Fiber is an inevitable part of healthy nutrition. Despite fiber is more known for its influence on the digestion process, results of numerous researches prove it to be the remedy to balance cholesterol levels. Such supplements usually presuppose common brand name, such as Citrucel and Metamucil.
Types of Fiber Supplements Available
There are two main types of fiber, which are included in different fiber supplements. They include non-soluble and soluble fiber. The last type is divided into other two types: viscous and non-viscous.
Viscous soluble fiber turns to thick gel once it contacts with liquids within the digestive tract. Based on this feature, this type of fiber can work binding to cholesterol within the small intestines, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream and allowing its elimination in the feces. Non-viscous and insoluble fiber, in its turn, cannot bind to cholesterol.
All the fiber supplements are offered over-the-counter in almost every drugstore, health foods shop and grocery store. The substance is available in the form of powder and tablet. While the vast majority of fiber supplements have nothing to do with cholesterol reduction, there are two types of medications, which are approved to slightly decrease the range of LDL cholesterol.
Fiber Supplements to Lower LDL
• Methylcellulose is known as a modified form of cellulose. The substance can be found in certain fiber supplements, like Citrucel and multiple other store brands. Methylcellulose is classified as a viscous soluble fiber, which does not have many studies and researches to prove its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol level. Nevertheless, results of several researches have proved that 5 grams of the substance a day may considerably decrease LDL cholesterol level (up to 8%). However, these studies did not provide any information about positive influence on HDL and triglycerides.
• Psyllium belongs to a group of viscous soluble fiber that is naturally produced in grain products. Additionally, it can be found in diverse supplements, peculiarly Metamucil, Konsyl and certain other store brands. The substance has been extensively studied, both as an independent supplement and part of a combined course. Results of investigations showed that 5-15 g of Psyllium a day can lower LDL to 5-20%, depending on individual features. HDL and triglycerides were insignificantly affected by the supplement.
Fiber Supplements to Keep Cholesterol Levels
Another type of fiber supplements is not likely to influence cholesterol levels. However, they can be effectively used to improve the digestive health. Such supplements include:
• Wheat Dextrin, especially Benefiber and other store brands are classified as a non-viscous form of soluble fiber. The medications are supposed to form a gel-like substance in the small intestines, which cannot bind cholesterol.
• Polycarbophil, peculiarly FiberLax, FiberCon and other store brands belong to a group of viscous soluble fiber supplements. Contrary to Methylcellulose and Psyllium, the remedy has not been associated with LDL, HDL or triglyceride change.
Taking Fiber Supplements
According to the general recommendations, 25 g of fiber on a daily basis is a sufficient dose for correct body functioning. Once you cannot receive enough fiber in your diet, you can start the supplement use to balance fiber concentration. Nevertheless, you should not rely just on fiber supplements. Keep in mind that there are numerous effective and tasty rich in rich products, which can be included into your nutrition plan. In addition to the required fiber, they will supply the body with extra nutrients and vitamins.
Anyway, consult your medical specialist before you start the consumption of cholesterol-lowering regimen. Follow the instructions and safety directions mentioned in the safety leaflet, when using fiber supplements. They should be administered with water to avoid choking. Take the remedy in divided doses in order to prevent certain gastrointestinal consequences associated with fiber consumption, especially bloating and abdominal cramps.
Do not use fiber together with other vitamins, minerals or pharmaceuticals, unless your doctor recommends you otherwise. Fiber supplements can decrease the effectiveness of accompanying therapies.