Fiber supplements: Are they safe to take every day?

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Fiber supplements: Are they safe to take every day?

Question

I need more fiber in my diet, but I find it difficult to eat enough fruits and vegetables. Is there any harm in taking a fiber supplement every day?

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Answer

There's no evidence that daily use of fiber supplements — such as Metamucil, Konsyl or Citrucel is harmful. Fiber has a number of health benefits, including normalizing bowel function. It's best to get fiber from food, but fiber supplements can contribute to the recommended daily intake.

If you have intestinal problems, talk to your doctor before adding a fiber supplement to your diet. Also, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether a fiber supplement may interact with any medications you take. Fiber supplements can decrease the absorption of certain medications, such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin) and carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol). Fiber supplements can also reduce blood sugar levels, which may require an adjustment in your insulin dosage if you have diabetes. If you plan to take fiber supplements, start with small amounts to avoid problems with gas and be sure to drink plenty of fluids every day.

Last Updated: 2011-04-21
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