Fibre and Fibre Supplements


Stools (faeces or motions) are usually soft and easy to pass if you eat enough fibre, and drink enough fluid. We should aim to eat at least 18 grams of fibre per day. A diet with plenty of fibre:

  • Will help to prevent and treat constipation.
  • Will help to prevent some bowel conditions such as diverticula, haemorrhoids (piles) and anal fissure.
  • May help you to lose weight.
  • May reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.
  • May help to lower your blood lipid (cholesterol) level.
  • High-fibre foods

These include the following:

  • Wholemeal or whole wheat bread, biscuits and flour.
  • Fruit and vegetables.
  • Brown rice, andmultigrain chapattis.
  • Fibre supplements (sometimes called bulk-forming laxatives)

Other fibre supplements include ispaghula husk (psyllium), methylcellulose, sterculia, wheat dextrin, inulin fibre, and whole linseeds (soaked in water). There are various branded products that contain these supplements.

Note: have lots to drink when you eat a high-fibre diet or fibre supplements. Drink at least two litres (about 8-10 cups) per day.

You may find that if you eat more fibre or fibre supplements, you may have some bloating and wind at first. This is often temporary. As your gut becomes used to extra fibre, the bloating or wind tends to settle over a few weeks. So, if you increase fibre, you may prefer to have more soluble rather than insoluble fibre.

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