I find it hard to eat enough fruits and vegetables. Is there any harm in taking a fiber supplement every day?

Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Taking fiber supplements every day seems to be safe. Popular fiber supplements include inulin, psyllium (Metamucil, Konsyl, others) and methylcellulose (Citrucel).

Fiber is good for the body. It helps the bowel work well and prevents constipation. Fiber can help lower cholesterol and help you feel full, which might help control overeating.

It's best to get fiber from food. Supplements don't have the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that fiber-rich foods do. But fiber supplements can be part of the daily intake.

Fiber supplements can cause belly bloating and gas, at least at first. People with stomach problems such as a history of a blocked bowel or Crohn's disease should talk to a member of their health care team before taking a fiber supplement.

Also be sure to ask whether fiber supplements will affect any medicines you take. For instance, fiber supplements can lower blood sugar levels. People who have diabetes might need to take a different amount of insulin or other medicines.

When starting fiber supplements, start with small amounts to keep from being too gassy. Don't take more than the supplement's label says to take. Also be sure to drink plenty of fluids every day.

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June 13, 2023 See more Expert Answers