Metamucil is a bulk-producing laxative and fiber supplement. The Metamucil brand has existed since 1934, and was owned by G. D. Searle & Company until 1985 when Procter & Gamble acquired the brand. The active ingredient is psyllium seed husks. It may also reduce cholesterol when taken daily. Metamucil is sold in powdered drink mixes, capsules, and wafers. Metamucil has been available in different flavors, such as Orange, Berry, and Pink Lemonade. A sugar-free version has also been available.
Fiber supplements such as Metamucil supplement the dietary fiber provided by food sources. A study reported in 2014 showed very modest benefit in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 7 people would need to be treated for 1 person to benefit. Author=Moayyadi P et al, Am J of Gastroenterology, Sept 2014
Potential side effects
Since Psyllium husk-containing products, such as Metamucil, are sometimes used as a source of dietary fiber, the intake of dietary fiber could hinder the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.[not in citation given]Dietary fiber helps the gastrointestinal tract absorb excess water and remove food wastes, but an excessively high intake of dietary fiber will also negatively affect the absorption process in the intestinal tract. Taking a fiber supplement can decrease the absorption of minerals by decreasing the transit time, lowering the concentration of minerals by accumulating more fecal matter, and can also cause the minerals to become trapped in the faeces, leaving the body without absorption. This could affect individuals who may not be meeting, or barely attaining, their body's mineral or nutrient needs.[not in citation given] Psyllium fiber has been shown in studies to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels while another common fiber, methylcellulose, has not shown these benefits.
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