Here at Weigh to Wellness Denver we get alot of questions about which fiber supplement is best to use. We also want to talk about when it is appropriate to use a fiber supplement.
Types of Fiber Supplements:
1.) Inulin based supplements: Inulin is from a group of dietary fibers called fructans. It is a soluable fiber that acts as a prebiotic in your gut. Prebiotics act as food to feed bacteria in your gut. This means that this can help good gut bacteria flourish. Most inulin based fibers are made from the chicory root.
When to use Inulin based supplements:
- To promote better gut health
- If needing more regular bowel movements
When not to use this type of fiber:
- Do not use Inulin if you are following a low FODMAP diet. Inulin is a fermentable fiber and can worsen symptoms caused by FODMAPS
- If you are allergic to ragweed you may be intolerant to inulin.
- If you have exacerbated flatulent and bloating.
2.) Psyllium based fiber supplements: This type of fiber is 70% soluble and 30% insoluble. This is derived from the Plantago Ovata plant grown in India. This type of fiber is able to reabsorb a high amount of water and can help lubricate GI tract for bowel movements. Psyllium husk is the main source of fiber in the brand Metamucil.
When to use Psyllium:
- To help resolve diarrhea
- To have regular bowel movements
- To increase the feeling of fullness and slow digestion
- Can help lower cholesterol
When not to use Psyllium:
- Do not take this fiber supplement at the same time as other medications. It could effect the digestion and absorption of medications.
3.) Wheat Dextrin based fiber supplements: Unlike other soluble fibers wheat dextrin doesn’t thicken up. It can dissolve in both hot and cold fluids. This type of fiber is the main source of fiber in Benefiber.
When to use Wheat Dextrin:
- When you need a gluten free fiber supplement
- When you need a Low FODMAP appropriate fiber
- When in need of regular bowel movements
When not to use Wheat Dextrin:
- If causing excessive gas and bloating.
We hope this has answered a few questions that you may have had about different fiber supplements. Always remember to read the food label and follow directions per brand.