, removal of water from the resulting solution by lyophilization or freeze-drying under ordinary conditions leaves a substantially pure, water-soluble konjac mannan as a purely white, cotton-like material, which exhibits the natural properties of konjac mannan, i.e. ready solubility in water and capability of forming konnyaku when heated in the form of an aqueous colloidal solution with alkali. In contrast, the konjac mannans prepared by known conventional methods substantially lose these natural properties. Thus, the extracted material of the invention is useful as a food, i.e. in the preparation of konnyaku.
The conditions used for lyophilization are not critical and can vary according to the accepted practice in that art. Temperature in the range of -75.degree. - 0.degree. and pressures in the range of 0.001 - 0.1 mm Hg are acceptible. The lyophilization need not be carried to substantial dryness if the material can be more readily mixed and/or used in the form of a concentrated solution.
The substantially pure, water-soluble konjac mannan extract prepared by the present process is a new product not heretofore identified in the literature and has been found to be effective in reducing weight and/or alleviating constipation, when administered to humans and like warm-blooded animals.
The substantially pure, water-soluble konjac mannan extract may be administered as such, or, if desirable, in the form of a mixture with any carrier conventionally used for internal medicaments. This dose can vary but is generally administered every day within the range from 0.001 - 0.4 g., per kilogram of body weight, which can be given in several portions if desired.
Useful as pharmaceutically acceptable carriers are water, glucose, lactose, gum arabic, gelatin, mannitol, starch paste, magnesium trisilicate, talc, cone starch, potato starch, keratin, colloidal silica, etc.
The konjac mannan of this invention, or mixture thereof, may be in any desired form, e.g. powder, tablet, capsule, solution, etc. The preparation of the present konjac mannan will be illustrated in more detail by the following procedure.
A colloidal solution was prepared by dissolving 0.5 g. of a commercially available konjac flour in 100 ml. of water. After standing for 2 hours, the solution was filtered through a 150-mesh nylon filter cloth and then through a glass-filter (3G4) with suction to remove the insoluble materials completely. 50 milliliters of the clear filtrate was packed in a cellophane tube and dialyzed against distilled water for 48 hours. The solution remaining after this treatment was transferred to a well-cleaned Schale and lyophilized at -20.degree.C. and 0.001 mm Hg pressure for about 30 hours in a usual manner. Purely white, cotton-like konjac mannan (0.4 grams) was thus prepared. Anal. Calcd. for (C.sub.6 H.sub.10 O.sub.5.1/8 H.sub.2 O)n; C, 43,83%; H, 6.28%; Found: D, 43,87%; H, 6.22%; N, trace.
The properties of the konjac mannan extract thus obtained are shown in the following table where those of the starting flour and of a purified konjac mannan prepared by a known method are also shown for comparison.
TABLE A ______________________________________ Konjac Starting The konjac mannon konjac mannan prepared flour (com- prepared in Pre- merically by a known paration available) method * ______________________________________ Solubility in water soluble soluble insoluble Gelability retained retained lost Solubility in 20% NaOH insoluble insoluble soluble Reducing -Power none present none Starch- -iodine negative positive negative reaction ______________________________________ * J. Agr. Chem. Soc. Japan, 6, 991-995 (1930)
The konjac mannan extract of this invention is a pure white, light fibrous solid with very high bulk and low density. It has no discernible odor or taste and forms a clear viscous solution or colloidal suspension with water. The fibers can, of course, be shredded or pulverized.
According to conventional dialysis procedure, such as is employed in the practice of the invention, the concentration of the solution is usually within the range of 0.1-1.0% by weight, preferably 0.3-1.0% by weight. The dialysis temperature is generally within the range of 0.degree.-30.degree.C, preferably 3.degree.-10.degree.C. Above about 30.degree.C, the solution tends to undergo decay where the circumstances are suitable for growth of microorganisms. Utilizable as semi-permeable membranes are preferably cellulosic materials, especially cellophane marketed by Visking. Membranes of animal origin, for example, urinary bladder membranes, are generally inappropriate for the purpose of this invention for the reason that their pore size is too large. By employing membranes of vegetable origin such as cellophane, particulate impurities are removed to yield a product having a definite size of molecule. The conditions of the dialysis are not especially critical in practice of this invention, however, and any ranges would be suitable here.
The medical effects of the konjac mannan as well as the safety of this substance for human consumption are demonstrated by the following tests:
Effects on Longevity of Rats and Mice of the Administration of Konjac Mannan Extract
The life spans of rats and mice were examined. The life span of gnobiotic mice was about two years, that of conventionally reared ones was about 15 months and that of the animals to which konjac mannan was administered was longer than 2 years. Also, conventionally reared rats survived a year and a half, while those to which konjac mannan was administered survived longer than two years. In animals to which konjac mannan extract was administered, the number of bacteria in the alimentary canal such as stomach, jejunum, and caecum was reduced, and such animals were observed to survive longer than the conventionally reared ones.
Effect of the Administration of Konjac Mannan Extract on Moderate Constipation in Human Females
One gram of konjac mannan extract was administered every day for 10 days to 17 women ranging from 20 to 22 in age and suffering from moderate constipation, and its effects on passage, i.e. bowel evacuation, were examined. Two days before administration of the konjac mannan extract, all of the 17 subjects suffered from constipation. On the third day after starting such administration, however, all of them had passage, and thereafter during administration every one had passage every day.
After the administration was stopped, on the following day every one had passage, on the third day thereafter the number of those who had passage decreased to 10 from 17, and a week later all of them were constipated again. Thus, passage was secured during the administration of the pure konjac mannan, but once its administration was stopped, its anticonstipating effect disappeared gradually. The results of this test are summarized below in Table I.
TABLE I __________________________________________________________________________ Before During After administration administration administration the the the 2 days 1st 2nd 3rd 1 day 3 days 7 days before day day day after after after __________________________________________________________________________ Present (+) 0 0 17 17 17 10 0 Passage Absent (-) 17 17 0 0 0 7 17 __________________________________________________________________________
Results of the Administration of Konjac Mannan Extract on Constipation of Medium Degree in Human Females
Sixteen women ranging from 35 to 40 in age, suffering from constipation of medium degree, were administered one gram of the konjac mannan extract every day for 14 days. The results of such administration are tabulated below, including changes in headache, feeling of fullness, dull feeling and poor appetite which generally accompany constipation, which were determined before and after normal passage, i.e. bowel evacuation, had started by administration of the extract.
TABLE II __________________________________________________________________________ Before During After administration administration administration the the the 2 days 1st 2nd 3rd 1 day 3 days 7 days before day day day after after after __________________________________________________________________________ Present (+) 0 9 16 16 16 16 9 Passage Absent (-) 16 7 0 0 0 0 7 Head- Present (+) 10 6 0 0 0 1 2 ache Absent (-) 6 10 16 16 16 15 14 Feeling Present (+) 16 15 0 0 0 1 3 of fullness Absent (-) 0 1 16 16 16 15 13 Dull Present (+) 16 12 0 0 0 2 3 feeling Absent (-) 0 4 16 16 16 14 13 Normal Present (+) 0 1 8 15 4 3 1 Appetite Absent (-) 16 15 8 1 12 13 15 __________________________________________________________________________
Two days before starting the administration of the konjac mannan extract, none of the 16 patients had passage, 6 had a headache and 16 felt fullness and dullness and had poor appetite. Accordingly, all of the patients felt unpleasant on account of constipation. As the symptoms of constipation started to weaken through the administration of the konjac mannan extract, headache, feeling of fullness and dull feeling started to disappear. However, on the second day after the administration of the konjac mannan extract had been terminated, all patients returned to their original constipated state.Effects of the Continuous Administration on Stout Women of the Konjac Mannan Extract for a Prolonged Period of Time
The konjac mannan extract was administered in the amount of 1 gram per day for 3 months to 5 stout women ranging from 30 to 35 years of age, who were examined for disorder of the stomach and liver, urinary carbohydrate, urinary protein, body weight and appetite on the 10th day and the end of each of the 1st month, 2nd month and 3rd month from the start of the administration.No abnormality was found in the stomach, liver and urinary protein. The body weight decreased in each subject, whereas appetite was not found to be influenced. The results are tabulated below in Table III.
TABLE III ______________________________________ 10 days 1 month 2 months 3 months ______________________________________ Disorder of -.sup.1 - - - Stomach Hepatic - - - - Disorder Urinary Carbohy- reduced reduced reduced reduced drates Urinary .+-. - - - Protein Body reduced reduced reduced reduced Weight Appetite normal normal normal normal ______________________________________ .sup.1 + indicates abnormal - indicates normal
Effect on Fecal Bacteria of the Administration of the Konjac Mannan to Humans
Changes in the number of fecal bacteria in humans due to administration of konjac mannan extract were examined by administering a 10 ml portion of 1% konjac mannan extract solution every day for 10 days to one of each of 7 sets of twins, the other being a control, and thereafter examining a 1 g. sample of feces for content of lactobacilli, enterococci and Escherichia coli. As is evident from the following Table IV, the number of lactobacilli was reduced from 10.sup.9 to 10.sup.5, that of enterococci from 10.sup.8 to 10.sup.5 and that of Escherichia coli from 10.sup.9 to 10.sup.6.
TABLE IV ______________________________________ Konjac mannan Konjac mannan not adminis- administered tered (control) ______________________________________ Lactobacilli 1.2 .times. 10.sup.9 1 5.2 .times. 10.sup.5 (1) Enterococci 5.8 .times. 10.sup.8 6.1 .times. 10.sup.5 Escherichia coli 1.4 .times. 10.sup.9 5.5 .times. 10.sup.6 ______________________________________ .sup.(1) Values are the average of 7 subjectsEffects on Alimentary Bacteria of Administration of Konjac Mannan Extract to Rats
Changes in the number of bacteria in various parts of the alimentary canal of rats on administration of the konjac mannan extract were examined by administering the konjac mannan extract to 5 male Wistar rats weighing around 150 g. The number of bacteria found in 1 g. samples of intestinal mucosa in the indicated regions of the alimentary canal is indicated in Table V below:
TABLE V __________________________________________________________________________ Stomach Jejunum Caecum Konjac Konjac Konjac Control Mannan Control Mannan Control Mannan __________________________________________________________________________ Lactobacilli 10.sup.9 10.sup.3 10.sup.8 10.sup.3 10.sup.9 10.sup.6 Enterococci 10.sup.8 10.sup.2 10.sup.6 10.sup.2 10.sup.9 10.sup.6 Bacteroid -.sup.1 - - - 10.sup.9 10.sup.6 Escherichia coli - - - - 10.sup.3 10.sup.1 __________________________________________________________________________ .sup.1 The symbol "-" in the table denotes the absence of bacteria.
Effects on Bacteria in Caecum of the Administration of the Konjac Mannan Extract to Rats
Decrease in the number of bacteria in caecum after administration of various concentrations of the konjac mannan was investigated by administering solutions containing varying concentrations of konjac mannan extract to groups of 5 male Wistar rats and the results appear in Table VI below.
TABLE VI __________________________________________________________________________ Control (0.01%) 0.1% 0.3% 0.5% __________________________________________________________________________ Lactobacilli 3.1 .times. 10.sup.7 1.5 .times. 10.sup.5 1.1 .times. 10.sup.4 2.6 .times. 10.sup.4 Escherichia coli 1.6 .times. 10.sup.6 6.3 .times. 10.sup.5 5.5 .times. 10.sup.4 1.2 .times. 10.sup.3 Aerobacter aerogenes 1.1 .times. 10.sup.7 1.4 .times. 10.sup.6 8.1 .times. 10.sup.5 2.8 .times. 10.sup.3 Bacteroid 3.2 .times. 10.sup.7 2.7 .times. 10.sup.6 8.9 .times. 10.sup.5 8.8 .times. 10.sup.4 Staphylococus pyogenes 9.1 .times. 10.sup.7 5.4 .times. 10.sup.5 2.3 .times. 10.sup.4 1.4 .times. 10.sup.4 __________________________________________________________________________
Effects on Fecal Bacteria of the Administration of Konjac Mannan Extract to Rats
Decrease in the number of fecal bacteria in rats after administration of the konjac mannan extract was investigated. It was found that the fecal bacteria count was decreased by administration of the konjac mannan as shown in Table VII. Although actual values are not presented for myxomycetes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, after administration of the konjac mannan, these bacteria were not detected.
TABLE VII ______________________________________ Konjac Control Mannan ______________________________________ Lactobacilli 10.sup. 6 (1) 10.sup.5 (1) Enterococci 10.sup.6 10.sup.4 Escherichia coli 10.sup.7 10.sup.3 Aerobacter aerogenes 10.sup.2 10.sup.7 Myxomycetes + .sup.(2) - Pseudomonas aeruginosa + - ______________________________________ .sup.(1) Average for 5 male Wistar rats weighing around 150 g. .sup.(2) + indicates presence; - indicates absence
Effects on Body Weight, Blood Pressure, Blood Carbohydrates, and Cholesterol Levels of Stout Humans of Administering Konjac Mannan Extract
100 ml. of 1% aqueous solution of the konjac mannan extract of this invention were administered once a day to five stout males and five stout females for a period of 15 weeks. Body weights were measured at weekly intervals and the results are plotted for the group of males in FIG. 1 and for the group of females in FIG. 2. Blood pressure, blood carbohydrat and cholesterol levels were also observed at the end of 4, 7, and 11 weeks of such administration and the observed levels, together with the starting levels, are set forth in the following Table VIII for the males and Table IX for the females.
During this period of this test, the subjects were fed a normal rice diet which is considered the general diet in Japanese homes.
TABLE VIII __________________________________________________________________________ Changes in blood pressure, blood carbohydrate and cholesterol level of human males during administration of the konjac mannan extract Before 4 weeks 7 weeks 11 weeks Age Height administr. after after after administr. administr. administr. __________________________________________________________________________ 50 170 cm Blood Pres. max. 172 170 160 160 min. 110 110 110 110 Blood carbohyd. 140 120 120 110 Cholesterol 300 280 270 250 47 169 cm Blood pres. max. 190 182 175 170 min. 130 130 125 120 Blood carbohyd. 145 140 138 122 Cholesterol 350 325 300 285 51 163 cm Blood pres. max. 185 172 160 155 min. 122 120 115 110 Blood carbohyd. 140 130 123 115 Cholesterol 380 355 334 300 51 161 cm Blood pres. max. 175 175 170 170 min. 122 120 115 115 Blood carbohyd. 123 120 115 110 Cholesterol 385 355 311 300 46 155 cm Blood pres. max. 172 172 173 172 min. 110 110 108 107 Blood carbohyd. 120 115 110 112 Cholesterol 372 351 343 311 __________________________________________________________________________
TABLE IX __________________________________________________________________________ Changes in blood pressure, blood carbohydrate and cholesterol level of human females during administration of the konjac mannan extract Before 4 weeks 7 weeks 11 weeks Age Height administr. after after after administr. administr. administr. __________________________________________________________________________ 60 147 cm Blood pres. max. 180 172 160 140 min. 133 130 120 110 Blood carbohyd. 234 200 185 170 Cholesterol 420 .+-. 10 350 .+-. 10 302 255 61 152 cm Blood pres. max. 192 180 172 164 min. 140 135 130 125 .+-. 5 Blood carbohyd. 200 .+-. 17 195 181 172 Cholesterol 420 375 320 301 .+-. 11 57 152 cm Blood pres. max. 180 180 170 170 min. 120 120 117 117 Blood carbohyd. 140 133 131 125 Cholesterol 308 301 297 290 47 150 cm Blood pres. max. 153 151 145 145 min. 108 98 91 91 Blood carbohyd. 110 108 107 105 Cholesterol 285 286 287 285 46 155 cm Blood pres. max. 155 145 135 135 min. 108 98 91 91 Blood carbohyd. 110 100 105 101 Cholesterol 281 275 272 257