Metamucil, a fiber supplement adds bulk to the stool and relieves constipation. It decreases appetite and promotes a feeling of fullness, and can therefore help in weight loss.
Due to the related side effects, people wonder whether consuming it for weight loss is safe or not.
What is Metamucil?
Metamucil is a fiber supplement that has an active ingredient known as psyllium husk.
Psyllium husk comes from Plantago ovate, a plant that is also known as desert Indian wheat.(1) It is a soluble fiber that absorbs water and becomes gel-like and passes through the digestive tract.(2)
Metamucil is known to support digestive health, improve blood sugar, and control cholesterol levels. It traps the water in the intestine and eases the passage of stool in the body.
Can Metamucil Help In Weight Loss?
There are numerous studies that show the weight loss effect of Metamucil.
A study done on 51 people with type 2 diabetes found psyllium supplements decreased constipation, controlled blood sugar levels, and promoted weight loss.(3)
Another study found psyllium husk effective in controlling blood sugar and decreasing the body mass index in 40 people with type2 diabetes.(4)
Psyllium reduces appetite and keeps you fuller for a longer period of time.(5)
A small study found Metamucil when taken before breakfast and lunch for 3 days reduced hunger and desire to eat and also increased the feeling of fullness.(6)
Despite all these benefits, Metamucil is not recommended for weight loss. Instead, you can increase the intake of soluble fibers through fruits and vegetables. They along with increasing the fiber intake, provide the body with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Side Effects of Metamucil
Although Metamucil is considered effective in weight loss, it has a few side effects to consider.
It can cause mild digestive issues that include gas, belching, and bloating.(6, 7) Make sure you start with small doses and gradually increase to avoid unnecessary side effects.
It is also important to increase water intake while taking Metamucil as it can lead to bowel obstruction due to a lack of adequate fluids.(8)
Those with a history of gastrointestinal disorders should speak with their healthcare provider before starting Metamucil.
Also, those on medication should consult a doctor to know whether Metamucil intake would interfere with the absorption of their drug as it is known to affect the absorption of certain types of drugs.(9)
There can also be side effects related to psyllium husk that include:
- Breathing problem
- Stomach pain
- Trouble in swallowing
- Skin rash
Any of the above if noticed, a doctor should be called immediately.
Other Sources Of Fiber
The American Heart Association recommends taking fiber from food whenever possible. (10) Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are good sources of fiber along with other related health benefits.
It is always a better approach, as it keeps up the level of the nutrients required by the body and improves the overall health.
Metamucil is effective in bringing in weight loss as it reduces hunger and appetite. It interferes with the action of certain medications and causes a few side effects and therefore a doctor should be consulted before starting with it.