Fiber gummies are an easier, tastier, and more convenient way to enjoy the benefits of fiber. But how does it fare compared to more traditional forms of fiber supplements? Do fiber gummies work?
- Do Fiber Gummies Actually Work?
- How Does Fiber Benefit The Body?
- How Do Fiber Gummies Work?
- Do Fiber Gummies Work? Evidence and Research
- Potential Drawbacks of Fiber Gummies
Do Fiber Gummies Actually Work?
They can help improve digestion, normalize bowel movements, reduce cholesterol levels, promote weight loss, and maintain blood sugar levels.
While fiber gummies have been proven to work, it’s important to note that they should not replace a fiber-rich diet and should only be used as a secondary source of fiber.
How Does Fiber Benefit The Body?
Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes — is best known for preventing or relieving constipation. It can also help maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and various cancer types. Fiber also includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb.
The body doesn’t digest fiber; it passes intact through the stomach, small intestine, colon, and out of the body. Other food components, however, such as fats, proteins, or carbohydrates, are down and absorbed by the body.
Fiber is commonly classified into two: soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve.
- Soluble fiber – This fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, and psyllium.
- Insoluble fiber – This type of fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It speeds the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool, which is good for people who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, wheat bran, legumes, and vegetables.
Some people may still need a fiber supplement if eating fiber-rich foods doesn’t give enough or if they have certain digestive conditions, such as constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How Do Fiber Gummies Work?
Fiber gummies are a modern way to enjoy the benefits of fiber and were designed to make supplementation easier, tastier, and more convenient for consumers. Most fiber gummy supplements usually include both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Aside from convenience, fiber gummies help deliver all of fiber’s important benefits:
- Improves digestion – Fiber helps keep the digestive system running smoothly. It also nourishes your gut bacteria, so they don’t turn to the gut lining for food.
- Normalizes and stabilizes bowel movements – Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it.
- Reduces cholesterol levels – Soluble fiber can help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol levels.
- Promotes weight loss – Eating more fiber can also help promote weight loss, prevent belly fat gain, and be a non–pharmacological way to improve carbohydrate metabolism.
- Maintains blood sugar levels – Fiber is known to slow down how your body absorbs sugar, with the fiber staying in check since the body can’t break it down, making it helpful for people with diabetes.
Explanation and comparison of fiber gummies and how they differ from other fiber supplements (e.g., powders, capsules)
Do Fiber Gummies Work? Evidence and Research
Whether in gummy, capsule, fiber thins, or powdered form, fiber supplements are generally considered safe and relatively effective. One study, for example, found that fiber supplementation reduced the occurrence of diarrhea among enteral nutrition (EN) patients by 36%.
However, evidence suggests that it may not be a one-size-fits-all method. Research from Stanford Medicine found that fiber supplements had varying health effects, with some study participants experiencing side effects, leading the researchers to conclude that individuals may have a unique profile of responses to fibers. Additionally, they may not provide all the health benefits associated with fiber in food.
Ultimately, nutritionists still recommend dietary fiber as the best and primary source of fiber, allowing fiber supplements as a secondary source to fill in certain gaps.
Gummies Vs. Other Fiber Supplement Forms
There are pros and cons with fiber supplement forms, whether they come as capsules, gummies, or powders. Fiber gummies are known for being a convenient and tastier approach to supplementation.
While capsules and gummies may be more palatable and easier to take, their fiber content or serving sizes may vary. The powdered form of supplements can offer more in a scoop and are faster absorbed by the body, compared to taking a certain amount of capsules or gummies, leading you to consume or buy more to fully experience optimal results.
Potential Drawbacks of Fiber Gummies
While generally safe, some people have experienced certain side effects while taking fiber supplements:
- Diarrhea or constipation (when taken in excess)
If you’re experiencing side effects, start with small amounts to minimize their effects, gradually increasing doses once you’ve become accustomed to them.
If you plan to take fiber supplements, drink plenty of fluids before each intake. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water before taking a supplement and 6 to 8 glasses throughout the day to avoid constipation. Not drinking enough water may cause the supplement to swell and cause choking.
Fiber supplements may also interact with other medications and supplements such as aspirin, diabetes medications, tricyclic antidepressants, and some anti-seizure drugs.
Do fiber gummies work for constipation?
Fiber supplements (as with dietary fiber) help normalize bowel movements and decrease the risk of constipation by increasing and softening stool bulk.
Do fiber gummies work as well as Metamucil?
While Metamucil also has its own fiber gummy option, other forms of fiber supplements, like powdered fiber, may be better in terms of faster absorption and offer more fiber in each serving size.
Do fiber gummies help IBS?
Dietary fiber and fiber supplements can benefit people with IBS and relieve symptoms like gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Fiber gummy supplements are a convenient way to take fiber more consistently and allow one to enjoy both soluble and insoluble fibers and reap other important health benefits — all in one tasty bite.
However, it’s important to note that taking these gummies, or any other form of fiber supplements, should never replace a fiber-rich diet, which offers more fiber and other important nutrients and should only be secondary.