What are fiber supplements?

Dietary fiber is a substance found in plant-based foods; it is needed by the body for overall health and well-being. Among most health professionals, the preference is for people to get the majority of their fiber from foods in their diet. However, many people find that getting sufficient fiber through diet is challenging. Fiber supplements may be used to help people reach their daily fiber intake goals - about 30 grams every day. Typically, you may purchase fiber supplements over the counter in a variety of forms. They come as capsules, tablets, and powders. They also may be available as bulk fiber laxatives, such as psyllium. Many times, people use fiber supplements as laxatives, weight loss aids, and to aid with certain medical conditions like heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, diabetes, hemorrhoids, and high cholesterol.

Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Fiber supplements are an additional source of fiber which can help you to reach your fiber goals of 25-30 grams a day. Fiber supplements are often used to help relieve constipation, diarrhea, IBS, and diverticulitis. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and allows for bulking/gelling in the intestinal tract, which helps with diarrhea. Whereas insoluble fiber acts like a broom and sweeps through the intestinal tract, which helps with constipation. Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are great sources of both types of fiber. Consuming adequate amounts of these foods is the best way to keep your bowels healthy. Use fiber supplements as directed by a doctor or Registered Dietitian.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.