Do Fiber Supplements Work?

There are supplemental forms of fibers available in the market. These supplements contain all the beneficial properties of dietary fiber foods. If you find that your diet and medical conditions are such that you need additional fibers then you may think of fiber supplements.

Why Fiber Supplement?

The recommended daily amount of fiber intake for woman is 21 to 25 grams. In case of man, the amount is 30 to 38 grams. But often the recommended daily amount of fiber are not met from diets. In those cases, you have to ensure that you are maintaining your required amount on daily basis. Foods high in dietary fiber as well as packaged foods that contain fibers in high amount according to their nutrition labels have to be selected. In addition, in these kind of situations you may consider taking fiber supplements.

Fibers are essential for good health. But there are things to consider when you think about the sources of fiber. There are cases when you cannot simply rely on fiber supplements. And there are certain medical and health conditions when you cannot continue with natural sources of fiber.


There are number of reasons when you can think of fiber supplements:

  1. Trouble consuming enough fiber from natural food sources
  2. Medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome
  3. Chronic constipation
  4. Requirement of additional fibers not present food sources


On the other hand, if you suffer from heart related problems then be informed that fiber’s heart-protective properties can be best obtained from its food sources and not supplements. In that case, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts are recommended foods.

Moreover, it is never possible to replace the foods with good nutritional values to be replaced with supplements. No matter what, supplements can’t make up for a poor eating habits. Adding supplements with an unhealthy diet do not turn that diet into a healthy diet.


The all-valuable fiber for health can be obtained from a wide selection of foods. These foods can be both fresh and prepackaged. Whole-grain breads, cereal and oatmeal are regarded as high-fiber food options. Besides, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds as well as fruits and vegetables are common choices.

Now, if your diet is deprived of these fantastic fiber rich foods then you can think of taking fiber supplement. These supplements either are available as a fiber pill or powder form. Obviously, you can understand that these supplemental products will never be your primary sources of fiber. Because high-fiber food sources also contain vitamins and minerals. In any case, consultation with physician is necessary before you start to take fiber in supplemental forms.


Effects and Side Effects

Supplemental fibers when inside the human body brings a number of health benefits. It normalizes your bowel function and it prevents constipation. It also helps in a number of other health conditions and diseases. As discussed already, it is recommended to obtain fiber from food. But to confirm the recommended daily intake of fiber, supplements can definitely contribute.

But as side effects fiber supplements can cause abdominal bloating and gas. This is more common if you start the supplement for the first time. Note that you may have to discuss with your doctor when you use the supplement form. Because there can be drug interaction with ongoing medications. This can be treated through careful dose selection and dose limitation.

Another issue is that fiber supplements can decrease absorption of drugs used in certain medications. This is true in cases of aspirin and carbamazepine such as Carbatrol, Tegretol etc. During medication with insulin (diabetes), it has been observed that the use of supplement reduces blood sugar level. Therefore, adjustment in medications or insulin intake is necessary in this kind of condition. It is recommended that a new user should start the supplement with a small amount at first. This will minimize problems related to bloating and gas. During use of supplements, you need to intake a large amount of fluid or water.

Last update: March 27, 2017 08:11:08 pm

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