Are Fiber Supplements Effective for Weight Loss?

Are Fiber Supplements Effective for Weight Loss?

Fiber supplements are typically made by isolating the fiber from plants.

While these isolated fibers may have some health benefits, the evidence for weight control is mixed and unconvincing.

A very large review study found that psyllium and guar gum — both soluble, viscous fibers — are ineffective as weight loss supplements (26Trusted Source).

One notable exception is glucomannan, a fiber extracted from the konjac root.

This incredibly viscous dietary fiber causes modest weight loss when used as a supplement (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).

However, supplementing with isolated nutrients rarely makes much difference on its own.

For the greatest impact, you should combine fiber supplements with other healthy weight loss strategies.

Although glucomannan and other soluble fiber supplements are a good option, it’s best to focus your diet on whole plant foods.

SUMMARY
Fiber supplements are usually ineffective for weight loss — with the exception of glucomannan. However, getting your fiber from whole plant foods is better than supplementing.

The Bottom Line
Eating more foods rich in fiber — especially viscous fiber — can be an effective strategy to lose weight.

However, like many weight loss methods, it won’t lead to long-term results unless you pair it with a lasting lifestyle change.

Keep in mind that fiber supplements likely have less of an overall health impact than fiber-rich whole foods.

Additionally, don’t forget that health isn’t all about body weight. Eating plenty of fiber from real foods can have numerous other health benefits.

 

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