The 6 Best Fiber Supplements of 2021, According to a Dietitian

How to choose a fiber supplement that is right for you

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Best Fiber Supplements

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Dietary fiber is best known for regulating the digestive system, but adequate fiber intake may also reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases including type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming 19 to 38 grams of dietary fiber per day, depending on gender and age; however, the majority of Americans fall very short of meeting these guidelines.

Fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fiber, can be found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as in supplement form. Dr. Adelaide Hearst McClintock, M.D., an instructor and physician in the internal medicine department at Women's Health Care Center at UWMC-Roosevelt, highlights the importance of fiber for digestive health."Fiber can help soften and 'bulk' your stool to keep it moving through your digestive system," she says. "Inadequate amounts of fiber can lead to constipation, which can be associated with uncomfortable symptoms of abdominal distension, pain, bloating, gas." If you plan to increase your fiber, Dr. McClintock recommends to "do so slowly and gradually, as a rapid increase in fiber can also lead to gas and bloating for some people." Sufficient hydration is also important while increasing fiber, because water is necessary for keeping stool soft as it passes through the digestive system.

If you're looking to boost your fiber intake, a fiber supplement may help you to meet your daily fiber goals. However, it’s important to note that while a fiber supplement can help you meet your daily fiber needs, it’s also necessary to find ways to include fiber-rich foods (fruits, veggies, beans) into your meals. Getting much of your daily fiber intake from fiber-rich foods means you’re also getting all of the other nutrients those foods offer, as opposed to solely fiber.

Fiber supplements come in many forms, including powders, capsules, and tablets. Functional foods—such as chia and flaxseeds—are also considered to be fiber-rich options if you're looking for an alternative to typical supplements on the market. With so many choices available, our nutritionist rounded up the best products to keep your fiber intake up.

What to Look for in a Fiber Supplement

Type of Fiber:

Depending on why you are considering using a fiber supplement, you may want to choose a supplement that contains only soluble or insoluble fiber, or a combination of both. Soluble fiber may be best for lowering cholesterol and relieving diarrhea, whereas insoluble fiber works well to alleviate constipation. A blend of soluble and insoluble fibers may be helpful for general digestive health.

Ingredients:

Avoid fiber supplements that contain artificial ingredients and colors. Some products contain herbs or complementary components such as probiotics. Always check the ingredient label to see exactly what is in the supplement. When possible, choose a USDA Organic or non-GMO Project Verified product.

Form:

Most fiber supplements come in powder form. If you're not a fan of powder or want a more portable option, there are various tablets, capsules, and gummies on the market.

Fiber Supplement Dosage

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has the following recommendation for daily fiber intake:

  • Men under 50 years - 38 grams a day
  • Women under 50 years - 25 grams a day
  • Men over 50 years - 30 grams
  • Women over 50 years - 21 grams

Some studies show that even higher fiber intakes from whole foods is associated with better health outcomes and lowered risk of developing certain chronic diseases. In general, it is best to consume fiber from whole foods including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as they contain added vitamins and minerals that fiber supplements may not offer. However, supplements can help to boost your daily intake to meet your individual needs.

When using fiber supplements, start with a low dose and adjust as needed based on tolerance. It's important to take note that increasing fiber too quickly or without enough fluids can cause gas or bloating. Therefore, always increase fiber gradually, and with extra fluids. Additionally, consider that more fiber isn't always better. If you're already eating a variety of fiber-rich foods throughout the day, it's possible that you do not need an additional fiber supplement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best time to take a fiber supplement?

    Speak with your health care provider about the best time for you to take a fiber supplement, as a fiber supplement may interfere with the absorption of other supplements and medication. You can take fiber at any time of the day, but some people find that a fiber supplement affects their bowel movements. You may prefer to take it at a specific time so you can better time when a bowel movement may occur.

  • Which type of fiber supplement is best for diarrhea?

    For diarrhea, select a fiber supplement that contains soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to slow diarrhea, as it absorbs water from your stomach and intestines, then turns into a gel consistency. Remember that this is a short-term way to help alleviate the severity of diarrhea, but not a treatment. It's important to find out what is causing the diarrhea, especially if it lasts longer than a day or two.

  • What type of fiber supplement is best for constipation?

    For constipation, you want to select a product that contains insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass through your digestive system more quickly. You may also want to add a form of soluble fiber, which absorbs water from your stomach and intestines, then turns into a gel consistency. Soluble fiber can help to increase the frequency of elimination. You'll also need to increase water intake. And remember that while using a fiber supplement to help relieve occasional constipation can be helpful, but if you find yourself relying on fiber supplements to relieve more common bouts of constipation, it's important to work with a healthcare professional to figure out the root cause.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science, as well as clinically tested and approved for use in humans. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. These attributes include non-GMO, Organic, and allergy-friendly products that are free of most artificial ingredients including colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. When possible, we recommend products that are third-party tested and certified.

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

Here, the best fiber supplements.

Best Overall: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber
Pros
  • Includes both soluble and insoluble fiber

  • Dissolves easily without adding thickness

Cons
  • Low amount of servings per package

An excellent organic fiber supplement contains a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber, is free of sugar, taste, and color, and is made using top-quality ingredients. Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Fiber supplement meets all these criteria. The USDA Organic fiber is specifically designed to support an overall healthy digestive system. Each tablespoon provides five grams of prebiotic fiber (four grams soluble fiber and one gram insoluble fiber) from Acacia Senegal fiber, orange peel, baobab fruit, apple peel, and cranberry.

The clear, unflavored powder is free of psyllium, gluten, dairy, and soy. The non-GMO blend gently supports digestion and occasional constipation. Research published in 2013 shows that acacia fiber produces a more substantial amount of healthy bacteria—including bifidobacteria and lactobacilli—than comparable fibers, and results in fewer side effects such as bloating and gas. It's also Certified Vegan, NSF-Certified Gluten-Free, and kosher.

Active ingredients: Prebiotic blend of acacia fiber, orange peel, baobab fruit, apple peel, cranberry seed | Amount of fiber per serving: 5 grams | Gluten-free:  Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: Yes | Additives: No

Best to Help Lower Cholesterol: Metamucil Sugar-Free Original Smooth Powder

Metamucil Smooth Texture Sugar-Free Unflavored
Pros
  • May reduce cholesterol levels

  • Contains 8% of daily iron intake

Cons
  • Contains thickening additive

If you have high cholesterol, fiber supplements are an inexpensive option to help lower your cholesterol count. If you’re not getting enough from your diet, a supplement like Metamucil that's rich in psyllium fiber can add soluble fiber to your daily regimen. Research has suggested that the effects of psyllium intake include reduced cholesterol levels and even improved laxation and mineral absorption.

Metamucil Sugar Free Original Smooth powder contains three grams of fiber per teaspoon, including two grams of soluble fiber. The unflavored, sugar-free option is free of added sweeteners and colors. Metamucil recommends adults mix one to two rounded teaspoons with at least eight ounces of cool liquid.

Active ingredients: Psyllium husk | Amount of fiber per serving: 6 grams | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: No | Organic: No | Additives: Maltodextrin, citric acid

Best Budget: Benefiber On-the-Go Sticks

Benefiber On-the-Go Sticks
Pros
  • Good for travel

  • Mixes well with any food or beverage

Cons
  • Only 3 grams of fiber per packet

If you're looking for a convenient, budget-friendly fiber supplement, Benefiber On-the-Go Sticks pack three grams of fiber into a slim, easy-to-use stick. Benefiber's fiber source is wheat dextrin, a soluble fiber that contains prebiotics, which may improve the overall health of your digestive system. Research shows that wheat dextrin improves the digestive ecosystem by increasing lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.

Benefiber is 100% clear and dissolves quickly in water or other drinks. Simply add the powder from one stick to four to eight ounces of your favorite hot or cold food or beverage. The sugar-free, flavorless powder dissolves well and doesn't thicken or change the texture of your drink.

Active ingredients: Wheat dextrin | Amount of fiber per serving: 3 grams | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: No | Organic: No | Additives: No

Best Easy-to-Add, Whole Food Fiber Source: Navitas Organics Chia Seeds

Navitas Organics Chia Seeds
Pros
  • Contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids

  • Whole food

Cons
  • Not as versatile for mixing

If you prefer a food source of fiber as opposed to a typical fiber supplement, but still want something you can add to a drink or sprinkle into other less fiber-rich foods, chia seeds are an excellent option for you. One tablespoon of Navitas Organic's USDA Organic chia seeds provides three grams of dietary fiber, two grams of plant-based protein, and 2,254 milligrams of omega-3s. The small, but mighty seeds are known for their ability to absorb up to 15 times their weight in water, which helps them to form a gel-like consistency and ease constipation.

The superfood contains mostly soluble fiber and can help to reduce LDL cholesterol and slow digestion, which helps to promote blood sugar stability and satiety after a meal. They're also kosher, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.

Active ingredients: Chia seeds | Amount of fiber per serving: 3 grams | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: Yes | Additives: No

Best for Diarrhea: Heather's Tummy Care Acacia Senegal Tummy Fiber

Heather's Tummy Care Acacia Senegal Tummy Fiber
Pros
  • Better GI tolerance

  • Whole food fiber source

Cons
  • Only 2 grams of fiber per serving

Soluble fiber, such as acacia powder, absorbs excess fluid like a sponge and slows down the passage of stool through your intestines. Heather's Tummy Fiber is made up of only one ingredient: organic acacia powder. This type of fiber may help to slow digestive fermentation, which might help to decrease painful bloating and gas.

The powder is free of gluten, insoluble fiber, stimulants, and citric acid. It dissolves well in room temperature water or your favorite beverage. You can even mix it into your favorite recipe to meet your daily fiber goals. An added bonus? The fiber contains prebiotics—or the food source for gut-healthy probiotics—and can be used to relieve occasional constipation.

Active ingredients: Acacia powder | Amount of fiber per serving: 2 grams | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: Yes | Additives: No

Best for Constipation: NOW Supplements Psyllium Husk Powder

NOW Foods Supplements, Psyllium Husk Powder
Pros
  • Includes both soluble and insoluble fiber

  • Contains 8% of your daily iron needs

Cons
  • High concentration of fiber may not be suitable for all

Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass through your digestive system more quickly. It's a great supplement to add to your diet if you struggle with constipation. Psyllium husk is a form of soluble fiber, which means it absorbs water from your stomach and intestines, then turns into a gel consistency. It's easy on the intestines in appropriate doses and can increase your bowel frequency.

NOW Supplement’s Psyllium Husk powder is a premium-quality fiber supplement that improves bowel regularity. The non-GMO Project Verified powder simple to take—just mix one tablespoon into 12 ounces of water every day. One tablespoon provides seven grams of dietary fiber, including six grams of soluble fiber and one gram of insoluble fiber. It also contains 8% of your daily iron needs. If you plan on using this supplement daily for a period of time, you can bake NOW’s powder into homemade muffins, soups, and smoothies.

Active ingredients: Psyllium husk | Amount of fiber per serving: 7 grams | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Organic: No | Additives: No

Good to Know

When increasing dietary fiber, be sure to increase fluid intake as well. Fiber absorbs water, which helps to add bulk to stool, making elimination easier. This water comes from what you drink and your body's fluid reserves. If you're not consuming enough water with fiber-rich foods and fiber supplements, you are more likely to become dehydrated, which can worsen digestive issues like constipation.

Plus, if you don't drink fluid as directed with your fiber supplement, the added bulk of a fiber supplement can create intestinal discomfort or potentially swell in your throat, making it difficult to swallow.

Final Verdict

For a great overall fiber supplement that contains soluble and insoluble fiber, try Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber (view at Amazon). If you are looking for a good travel option, try Benefiber On The Go Stick Packs (view at Amazon).

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