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    Old 12-26-2005, 05:17 AM   #1
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    Types of Fiber Supplements

    If you take a fiber supplement, is one kind better than another? (psyllium, methylcellulose, etc.)

    What should you look for in a supplement?

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    Old 12-26-2005, 05:38 PM   #2
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    Re: Types of Fiber Supplements

    i'm not an expert but i've taken different fiber supplements over the years. i think you need to try different ones to see which ones work for you. some people develop gas from one kind, but not from another. i myself eat the chewable fiber tablets at the moment. they taste really good and they work well.

    Old 12-26-2005, 10:02 PM   #3
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    Re: Types of Fiber Supplements

    I think the water soluble fiber psyllium sold by Wal Mart as Equate is good, cost less than Metamucil and works the same since both are psyllium. It come in capsules, powder and wafers (cookies). You need to follow direction and drink the amount of water the directions say.

    A natrual fiber like psyllium does produce gas but it does go away with continued use.

    Citrucel is not a natrual fiber so it does not produce gas but it cost more-- about twice as much but it works OK but not anybetter.
    Both are safe to take daily.
    I have not tried Benefiber so I don't know about it.

    Old 12-27-2005, 10:46 PM   #4
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    Re: Types of Fiber Supplements

    Interesting recent info on psyllium and colon cancer. I don't think the results are exclusive to psyllium, just that one of the things we thought fiber was doing for us was really not happening.

    A quote taken off another board:

    Fiber May Hurt, More Than Help, in Preventing Colon Cancer

    Still Many Reasons to Eat Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains, Though

    By Elaine Zablocki
    ***** Medical News

    Reviewed by Dr. Michael W. Smith

    Oct. 12, 2000 -- A new study testing the effect of eating lots of fiber on colorectal cancer suggests it doesn't help and may even hurt. Recently, two similar studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute also found high-fiber diets did not seem to prevent colorectal cancer. However, researchers say there is still overwhelming evidence that it's important to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for other health reasons.

    In this study, appearing in the Oct. 14 issue of The Lancet, some of the 665 participants in 10 countries were given either daily supplements of ispaghula husk fiber, or a dummy supplement that looked and tasted the same, for a period of three years. All of the people in the test had colon adenomas, small polyps on the lining of the colon that are believed to be a stepping-stone to colorectal cancer.

    Researchers measured how many people had developed new adenomas at the end of the three-year study period. They found that eating the extra fiber didn't prevent colon adenomas and may even have increased their number.

    While study author Claire Bonithon-Kopp, MD, of the European Cancer Prevention Organization Study Group, questions whether consuming extra fiber helps prevent colorectal cancer, "our findings should not prevent recommendations for high consumption of vegetables, fruits, and cereals," she writes. "This approach has potentially beneficial effects on other chronic disease, especially coronary heart disease."

    "We should continue to recommend a diet rich in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains," Nagi Kumar, PhD, tells *****. "Asian populations that consume plant-rich foods have the lowest risk of colorectal cancers, as well as hormone-based cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer." Kumar is an assistant professor in the interdisciplinary oncology program at the University of South Florida School of Medicine and director of the department of nutrition at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, both in Tampa, Fla.

    Kumar has doubts about the European study. "One key question is, did these people really consume the supplements? In our research experience, it is quite difficult to get people to take substances like this for eight weeks, let alone three years. Just as important, researchers suspect fruits and vegetables and whole grains have a protective effect because they contain so many different plant substances. It is not just one agent -- more a cocktail of protective plant chemicals. Testing a single fiber supplement is no substitute for a diet rich in many different sorts of plant-based foods."

    Charles Fuchs, MD, thinks the European study is a well-done one. Taken together with other recently published research, he thinks the weight of the evidence suggests fiber does not have a protective effect against colon cancer. However, like the authors and Kumar, he emphasizes there are many reasons to continue eating a diet rich in fiber. "It appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 50%, and heart disease is a lot more common than colon cancer." Fuchs is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of adult ambulatory services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both in Boston.

    Even if fiber isn't an effective way to ward off colon cancer, there are many other things you can do, Fuchs says, such as regular physical activity, stopping smoking, avoiding obesity, and getting enough folic acid. (The amount in a standard multivitamin is fine.)

    There also is evidence that taking a standard aspirin two to three times a week may offer a substantial benefit against colon cancer, according to Fuchs, but you should consult your physician first. Aspirin does have side effects, and there are some people who shouldn't take it."

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