Benefits of Metamucil for Digestive Health
Health experts agree that natural food sources of dietary fiber should be utilized for healthy bowel balance whenever possible as popular fiber supplements provide fiber, but nothing else – particularly in terms of nutrients and vitamins that are found in whole foods as explained by Dr. Michael F. Picco, writing for The Mayo Clinic. But, fiber supplements can be used safely in the short term to help promote healthy regularity, relieve constipation and also contribute to heart health in some cases. However, choosing the right supplement can be challenging as there are many different kinds with psyllium based products being among the most popular. Metamucil, a name quite synonymous with digestive health, is one of the most recommended and most trusted powdered fiber supplement products available. And, while best known for regularity alone, the full list of digestive health benefits of Metamucil might just be surprising to some.
Metamucil is a medicine that is frequently used to treat constipation and its related symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, gas and stomach bloating, all which can be lessened by providing proper passage for stools through the digestive system. The psyllium based powder adds necessary bulk to the stools, which can allow for gentler and easier passage and, it also increases the amount of water in the stool as noted by WebMD, a secondary mechanism of action which also contributes to gentler and quicker stool passage. This dual action formulation provides another preventative measure as well to help keep constipation at bay. By increasing the rate at which stool moves through the digestive tract, less water is absorbed into the intestines therefore keeping the colon contents moist and lubricated as opposed to dry, hard and difficult to pass – a precursor to constipation. For many years, the health benefits of Metamucil have centered around this bowel blockage. But there is much more to the role that the powdered fiber can play in digestive health than meets the eye.
Metamucil uses are similar to other competitors and serving as a jumpstart to a diet for constipation is typically the most common. When combined with healthy dietary choices, the benefits of Metamucil can include providing a remedy for cases of recurrent constipation and reliving chronic occurrences. After a weeklong therapy session with Metamucil at hand, it is not uncommon for bouts of constipation to become less frequent and, when passed off to a fiber filled diet, paving the way for a constipation remedy with real long term potential.
In addition for its role in clearing up constipation, WebMD points out that Metamucil also may be used for some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or, IBS. These can include abdominal discomfort, gas, bloating, and other gastrointestinal upset associated with the often chronic condition. The cholesterol lowering ability of Metamucil has also been explored, and when used in conjunction with a healthy and well balanced diet, the benefits of Metamucil are thought to also include reducing bad cholesterol numbers.
As with most options for fiber supplementation, there are some side effects that can occur as a result of a rapid introduction of fiber to the system. Typically, Metamucil side effects can occur include gassiness, bloating, feelings of fullness and pressure, stomach cramping or other mild gastrointestinal discomfort. In some cases, serious allergic reactions have occurred from the use of fiber supplements although some such as Citrucel fiber products are reportedly less allergenic due to varying ingredients.
Whether choosing any dietary fiber brand like Benefiber powder, Citrucel caplets or of course, Metamucil, the long term gain afforded those who incorporate healthy doses of fiber into their daily diets are almost innumerous. The benefits of Metamucil are most pronounced in its role in maintaining and regulating digestive functions; and, as compelling research seems to indicate, also providing a boost to the cardiovascular system as well. It has been a long term placeholder as being one of the best fiber supplement choices among both physicians and their patients for a very long time, and with all the amazing health benefits of Metamucil, it is not a wonder.