Fiber refers to certain types of carbohydrates that are essential for maintaining health, but cannot be digested and absorbed by the body. A high-fiber diet is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. But statistics show that few people get enough fiber from their diet, and for this reason, fiber supplements may be useful for some people.
Consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts , seeds and legumes can provide the fiber needed by the body. In addition, dietary fiber supplements are produced in different forms, which can be suitable for people who cannot eat high-fiber foods for various reasons, such as food allergies. Some people use these types of supplements to prevent and treat constipation, reduce cholesterol or blood sugar, and control weight.
Each fiber may only have an effect on one or more specific problems and even the possibility of Some diseases are getting worse with increasing fiber consumption. In this article from BingMag, we are going to talk about fiber medicinal supplement and how to use it. Stay with us until the end of this article.
Types of fiber
You have probably heard that fibers are divided into two categories, soluble and insoluble, which ideally should be consumed every day to maintain health and prevent disease. Get a run of them.
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance. This type of fiber slows absorption in the gut, helps treat diarrhea, regulates cholesterol and blood sugar, and can even reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, its consumption is associated with lowering blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease. You can find soluble fiber in the following foods:
- Flax seeds
- Oranges li>
Fiber Insoluble does not absorb water and makes stool bulkier. Consuming this type of fiber increases the speed of food movement in the digestive system and helps to treat constipation. Insoluble fiber is associated with a reduced risk of diverticulitis, colon cancer, and cardiovascular disease and is found in the following foods:
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Wheat bran
- Brown rice
The amount of fiber the body needs
Current guidelines recommend that all adults get about 25 to 34 grams of fiber per day from food sources. Another guideline is to consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories of energy. In the table below, you can see the amount of fiber needed by the body according to age and gender:Age Male Female 2 to 3 years 14 grams 14 grams 4 to 8 years 20 grams 17 grams 9 to 13 years 25 grams 22 grams 14 to 18 years 31 grams 25 grams 19 to 30 years 34 grams 28 grams 31 to 50 years 31 grams 25 grams 51 years and older 28 grams 22 grams
It is not clear what is the maximum amount of fiber consumption. However, evidence shows that if you increase your fiber intake too quickly or don't drink enough fluids with it, you may experience digestive problems such as constipation or bloating.
Benefits of dietary fiber supplements
Fiber supplements help you get the fiber you need to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation, as well as maintain overall health, especially if you have a hard time getting enough fiber through your diet. Research has shown that fiber improves bad cholesterol (LDL) and other blood fat levels and supports heart health. In addition, it can lower blood sugar levels.
Inulin is a type of soluble fiber found naturally in asparagus, onions, leeks, garlic, chicory root, oats, and soybeans. A study of 40 people showed that taking an inulin fiber supplement (16 grams per day for eight days) reduced feelings of hunger. In this study, the group receiving the fiber supplement compared to the people who did not take the supplement, their calorie intake at lunch was 21% less. A small amount of fiber is insoluble. Psyllium regulates blood sugar and blood cholesterol, is effective in preventing constipation, and helps people with metabolic syndrome lose weight.
Fiber supplements, despite their health Benefits, unlike foods without They are vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Therefore, it is recommended to get fiber from healthy food sources if possible and use its supplement if needed.
How to choose and consume fiber supplement
To determine whether you need a dietary fiber supplement or not, you should consult your doctor or dietitian. Review your diet and medical history. If you eat foods containing fiber every day and you don't have a particular problem like constipation, you may not need a supplement. Another thing you should pay attention to when taking a supplement is the type of fiber in it. is, because each of them has different advantages. For example, a supplement containing psyllium helps control blood sugar and is useful for people with type 2 diabetes. be natural or synthetic. For example, psyllium is natural and methyl cellulose and calcium polycarbophil are synthetic.
Avoid supplements containing artificial colors and read the description on the product package carefully to find out what ingredients it is made of. Some fiber supplements contain sweeteners called sugar alcohols (such as xylitol or erythritol) that have been shown to cause diarrhea and gas. Some of them may not be suitable for people with celiac disease due to the presence of gluten.
You can use a dietary fiber supplement every day, but it is better to postpone its use only when you can. You don't get enough fiber through your diet.
Whether you increase your intake of high-fiber foods or take a fiber supplement, you should drink enough fluids. Because the presence of water is necessary to keep stool soft and easy to pass through the intestine. You should drink a glass (240 ml) of water with each intake of most fiber supplements; Of course, this amount may be different for different products.
A sudden increase in fiber intake may lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating. If you want to use a dietary fiber supplement, increase your dosage gradually to avoid side effects.
People who should not use a dietary fiber supplement
Fiber supplements are safe for most people, but they should be used with caution in some situations. Avoid fiber powder or other fiber products if any of the following apply to you:
- You have trouble swallowing
- You have a bowel obstruction (intestinal obstruction). small or large)
- You have esophageal stricture (that is, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach is narrowed)
- You currently have inflammatory bowel disease, that is, diseases such as diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
- You get enough fiber through your diet (excessive fiber consumption, especially if you don't drink enough water, causes digestive problems)
In the following cases, be sure to consult your doctor before buying a fiber supplement and consuming it:
- You have pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- You have gastroparesis or paralysis of the stomach (this problem is especially common in diabetic patients and causes delayed gastric emptying) You have an untreated disease that has caused constipation (it is possible until this disease is treated If not, the fiber drug supplement is not useful for you)
- You are using a certain drug or food supplement
Some products containing fiber interfere with the absorption of drugs and supplements. So before you start taking the supplement, ask your doctor about its drug interactions. Children under 6 years of age and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a doctor before taking the supplement. jpg">
Fiber supplements may interfere with the absorption of some medications by the body. It is recommended that you consult your doctor about the drug interactions of fiber supplements and consider a gap of two to four hours between consuming fiber and receiving other medications and supplements. The following medications may interact with fiber:
- Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline, doxepin, and imipramine)
- Diabetes medications (glyburide and metformin )
- anti-epileptic drug carbamazepine
- cholesterol-lowering drugs (colestipol and cholestyramine)
If you are taking digoxin or lithium, you should avoid taking fiber supplements Avoid. fiber can affect blood sugar levels; Therefore, if you have diabetes, you should check your blood sugar level regularly.
Fiber helps maintain the health of the digestive system, plays a role in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar, and Effective in weight control. If you can't get enough fiber through your diet, taking a dietary fiber supplement along with following a healthy diet can help. But it is better to first try to provide the fiber you need through food consumption. Because fiber supplements, unlike high-fiber foods, lack nutrients, that is, they cannot provide any type of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the body.
You should gradually increase the amount of fiber supplements and drink enough water with it. Drink up from Prevent digestive problems such as bloating. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a medical condition, or are taking medication, consult your doctor or nutritionist before taking a fiber supplement. Because it may not be useful for you, it may interfere with your medications or make your disease worse.This article is for informational purposes only. Before using the recommendations of this article, be sure to consult a specialist doctor. For more information, read BingMag Disclaimer.
Sources: verywellhealth, healthline, livestrong