Guide to Finding the Right Fiber Supplements

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Adding fiber to your diet is a great thing to do for anyone who wants to maintain good health. Fiber supplements can do amazing things for the body, including supporting gut flora, helping prevent type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cardiac problems, preventing obesity, colon cancer, and other serious illnesses. It is easy to add these to the diet as a supplement, and many of them will help you to feel full.

Here are a few of the most popular fiber supplements out there to consider.

Psyllium

One of the most widely used fiber supplements is psyllium. Psyllium, or ispaghula, is made from seed husks of an herb called plantago ovata. It contains 70% of soluble fiber and is great for making you feel full, and for those suffering from problems like IBS, rectal fissures, or Crohn’s disease, it can slow digestion, lessening symptoms like diarrhea or flatulence. It also contains 30% insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stools – helping to regulate bowel movements.

Per every 2 Tablespoons of powder, it contains six grams of fiber. Metamucil powder is one of the most popular brand names for Psyllium powder.

Methylcellulose

Methylcellulose was made in the laboratory; it is a partially synthetic version of cellulose. Cellulose is a natural fiber obtained from plants. Psyllium occasionally causes gas and bloating in some people, and methylcellulose does not. Methylcellulose is also used in the culinary industry as a thickener.

Contains 2 grams of fiber per tablespoon. It only dissolves in cold liquids (will not dissolve in hot liquids). The most common brand name of Methylcellulose is Citrucel.

Acacia Senegal Fiber

Acacia Senegal fiber, or gum arabic, is a soluble fiber that has a prebiotic effect to support gut health. It has been shown to increase the presence of  Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli in the gut, within a month of consumption. It is a good choice for people with IBS because it regulates the colon – helping both diarrhea and constipation. It also helps to reduce flatulence. Promotes a healthy weight. Taken as a powder, can be found as a supplement from many companies like GoBiotix fiber supplements, as well as multiple health supplement companies.

Inulin

Inulin is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that comes from several plants. Inulin for use as a fiber supplement is most often extracted from chicory, but naturally occurring Inulin, which is a natural storage carbohydrate, can be found in over 36,000 types of plants, including wheat, onions, agave, bananas, garlic, asparagus, and Jerusalem artichokes. As a fiber supplement, it excels at maintaining gut health and supporting probiotics.

As a prebiotic fiber, Inulin functions to support gut flora by causing favorable changes within the colon’s bacterial population. It is very beneficial because these bacteria in the stomach and colon play key roles in the absorption of nutrients, and affect the production of hormones that regulate appetite, as well as anxiety.

Inulin can be found in chewable tablet form, advertised as 100% prebiotic fiber. One popular brand name of Inulin is Fiber Choice.

Wheat dextrin

Wheat dextrin is a byproduct of the milling of wheat. It is tasteless, colorless, gluten-free. soluble fiber, that is manufactured under the trade name Benefiber. It can be used in cooking, because it doesn’t thicken when heated, can be added to hot or cold liquids, and is gluten-free.

Wheat Dextrin, like other soluble fiber, is helpful to people with type 2 diabetes with stabilization of blood sugar and regulating digestion.

If you are confused as to which kind of fiber supplement to choose, ask your medical practitioner to help you out. If they aren’t available, consult a pharmacist for their opinion.

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