Guide to Vitamins

Should I Take a Fiber Supplement?

The case for a high fiber diet is strong. Will a supplement help you meet your quota?

Illustrations by Kieran Blakey

“High-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients that may also have anti-inflammatory effects.”

It’s important for people to get both types of fiber. When ingested together, soluble and insoluble fiber form a protective “latticework” that slows the small intestine’s uptake of sugar and other food molecules, says Robert Lustig, MD, an neuroendocrinologist and former professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Slowing digestion is good for several reasons. “Fewer calories will hit your liver all at once, which means the liver stays healthy,” he says. Slower digestion also means blood sugar levels don’t spike as dramatically after a meal, and more food molecules make it to the lower intestine where they can feed healthy bacteria.

I write about health and science. I live in Detroit with my wife and kids. I’m trying to learn German, but my progress so far is nicht gut.

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