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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. Psyllium seed husk contains 70 percent soluble fiber while Metamucil delivers 2.4 grams of soluble fiber per serving. 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. Seven people would need to be treated for one person to benefit.
Potential side effects
Gas and Bloating
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. Psyllium fiber has been shown in studies to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels while another common fiber, methylcellulose, has not shown these benefits.
- Mayo Clinic web page on cholesterol-lowering supplements Retrieved March 1, 2007.
- Cho SS, Dreher ML (2001). Handbook of Dietary Fiber.
- Moayyadi P et al., Am J of Gastroenterology, Sept 2014.
- SIDE EFFECTS AND METAMUCIL BENEFITS
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- PharmacistAnswers web page on treatments for constipation Retrieved February 12, 2014.
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