PGX, or PolyGlycopleX, supplement is a trademarked blend made from three water-soluble fibers: konjac powder, sodium alginate and xanthan gum. These three polysaccharides combine to form a viscosity, or thickness, three to five times higher than any known individual fiber, according to a clinical trial published in the February 2009 issue of "Nutrition Journal." Researchers have studied PGX for use in food and as a dietary supplement.
Functions of Fiber
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plants. Legumes, whole-grain foods, fruit and vegetables are good sources of fiber. Different fibers possess different properties that result in different physiological benefits. For example, viscous fibers delay gastric emptying, which promotes fullness, weight control and healthy blood sugar levels. Viscous fiber can interfere with cholesterol and fat absorption, helping to lower cholesterol levels. Because PGX is a highly viscous fiber complex, researchers have conducted studies to determine its potential benefits.
Because dietary fiber promotes fullness, researchers examined the effect of PGX on satiety in a group of both men and women. The participants took 5 grams of PGX daily for one week, followed by 10 grams each day for two additional weeks. Researchers measured levels of peptide YY, an appetite-suppressing hormone, three times during the trial and found PGX significantly increased PYY levels, compared to the control group. This data suggests PGX may promote fullness and reduce calorie intake by regulating appetite hormones. The results were published in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" October 2010 issue.
Although human studies are needed, an animal experiment suggests PGX may help lower triglycerides, according to results published in the April 2011 issue of the journal "Nutrition Research." In this study, researchers fed rats a diet rich in table sugar for 43 weeks to cause high triglycerides and determine whether PGX can mediate the effects of excess sugar consumption. Researchers discovered PGX significantly decreased the rats' triglyceride levels to close to what they were at baseline. PGX also reduced fat accumulation in the liver, according to the study.
Researchers evaluated the safety of taking PGX for 21 days at the maximum dose of 10 grams per day in healthy males and females. A total of 54 participants between the ages of 18 and 55 completed the study. Researchers report PGX was well-tolerated with no serious adverse effects. Some participants reported mild gastrointestinal disturbance such as gas, which resolved before the study period ended. The results were published in the February 2009 issue of the "Nutrition Journal."