- METAMUCIL FAQS
- 5 readers took Metamucil’s 14-day fiber challenge
- Can You Take Metamucil Everyday?
- The Importance of Fiber
- Metamucil Benefits You Should Know
- Taking Metamucil Every Day
- Are There Side Effects?
- Other Ways to Increase Fiber
- Do fiber supplements work?
- “Here, just take Metamucil”
- 1. Isolated Fiber is not a Real Food
- 2. Fiber supplements can worsen constipation
- 3. Fiber supplements can throw gut flora out of whack
- Real vs. Fake Fiber
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SMOOTH TEXTURE AND COARSE MILLED ORIGINAL TEXTURE?
Metamucil Smooth Fibre Supplement Powder is ground into finer particles than Metamucil Coarse Fibre Supplement Powder. Because of individual taste differences, you may prefer either Metamucil Smooth products or the Metamucil Coarse products.
HOW DOES METAMUCIL HELP TO TEMPORARILY SUPPRESS APPETITE WHEN TAKEN PRIOR TO A MEAL?
When taken with 240 mL of liquid prior to a meal, Metamucil psyllium fibre thickens and forms a gel which aids in the sensation of fullness and prolongs the intestinal phase of nutrient digestion and absorption, helping to temporarily increase feelings of fullness and reduce food intake.
HOW DOES METAMUCIL WORK FOR LAXATION?
Metamucil contains a bulk-forming fibre without any chemical stimulants. The active ingredient, psyllium husk, is a soluble viscous fibre that absorbs and holds moisture. This causes the psyllium to swell, supplying the necessary bulk to help form an easily eliminated stool. Metamucil will not cause immediate evacuation but generally produces an effect in 12 to 72 hours.
WHY IS THE SERVING SIZE DIFFERENT FOR SUGAR AND 75% LESS SUGAR POWDERS?
Serving size amounts differ by version because the sweeteners and flavorings used in each Metamucil product vary in volume.
IS IT OK TO TAKE METAMUCIL WITH FOOD? SHOULD I TAKE IT BEFORE OR AFTER MEALS?
Any time of day is appropriate to take Metamucil as long as an adequate intake of fluids (at least 240 mL of water or liquid per serving) is consumed. We recommend taking Metamucil three times per day at mealtimes as a convenient way to get the benefits of Metamucil. However, if you are taking Metamucil to help to temporarily suppress appetite you should take it before eating.Bulk-forming fibres like psyllium husk, may affect how well medicines work. Take this product at least 2 hours before or after medicines.
IS IT OK TO USE METAMUCIL EVERY DAY?
As a dietary fibre supplement:Metamucil can be taken every day up to three times per day as a dietary fibre supplement. If you are considering use of Metamucil as part of a cholesterol-lowering program* please follow label’s instructions for correct directions and always consult a doctor before using. See below for information about soluble fibre and heart disease.For digestive health:Metamucil can be used for occasional constipation and to promote and maintain regularity. If your constipation persists beyond seven days, consult a doctor because it may be a sign of a more serious condition.Bulk-forming fibres like psyllium husk, may affect how well medicines work. Take this product at least 2 hours before or after medicines.
CAN METAMUCIL BE USED PAST THE EXPIRATION DATE?
If your Metamucil has expired, please don’t use it. The expiration date is on Metamucil because we have research to show that the ingredients are stable until the expiration date, if stored according to label instructions. Please discard any expired product in your trash can. Do not pour Metamucil down your drain.
CAN I ADD METAMUCIL POWDER TO MY COFFEE OR HOT TEA?
No, adding Metamucil to hot beverages causes it to gel more rapidly. We recommend adding Metamucil to cool or cold liquids.
HOW CAN METAMUCIL HELP ME MAINTAIN HEALTHY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS?
The psyllium in Metamucil forms a viscous gel, which traps some sugars as the gel moves down the intestine. Trapped sugars are slowly released and absorbed into the body—helping the body maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
HOW AND WHEN SHOULD I TAKE METAMUCIL FIBRE CAPSULES?
Capsules should be taken one at a time; we do not recommend dissolving them in water. Please take Metamucil with at least 240 mL of liquid, as indicated. For Metamucil Fibre Capsules and Capsules Plus Calcium, we recommend taking them 3 times daily with at least 240 mL of liquid, as indicated.Bulk-forming fibres like psyllium husk, may affect how well medicines work. Take this product at least 2 hours before or after medicines.
WHY IS METAMUCIL NOW “75% LESS SUGAR” INSTEAD OF “SUGAR-FREE”?
This is the same great Metamucil product you had been using – the product hasn’t changed, just the label! Health Canada recently began to recognize maltodextrin as a sugar, which is an ingredient we use in some of our products. In order to be compliant with the new classification by Health Canada, we changed our label to accurately communicate what is in our product. If you had previously been enjoying our product, then we hope you continue to do so. It is still the same great product! If you are concerned with the 1.9 g of Maltodextrin, Metamucil capsules are a great way to get the benefits of psyllium fibre without any sugar.
5 readers took Metamucil’s 14-day fiber challenge
MANILA, Philippines – Recently, we published an invitation for readers to increase their fiber intake and physical activity for 14 days. We did this because most people don’t realize how important fiber is in maintaining overall health. (READ: What happens when you don’t get enough fiber?)
5 volunteers who posted their stories on Rappler X were selected to take on the challenge. They also shared a visual diary of the entire experience on their social media accounts. Can taking in more fiber really do your body a lot of good? We’ll let the challengers speak for themselves.
DAWN MARIE CASTRO
‘I started at 167 lbs, now I’m at 162 lbs’
Dawn Marie Castro, 21, is a digital content planner. Last year, she gained weight, and she attributes this to sitting down in front of a laptop for over 8 hours everyday, along with drinking lots of coffee, eating out when she’s stressed, and enjoying alcohol occasionally.
“I am not that physically fit,” Dawn admitted. “Even mere walking up the stairs gets me easily tired.”
Dawn signed up for the challenge because she felt that needed an extra push to become more conscious about her health. “I wanted to be fit for so long, but I just couldn’t find enough motivation to actually commit to it,” she said.
For the duration of the challenge, Dawn did light physical activities such as walking, jogging, and swimming. She made no drastic changes to her diet, but made sure to take Metamucil every day. She liked the orange flavor, but she added: “the texture was kind of weird. I can’t say that I totally enjoy it, but it was tolerable.”
After two weeks, Dawn felt no changes in her appetite, but she noted that her bowel movements have become more regular. She also discovered that she actually lost some weight. “After my weigh in on the last day, I found out I lost 5 pounds,” Dawn said. “I found this really surprising as I was still eating the same food I would eat normally and I didn’t have that much exercise also.”
‘I started to change my lifestyle to live longer’
In his X entry, Erwin Balino shared that obesity runs in their family. “Some people spend their lives at the hospitals fighting to live longer,” the 25-year-old accountant said. “But for me I decided to fight now.”
Before starting the challenge, Erwin was already taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle through proper diet, exercise and enough sleep. After reading about Metamucil’s benefits such as aiding in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, he wanted to see if it can help him continue with his health journey.
For the 14-day challenge, Erwin followed his usual diet, which usually started off with green tea and hot lemon water for breakfast, followed by meals filled with vegetables and protein throughout the day. He also did 10 to 20 minutes of brisk walking as part of his daily commute, and squeezed in one gym session early in the challenge.
Drinking Metamucil had a significant effect on Erwin’s digestion. “My bowel movement became better; before I normally I pooped only once a day but now I can do it twice,” he said. “I felt like my intestines were cleansed.”
Although Erwin does not believe in diet or food supplements, he found Metamucil effective in helping him stay on the healthy track. “I lost almost two kilos in 14 days. Normally I can only lose one kilo with my previous weight loss efforts,” he said. “I’m planning to buy it on the next pay day.”
‘I felt much lighter than before and I felt energized’
“Years of little to no exercise and giving in to food cravings have caused me to suffer from minor health conditions,” shared Marjourie Cabatay, a 25-year-old customer care representative. She has noticed that she gets tired easily, especially when climbing stairs or doing exercise. “I have been enduring these symptoms for many months and I just want it to end,” she wrote on her X essay.
After witnessing a close friend undergo a gall bladder operation, Marj realized that she had to take better care of her body. “ shared the same love of food with me,” Marj said. “Now that she lost an important part of her body, I vowed to be one with her loss by being health-conscious myself.”
Marj was very meticulous in documenting the 14-day challenge. This, in turn, made her more conscious about choosing smarter snacks and meals and increasing her physical activity every day. While taking Metamucil, Marj shared that she felt fuller faster and was able to resist seconds during meals. “Strangely, I consistently feel more energized when I do exercises compared to before,” she added. She also noted in her food diary that she was able to establish a more regular bowel movement pattern.
At the end of the challenge, Marj noted that her pants and clothes felt a little bit looser. “I was amazed by the changes that I went through in terms of my lifestyle and eating habits and I liked how it turned out,” Marj said. “I know that it’s just the beginning and I intend to continue the journey even after this challenge ends.”
‘It had a positive effect on my digestion’
JR Ilagan already has a pretty active routine in place. “I usually box around 3 times a week, jog two times a week, and then play basketball around twice a month,” the 24-year-old career counselor said. Still, he wanted to be more effective and efficient. He’s also suffering from what he suspects as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so he was excited to see if Metamucil could help normalize his bowel movements.
For two weeks, JR monitored his food intake carefully and cut down on rice (although he was already doing this even before the challenge). He ate and snacked when he felt like it, and did his regular boxing workouts.
Just like the other challengers, he also took Metamucil daily. “I liked the fact that it was berry-flavored,” JR said. “The other fiber supplements that I’ve seen are just powder that people place on top of food.”
Overall, JR reports that the fiber supplement had a positive effect on his digestion: “I usually have stomach aches and weird bowel movement. Recently, however, I haven’t really been feeling that much pain in my stomach – only once during the challenge,” he reported.
MICHELLE SAN JOSE
‘I craved less’
“I have noticed that my weight began climbing up after my first year in the construction industry,” shares Michelle San Jose, a 25-year-old architect. She wanted to find a solution that could help her shed the extra weight better. “I want to try out this Metamucil challenge basically to help my body get back to its normal state,” she shared.
Since she works long hours, Michelle struggled to find time and energy to exercise. But during the 14-day challenge (which she took during her birthday week) she became more conscious to exert more effort. She did occasional jogging and found time to go to the gym. She also paired her bigger meals with salads and fruits.
Michelle reported that she experienced severe stomach cramps when she first tried Metamucil. She also found the berry-flavored variant too sweet for her taste. On the 2nd week of the challenge, she took the supplement every other day instead. She noted that at the end of the challenge, she felt less bloated, her tummy looked flatter, and her bowel movement became more regular. “Because of its full feeling in the stomach, I craved less food and when I eat, I eat less than my normal intake,” she added.
“I was able to shed the extra 5 lbs I gained on my birthday week eating spree,” Michelle said. She said that she will continue taking Metamucil since it helped her body break down food better, but she will pick the orange variant instead next time. “I will try taking it in two to 3 days interval plus the seasonal jogging to see if I get better results,” she added.
Marjourie also wins a Fitbit Charge HR wristband for getting the most likes and comments on her challenge posts. What did you think of this challenge? Would you like to try it out yourself? Tell us. – With research and reports from Regina Francisco/Rappler.com
Can You Take Metamucil Everyday?
The fiber supplement Metamucil is safe for long-term use; however, its benefits, including weight management, can also be achieved through a balanced diet.
It’s hard to have a conversation about healthy eating and not talk about fiber — and, by extension, fiber supplements 111. The mighty carbohydrate that is fiber promotes satiety, helping you feel full and stay full for longer, and it aids in proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Fiber supplements are widely available over the counter at nearly any grocery store or pharmacy, but is there ever too much of a good thing? Consider Metamucil, a brand-name product made from 100 percent psyllium husk 4.
Metamucil is touted as a great way of keeping your digestive system functioning and even aiding in weight loss 4. Could Metamucil have side effects if you use it long-term, or is it safe to include in your daily routine 4? Here’s the skinny on psyllium and how supplements made from it can affect your body.
Yes, you can safely take Metamucil every day, but it is better for your overall health to reach your recommended daily intake of fiber from food sources.
Read more: 19 High-Fiber Foods — Some May Surprise You!
The Importance of Fiber
Your fiber needs vary based on age and gender. Here’s how much you should be getting in your daily diet, according to the Mayo Clinic 169:
- Men 50 and younger: 38 grams
- Men older than 50: 30 grams
- Women 50 and younger: 25 grams
- Women older than 50: 21 grams
There are two types of fiber, and each serves an important function. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a sort of gel, whereas insoluble fiber moves through your digestive system unchanged and increases stool bulk.
Because fiber helps keep you feel full faster and for longer, it is great for helping control weight 2. A study published in the February 2015 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine tracked 240 adults with metabolic syndrome over the course of a year while half of them followed dietary guidelines put forth by the American Heart Association and half of them focused on simply increasing their fiber intake 3.
Both groups in the study lost weight, and although the American Heart Association group lost more pounds overall, the study concluded that simply increasing fiber is a reasonable alternative for people who have trouble following strict diet plans.
Metamucil Benefits You Should Know
Fiber can be found in many plant foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, but fiber supplements are available for people who need to increase their intake.
Fiber supplements come in several forms, including fiber powers (which can be stirred into drinks or added to recipes) and fiber pills (which can be swallowed orally). The milled psyllium husk that serves as the active ingredient in Metamucil provides 2 to 4 grams of soluble fiber per serving 4.
Metamucil’s directions encourage use for two weeks because although some users might notice benefits immediately, it can take those two weeks, per the product’s claims, to feel them in their entirety 45.
Taking Metamucil Every Day
If fiber helps you feel full and manage your weight, then you might be ready to include a dose of Metamucil in your regular routine 4. Before you go adopting that habit, consider this: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises that some of the benefits of fiber supplements, like the feeling of satiety, might not be the same in fiber supplements or enriched foods compared to whole food sources 611.
What’s more, people who aren’t getting enough fiber from what they’re eating are probably missing out on other vital nutrients in their diet too.
Using Metamucil or laxatives to treat chronic constipation could be covering up symptoms of a bigger problem, thus preventing you and your doctor from knowing about it and beginning treatment as soon as possible 47. However, the Mayo Clinic reports that there’s no harm in taking Metamucil every day and that using it can even help you reach your recommended daily intake of fiber 146.
It’s difficult to say how effective fiber supplements are in helping dieters achieve their weight-loss goals. An article featured in the June 2012 issue of Current Obesity Reports noted that fiber supplements can enhance high-fiber eating strategies and further promote satiety and reduce cardiometabolic risk factors, but more clinical trials are needed to determine the potential of fiber supplements in managing obesity in the long term.
Are There Side Effects?
Metamucil is safe, but it isn’t without side effects 4. Fiber supplements can cause bloating and gas, especially in the beginning 1. The best way to avoid this is to start out slowly and increase the dosage until you get the results you want 7.
Drinking plenty of water will ensure the fiber has plenty of fluid to dissolve into. Fiber supplements can also interfere with certain medications by interfering with absorption. This includes even common medications like aspirin, ibuprofen and penicillin 9. By taking medication one hour before or two hours after eating a high-fiber meal, you can minimize the interaction.
Other Ways to Increase Fiber
If you’re looking to increase the fiber in your diet, you don’t necessarily have to use supplements. Many nutritious foods provide all the fiber you need and can easily be worked into your diet 6. Look for whole foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and whole grains. Here are a few ideas for ways to get more fiber in your diet 610.
Include the skin or peel of fruits and vegetables for a hit of fiber 6. An apple with its peel contains 4.4 grams of fiber, while a half-cup of applesauce contains only 1.4 grams.
Look for whole-grain products instead of low-fiber white ones. Steel cut oats for breakfast instead of refined cereal, or even brown rice with dinner instead of white, will help you meet your fiber goals. Opt for 100 percent whole-wheat bread.
Popcorn, nuts and dried fruit make great snacks for you to carry with you when you are out and about 10.
Include a serving of fruit, vegetables or both with every meal you eat. Think of a serving as one piece of fruit, a half-cup of raw vegetables or a cup of leafy greens. This will help you meet your five servings a day (three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit) recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Beans are a great source of fiber 11. Add navy, pinto, kidney, black, Lima, white or garbanzo beans to any salad you’re preparing to up the fiber (and the protein).
Read more: 7-Day Restart Guide: How to Get Your Diet Back on Track in One Week
Mix a quarter-cup serving of wheat bran into foods like cooked cereal, applesauce or even meatloaf. If a food comes in a package, check the nutrition label for the amount of dietary fiber and aim for 5 grams per serving.
Lack of exercise is another common cause of constipation, as is repeatedly ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement. Both can result in poor muscle action in the colon.
Among the disorders associated with chronic constipation are strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, underactive thyroid, excessive calcium in the blood, lupus and scleroderma. Other problems may directly involve the colon or rectum, including tumors, scar tissue, strictures and abnormalities in hormones, nerves or muscles that are involved in colonic function.
Many medications, too, can cause constipation. Among the most common offenders are pain medications (especially narcotics like codeine, morphine and oxycodone); certain antidepressants, although not the class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or S.S.R.I.’s; tranquilizers; antacids that contain aluminum or calcium; calcium-channel blockers to control blood pressure; diuretics; iron and calcium supplements; anti-Parkinson drugs; anticonvulsants and antispasmodics.
Coping Through Diet
I’ve had a lifelong problem maintaining regular bowel habits. In college, things got so bad — I suffered from bloating and cramps after days of no eliminations — that I visited the campus clinic, where an astute physician got me on track.
She advised me to eat a whole-grain cereal and plenty of fruits and vegetables every day; to drink lots of liquids, including a glass of water before bed and upon awakening, and to avoid white breads, nuts, cheese and chocolate. (White flour has been stripped of its bowel-stimulating fiber, and nuts, cheese and chocolate — along with white rice and bananas — tend to be constipating). She also recommended that I establish a time each day to use the bathroom.
As long as I stick with this program, things go well, except for occasional disruptions related to travel, medication or surgery. The use of calcium supplements prompted me to start taking a daily fiber supplement, and to counter postoperative narcotic-induced constipation, I added a daily dose of stewed prunes, dates or figs and bran cereal to my diet.
Herein lies the clue to the solution of the most common reason for constipation — inadequate dietary fiber. A diet containing 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day is needed to form soft, bulky stools that are easy to pass, but most Americans consume half that or less.
Do fiber supplements work?
I am not shy about elimination discussions. Being diagnosed with an intestinal disease will do that to a person! Ulcerative colitis has made me more familiar with intestines, bowels, and poop than I ever wanted to be. But on the bright side, it has led me to discover invaluable information about how to heal myself!
“Here, just take Metamucil”
I’ve always tended toward constipation. Since I was eight years old, doctors have been diligently repeating their “solution” to this issue: Eat more whole grains with fiber and take this Metamucil/Benefiber/Senna Tablets as needed.
I didn’t know that eating more whole grains was not only ineffective for my constipation, but was actually worsening my digestion.
I also didn’t realize that these laxitives were actually harming my intestines. For example, muscle-stimulating laxatives like Senna are actually addicting–your bowels become weakened and lazy by relying on the muscle stimulant.
Faithfully, I snacked on high fiber bread, fiber-fortified bars, and fiber-fortified cereals. As you can imagine, I felt confused and helpless when this prescribed regimine did nothing to promote regularity.
When I began a grain free diet, I removed these fiber-fortified foods from my life. Though I was consuming less fiber, my bowel movements became regular for the first time in my life. Though it confused me at the time, it makes sense after discovering the problems with fiber supplements.
1. Isolated Fiber is not a Real Food
Here are five questions that I suggest you ask yourself to determine if an item is real food:
- Is it a product or is it a food?
- Is it made with ingredients that humans have used for thousands of years?
- Is this something that your great-grandmother would recognize as food?
- Can you make it in your kitchen with grocery store ingredients?
- Is it advertised on TV?
Fiber supplements and fiber-fortified foods are fake food, just as much as canola oil is a fake food. In answer to the above questions, fiber supplements are products, not food. You won’t find isolated Metamucil or any such isolated fiber in nature, and neither would your grandmother recognize it as food. You can’t make it in your kitchen, and it is indeed advertised on TV.
If we consider the traditional diets that produced thriving cultures, we see that many diets contained little to no grain-based fiber.
As discovered by Weston A. Price, a 19th century nutrition pioneer, the Masai tribe subsisted on the meat, milk and blood from their cattle. The native Inuit also grew strong and healthy one a primarily animal-based diet of fish, fish eggs, seal oil, caribou. This was supplemented with plant products like kelp, berries and nuts.
2. Fiber supplements can worsen constipation
Fiber is most commonly applauded as a way to stay regular. The early studies that prompted the high fiber movement found that young, healthy study participants had better bowel movements. The participants were not constipated in the beginning. Current studies show that a high fiber diet may actually exacerbate constipation. According to Science Daily:
The role of dietary fiber to treat chronic constipation is exaggerated. A low fiber diet has been proven not to be the cause of constipation and the success of fiber intake as treatment is modest. The study reviewed conducted by Voderholzer et al showed that only 20% of slow transit patients benefited from fiber. Further data suggests that while many patients may be helped by a fiber-rich diet, some actually suffer from worse symptoms when increasing their fiber intake.
Why do fiber supplements worsen constipation? Because they are dehydrating. Whereas fruit and vegetables contain fiber paired with water and electrolytes, fiber supplements are stripped of these nutrients. Isolated fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract, which can make fecal matter more compact and difficult to eliminate.
3. Fiber supplements can throw gut flora out of whack
Consuming grain-based fiber and fiber-fortified foods can devastate gut flora. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride in The Gut and Psychology Syndrome,
“A diet high in fiber from grains (brans and breakfast cereals in particular) has a profound negative effect on the gut flora, gut health and general body metabolism, predisposing the person to IBS, bowel cancer, nutritional deficiencies, and many other problems. Fruit and vegetables provide a much better quality fiber that is not as harsh on the digestive system.”
You may have noticed symptoms including gas, bloating and belching after eating fiber supplements. Isolated fiber consumption often produces these symptoms due to the fermentation action of gut bacteria.
Further, grain fiber contains large amounts of phytic acid, a compound which “locks” onto minerals like zinc, copper, iron and calcium. Traditional cultures practiced fermenting or soaking their grains to reduce the phytic acid and thereby making consumed minerals bioavailable. Of course, modern grain products, such as fiber-fortified bread and cereals, are not properly prepared and contain high amounts of phytic acid.
Real vs. Fake Fiber
Is all fiber bad? Certainly not! We do need to create a balanced fiber intake, however.
Soluble fiber, the fiber found in fruits and vegetables is much more gentle on the digestive tract. Small amounts of this fiber acts as food for the bacteria – friendly and unfriendly bugs alike – in our digestive tract and is called a prebiotic.
Insoluble fiber carries the problems discussed in this post. It is found in fiber-fortified foods, fiber supplements, and grain products like “whole grain” items, cereals, breads and pastas. The insoluble fiber content as well as other aspects make grains in general a strain on the digestive tract. All grains, but especially high fiber whole grain products, should be strictly limited (or completely avoided).
Here’s the important takeaway point from this whole post: We get all the fiber we need if we enjoy plenty of freshly-prepared vegetables.
5 Natural Constipation Remedies
If you are wondering how to address constipation without fiber supplements, I have you covered. I’ve been there, done that!
Read my post 5 steps to cure constipation naturally for steps that effectively address the root causes of constipation.