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Nutrition Column

Fiber supplementation

If you find you need a fiber supplement to meet your desired level try several out to see which one or type your body responds best to.

Most types of fiber come in several forms including powder, tablets, and capsules. Some, like Fiber Choice, come in wafers as well.

From experience most people tolerate one form better than another. Side effects range from transient increased blood pressure to gastrointestinal discomfort. The most common supplemental forms include methyl cellulose, psyllium, and inulin.

Another option to raise your fiber intake is through high fiber cereals like Fiber One (with 14 grams of fiber, and only 105 mg sodium, in a 1/2 cup serving). The only drawback of this source is the only 1 gram of soluble fiber per serving. Also, if a Trader Joe's is nearby, there are the Fiber Cakes mentioned in another post.

If you chose to use one, like with high fiber foods, begin slow and introduce fiber gradually at a level of five grams per day rather than doubling your intake dramatically. If you do that I suspect no matter what form you take you'll experience distress.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 3.29.06