It is recommended that people get between 25 and 38g of natural fibre per day. Most Americans don't eat enough fibre to meet these standards, so supplements can be an excellent addition to most regular diets. Fibre is important to promote regularity and proper digestive health, and Benefiber as a supplement can help ensure adequate fibre intake. As with any supplement, care should be taken when using it to avoid risk or side effects.
What Is It?
Benefiber is available in various forms, but its most popular is the powdered form, in which the only ingredient is wheat dextrin. This 100 per cent natural fibre source is a relatively gluten free product, is sugar free, is tasteless and dissolves completely in liquids or soft foods. Unlike some fibre supplements, Benefiber also doesn't have a gritty texture. One serving of Benefiber provides 3g of fibre, 12 per cent of daily dietary fibre needs, and helps promote normal bowel functions.
Common Side Effects
Surprisingly, for a natural supplement, Benefiber does have some side effects. In most cases, sudden and uncontrolled flatulence is the most common. A feeling of bloating or fullness has also been reported, as well as nausea and diarrhoea. These side effects can go away as the body adjusts to the supplement and increased fibre in the diet. Often, a medical professional can offer guidance in ways to help reduce or even eliminate these effects all together.
Serious Side Effects
Although not especially common, some serious side effects may occur that may require medical attention. Usually brought on when taken in higher doses than recommended, a doctor should be consulted promptly if users experience any of the following: difficulty breathing, intestinal blockage, skin rash or itching or difficulty swallowing.
Benefiber powder is best when mixed with any hot or cold beverage like water, coffee or juice. It can also be dissolved completely in certain soft foods like yoghurt, applesauce or pudding, or cooked into recipes for muffins, sauces or soups without affecting the consistency. Benefiber is not recommended for use in carbonated beverages, as it may cause stomach or intestinal upset and complications.
Taken at the proper dosage, and used strictly as a supplement to dietary fibre, Benefiber is a good way to help improve the health of an individual. As with anything, however, care should be taken in its use to get the best results and to limit complications.