Given the numerous benefits of dietary fibers, health experts recommend daily intake of 25 to 38 grams of fibers to improve the overall quality of health. Usually a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains might supply your body enough fibers. Fiber supplements are usually recommended to prevent fiber deficiency and to meet additional fiber requirement that might arise in individuals prone to constipation.
Types Of Fiber Supplements
Dietary fibers isolated from plants, which are also known as functional fibers, are used for making fiber supplements. You will come across a variety of functional fibers. Psyllium husk is the most popular and most effective functional fiber that eases bowel movement and heals irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Prebiotics are often used as fiber supplements. These assist growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Other functional fibers used as supplements include cellulose, acacia fiber, guar gum and pectin. Fiber supplements are usually available in the form of powder and chewable tablets.
Benefits Of Fiber Supplements
Fiber supplements are usually safe for prolonged consumption. The soluble and insoluble fibers present in supplements soften stools. These dietary supplements should be taken with lots of water. If taken with small amount of water, fiber supplements might worsen constipation.
Fibers could eliminate excess bad cholesterol and triglycerides from the body. Some studies claim that fiber supplements might assist weight loss. People with inflammatory bowel disease might consume fiber supplements to prevent painful symptoms of the disease. Supplements containing soluble fiber could improve the blood sugar level in diabetics.
Side Effects Of Fiber Supplement
Although fiber is good for health, consumption of excessive fiber in the form of supplements might cause adverse side effects such as bloating, intestinal gas, loose stools and stomach cramps. To prevent intestinal problems, a person accustomed to a low fiber diet should gradually increase the fiber consumption.
Excessive intake of functional fibers might slow down absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Certain functional fibers such as guar gum and pectin might impair absorption of plant nutrients such as carotenoids, lutein and lycopene when taken with meals. Fiber supplements might interact with certain medications.