Metamucil supplements are popular in helping prevent constipation and solving gastrointestinal issues. However, should you use the supplement to reduce weight?

For a long time, Metamucil and its supplements have been recommended for preventing constipation, clearing the stomach and the gastrointestinal tract of harmful weighing-down substances, and promoting satiety. Admittedly, the supplements have worked well, which is why many use them. However, some people have gone to the extent of using Metamucil and other fiber-related supplements regularly to aid with weight loss. While this may seem like a good idea and produce results after some time, it is unsafe and the supplements should not be used as weight loss products. Find out from this article the reason behind this conclusion and healthier alternatives for weight loss.

Understanding Metamucil and why people use it

There are many supplements in the market, and Metamucil is one of them. It is a fiber-based supplement primarily made from psyllium husks, which are harvested from Plantago ovata, also called blond plantain, dessert Indianwheat, ispaghul, or blond psyllium. The plant can produce as many as 15,000 seeds with psyllium husks from which the Metamucil supplements are made.

When you take the supplements, they absorb the water in the digestive tract and form a gelatin-like mass, a phenomenon possible because of the fiber’s soluble nature. Consequently, it is often used as a laxative to prevent constipation by slowing bowel movement and increasing contact time with intestinal walls. Besides, psyllium husks, because of the gelatin-like mass they form, are quite filling and can effectively increase satiety, lowering the desire to eat every time. This may control calorie intake and cravings, ultimately influencing weight loss.  What’s more, studies have confirmed that Metamucil supplements can effectively battle diarrhea, especially the mild ones by absorbing the extra water in the GI tract and making the stool firm. As if that’s not enough, the fibrous nature of the supplements makes them ideal for reducing bad and total cholesterol levels. You can find it in chemists in powder, liquid, tablet, and capsule forms, and can get it without prescription.

Can Metamucil supplements aid with the weight loss quest?

Studies have confirmed that Metamucil and psyllium-based supplements can effectively help a person reduce his cholesterol levels, better control blood sugar levels, cut down instances and severity of constipation, and lower the risk of diabetes type 2. In fact, one study even recorded a decrease in BMI in obese people with diabetes type 2 who used Metamucil supplements. Besides, because psyllium and Metamucil supplements are pretty filling, they reduce hunger and overall calorie intake. This satiety feeling is good for weight loss control since calorie intake is directly proportional to weight gain. One study involved giving participants psyllium supplements before breakfast and lunch for three days and at the end of the survey, their hunger and calorie intake were greatly reduced. Nonetheless, research discourages and strongly advises against using Metamucil and any other fiber-based supplement for weight loss. They are low in nutrients and antioxidants and may also pose serious side effects and negative drug interactions.

The potential side effects of supplementing with Metamucil

Since studies have shown that Metamucil and other psyllium fiber-based supplements can effectively aid in weight loss besides their many roles, you might be tempted to try them, especially if you have been crazing for weight loss. However, while that’s purely a personal decision, you are definitely interested in knowing the potential side effects of the supplements and why health experts strongly advise against them. Here are the potential cons of using Metamucil and other fiber-based supplements;

i.                    The supplements may trigger gastrointestinal issues

While studies show that Metamucil and psyllium supplements can help solve digestive issues, they can also trigger similar issues. For instance, some users have complained reported gas, belching, and bloating after using the supplements. Consequently, you might want to exercise caution while using the supplements and take only small dosages for a start and step them up when need be.

ii.                 They may initiate bowel obstruction

Bowel obstruction is also another challenge associated with taking Metamucil and other fiber-based supplements. Notice that this is a relatively severe effect which can culminate into fatality if not attended to well in time. Therefore, if you have to or choose to take the supplements, ensure that you are drinking enough water and fluids to be on the safe side of the fence.

iii.               They may worsen symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders

Unfortunately, Metamucil supplements may be out of option for you if you have a history of gastrointestinal disorders. Former patients of Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis have reported a deterioration in the symptoms of their conditions when they used Metamucil supplements. It is noteworthy that the supplements can even trigger symptoms for a condition that had long healed.

iv.               They could trigger negative drug interactions

You should be concerned about negative drug interactions when taking supplements, and the same applies to Metamucil. Some people who used the supplements while using other drugs reported negative drug interactions. Therefore, talk to your doctor to know such possibilities and how to go about them if you are currently on another medication.

What are the healthy alternatives to Metamucil?

In a nutshell, Metamucil can aid with many things, from preventing constipation to aiding weight loss. However, because of the associated side effects, getting an alternative strategy sounds better and is definitely safer. Instead of taking Metamucil or other psyllium and fiber-based supplements, why not focus on boosting your fiber intake with healthier options? You could take in more fibrous fruits and vegetables with will increase satiety, reduce your hunger and cravings, lower your bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels while still helping you lower weight and boost your nutrient intake.


Metamucil supplements are made from psyllium husks and can be found in pharmacies in powder, tablet, capsule, and liquid forms. Although they can effectively help you lose weight by boosting satiety and reducing hunger, craving, and calorie intake, they may trigger serious side effects. Of course, severe gastrointestinal issues, bowel obstruction, and negative drug interactions are undesirable, making Metamucil an unhealthy choice. Instead, you can increase your fiber intake by taking vegetables and fruits and still realize similar weight loss benefits.

Nutritionist. Bluffton University, MS

In today's world, people's eating and exercise patterns have changed, and it is often lifestyle that is the cause of many diet-related illnesses. I believe that each of us is unique – what works for one does not help another. What is more, it can even be harmful. I am interested in food psychology, which studies a person's relationship with their body and food, explains our choices and desires for specific products, the difficulty of maintaining optimal body weight, as well as the influence of various internal and external factors on appetite. I'm also an avid vintage car collector, and currently, I'm working on my 1993 W124 Mercedes. You may have stumbled upon articles I have been featured in, for example, in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Grazia, Women's Health, The Guardian, and others.

Latest from Health