WellBetX PGX Ultra Matrix softgels are designed to lower the glycaemic index of meals, slow down the absorption of glucose and promote healthy blood sugar levels that are already within normal range.
In effect, they should make you feel fuller faster, curb your food cravings and normalise your appetite and metabolism.
One of the main ingredients is Konjac root, which some studies state is good for weight loss, while other studies aren’t so positive. However, it is used as an ingredient in low-calorie foods such as Shirataki noodles.
Konjac root is a source of glucomannan, a source of soluble fibre, and researchers theorise that works as a weight-loss product by absorbing water in the stomach to form a thick gel.
This gel delays digestion to keep you feeling fuller for longer. It may also be good for cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
However, two separate studies in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition contradicted each other with regards to how well Konjac root helps with weight loss.
Glucomannan – the fibre in Konjac root – absorbs large quantities of water, which is why users are told to drink lots when taking PGX Ultra Matrix, and why they feel fuller afterwards. Unfortunately that absorption can start before the softgel reaches the stomach, meaning it could become a choking hazard if it gets stuck in the throat.
There’s also the question of gastric problems that glucomannan can bring on, which explains why users are advised to start their course of PGX Ultra Matrix at a low dosage and gradually increase that dosage over time, to give their systems the chance to get used to it.
PGX Ultra Matrix is available in stores all over the Continental US and Canada, so process will depend very much on the retailers’ markup – but it’s also available on Amazon at $39.87 for 180 softgels.
We like Natural Factors – the company that makes PGX Ultra Matrix – but we feel the product itself leaves a lot to be desired, especially when it comes to one particular ingredient: glucomannan. In theory, it should absorb lots of liquid and swell up to give that “I’ve eaten enough now, thanks” feeling.
However, it was banned in Australia and was the subject of a health advisory in Canada because if it didn’t make it all the way down to the stomach before swelling up it could cause a serious choking hazard.
So for safety reasons, even though we’re going to give Natural Factors the thumbs-up, we’re going to have to give their PGX Ultra Matrix the thumbs-down and reject it.
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Natural Factors are selling PGX Ultra Matrix on the basis that it’s going to help lower the glycaemic index of meals, slow down the absorption of glucose and – this is the eye-opener – “promote healthy blood sugar levels already in normal range”. But for a start, how do we know if our blood sugar levels are in that range or not – at least, not without investing in some kind of blood glucose monitor?
Blood glucose levels change throughout the day, which means we’d have to prick our fingers and analyse our blood on rising in the morning, before and after each meal and before retiring at night before we knew whether it was safe to invest in a bottle (or, more realistically, two) of PGX Ultra Matrix.
PGX softgels can be taken with or without meals with 12–16 oz. of water or as directed by a health professional.
Week 1: 1–2 softgels 3 times daily.
Week 2: 2–4 softgels 3 times daily.
Week 3 and beyond: 3–6 softgels 3 times daily.
And why are two bottles more realistic than just the one? For the first week, we’re advised to take a maximum of 6 softgels daily – that’s 42 to start with. Week 2, we’re supposed to take a maximum of 12 softgels each day, which works out to 84. For week three, and every following week, we should be stuffing up to 18 softgels into ourselves each day.
So that works out at 252 softgels for the first three weeks alone, and the biggest container we’ve found of PGX Ultra Matrix so far only contains 180 of them.
And that’s why it’s more realistic to order two bottles of softgels when starting out.
From the Natural Factors website:
The combination of PGX capsules and mulberry extract helps lower the glycaemic index of your meals, slow glucose absorption and promote healthy blood sugar levels that are already within normal range. Incorporating PGX into your diet will promote satiety, curb food cravings and normalise appetite and metabolism.
Hm. It’s awfully tempting to say that if you’re going to drink two cups of water with each serving of PGX Ultra Matrix, of course, you’re going to be less hungry than before. But we won’t say that, and instead say that the fibre in each softgel has been proven to expand – so much so that Australia banned glucomannan products in 1985 and Health Canada issued a health advisory in January 2010 because of the potential of danger caused by that expansion.
From the Natural Factors website:
1600 mg PolyGlycopleX – highly purified water soluble polysaccharide complex manufactured using the proprietary EnviroSimpleX process.
Konjac-mannan (Amorphophallus Konjac) (root)
Medium Chain Triglycerides (from purified coconut oil) – 1200 mg – essentially a manmade fat.
Mulberry extract (Morus Alba) (leaf) – 50 mg – included to help balance blood glucose levels.
Softgel (gelatin, purified water, carob, grape colour extract), yellow beeswax, sunflower lecithin (non-GMO).
As for the EnviroSimpleX process, that’s the way Natural Factors mixes, liquefies, cultures and dries out ingredients at a low temperature to preserve active constituents.
Konjac root can swell up dangerously if it swells up where it’s not supposed to, and it can cause gastric upset.
Those Medium Chain Triglycerides can also cause stomach and digestion problems, but also there’s the chance of allergic reactions which could include hives, swelling around the face and neck and even breathing difficulties.
There’s that standard “consult your physician beforehand” notice on the PGX Ultra Matrix website, and that’s all. What we’d like to see is a little more information regarding blood sugar levels that aren’t “already in normal range”.
The PGX Ultra Matrix website is one of the very, very few we’ve come across that doesn’t contain glowing testimonials about the product.
Amazon, though, does have a few, and they’re mainly favourable. But we checked out what Amazon called the Top Positive Review, and found the reviewer had this to say:
A word of warning, if you take too many, you will suffer the consequences (runs). I take 2 in morning, then usually 1 before lunch, 1 before dinner. Just started to up the dose to two in afternoon but that’s about all I can handle. Directions say work your way up to 3 before each meal but there is no way. Not sure if it’s good for weight loss as I haven’t seen any pounds disappear and I’ve been taking these for 3–4 mos.
We’re going to have to make an educated guess here and say some of the many, many retailers across the Continental US and Canada may well have some kind of refund policy in place – but we couldn’t say for sure which ones.
It’s available on Amazon, and in stores all over North America. The website has a handy store location guide to help you find the retailer nearest you.