The 8 Best Fiber Supplements for Digestion & Health of 2023

Yerba Prima Psyllium Husks Powder is versatile and has many health benefits

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Fiber Supplements

Verywell Fit / Kevin Liang

Dietary fiber, the indigestible portion of plants, is important for both digestive and overall health. Adequate fiber intake can reduce risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, keep blood sugar levels stable, and support digestive regularity. Fiber can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes, yet many Americans do not consume enough fiber daily.

When possible, we recommend consuming whole food sources first to meet your fiber needs. However, if you find it challenging to get enough fiber, a fiber supplement may be useful. Functional fiber supplements can also be used to manage digestive conditions such as diarrhea, constipation, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

It is important to note different types of fiber may be appropriate for different situations. If you are managing a health condition, we recommend speaking to a healthcare provider to understand what fiber type may be most appropriate for you.

Verywell Fit Approved Fiber Supplements

  • Best for Overall Health: Yerba Prima Psyllium Husks Powder is a mainly soluble fiber supplement that supports digestive regularity, healthy cholesterol, and blood sugar levels and can be easily added to foods.
  • Best for IBS: FiberCon contains calcium polycarbophil, a non-fermenting insoluble fiber that can help those prone to both constipation and diarrhea.

 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.

When choosing a fiber supplement, it is important to check the fiber source, ingredients, and fiber amount that will match your needs. To determine the best fiber supplements, we analyzed the latest research and spoke with dietitians specializing in gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, diabetes, and children’s health. Here are the best fiber supplements for digestion and health.

Functional Fiber vs. Dietary Fiber

Functional fibers are defined by the Institute of Medicine as, "isolated, non-digestible carbohydrates that have been shown to have beneficial physiologic effects in humans." These benefits include lowering cholesterol, improved blood sugar management, and bowel movement regulation, depending on the type of functional fiber. Examples of functional fibers include psyllium husk, methylcellulose, calcium-polycarbophil, wheat dextrin and inulin. They are not intended to replace dietary fiber intake from whole foods, which come with the added benefits of other nutritional properties.

Are Fiber Supplements Beneficial?

If you consume adequate amounts of dietary fiber and experience digestive regularity, you may not need a fiber supplement. If you have diarrhea, constipation, IBS, or another GI issue, functional fiber supplements may or may not help. We recommend speaking to a healthcare provider to understand the underlying cause of the issue and to determine whether a fiber supplement would be appropriate. 

There are certain situations in which fiber supplements may be beneficial. These include:

  • Those experiencing diarrhea: According to Registered Dietitian Suzie Finkel, MS, RD, CDN, if you have diarrhea and are considering fiber supplementation, you may benefit from a soft bulking agent that can act like a sponge in the bowel. These products are often mostly soluble fiber, meaning they gel or swell with water. The appropriate product choice, however, will depend on what is driving the diarrhea.
  • Those experiencing constipation: Finkel says if you’re constipated, it can be helpful to first look at the diet to ensure you are consuming adequate fiber from food. If you are getting enough fiber in your diet, adding in more fiber from a supplement may not always be helpful for all constipation problems. If you find that your diet could use a fiber boost, products such as psyllium husk can help gently bulk up stool and make it easier to pass.
  • Those with IBS: If you have IBS, Finkel says to first consider diet changes and whether the symptoms are mainly diarrhea or constipation. There is evidence for use of a soluble fiber supplement in IBS management. If you have IBS, you may want to avoid products with ingredients that can cause gas and bloating, such as sugar alcohols or inulin. 
  • Those with high cholesterol: Soluble fiber may help lower levels of LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) by binding with cholesterol and removing it in the feces. If a healthcare provider has determined you have high cholesterol, you may want to discuss whether fiber supplementation is appropriate.
  • Those with diabetes: Fiber supplements may benefit those with type 2 diabetes by reducing fasting blood sugar and HbA1c, a test that shows your average blood sugar from the previous two to three months. If you have diabetes, speak to a healthcare provider about fiber supplementation, particularly if you are taking medications.

Who May Not Benefit from Fiber Supplements

Fiber supplements should not take the place of a balanced diet high in fiber-rich foods. There are also certain situations in which you should exercise caution with fiber supplements. You should avoid fiber supplements if you:

  • Consume adequate fiber: If you eat enough dietary fiber, a fiber supplement may not be necessary and can actually lead to GI issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. This can occur when you add too much too soon or do not consume enough liquids.
  • Are taking certain medications: Fiber supplements can lower absorption of certain medications. If you are taking medications, including those for diabetes management, consult with a healthcare provider before using fiber supplements.
  • Have intestinal obstructions or fecal impact: You should avoid bulk-producing laxatives if you have intestinal obstructions, as they can exacerbate the problem. You should first focus on treating the underlying condition under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Have inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease: If you have an inflammatory bowel disease, you should speak with a healthcare provider before using fiber supplements.

Best for Overall Health

Yerba Prima Psyllium Husks Powder

best fiber supplements

Amazon

Pros
  • Single ingredient

  • May alleviate both constipation and diarrhea

  • May help to lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar management

  • Most researched backed functional fiber supplement

Cons
  • Thickens quickly in liquid

Psyllium supplements are made from psyllium seed husk, a non-fermentable, soluble fiber with viscous, gel-forming properties. These supplements have many digestive and overall health benefits. Psyllium can help reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, improve blood sugar control, help slow down digestion, and increase satiety. Psyllium can help with issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and IBS, but it also supports overall bowel regularity.

Yerba Prima Psyllium Husks Powder is a convenient supplement because it can be easily added to food such as baked goods, yogurt, or smoothies. Since psyllium husk is the only ingredient in this supplement and it has little taste, you can add it to your food of choice without worrying about flavor changes. When mixed with liquid, psyllium husk will thicken quickly. Therefore, the manufacturer recommends consuming immediately after mixing if you choose to add this product to liquid.

While this specific product is not third-party tested, Yerba Prima Psyllium Whole Husks is a top choice approved by ConsumerLab.com, and it’s worth noting it contained the lowest amount of lead of all fiber supplements they tested.

Price at time of publication: $23 ($0.17 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Psyllium husk | Serving size: 1 rounded teaspoon | Servings per container: 136 | Fiber per serving: 4.5 grams | Other ingredients: None

Best for Constipation

Viva Naturals Organic Ground Flaxseed

best fiber supplements

Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to add to many foods

  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids

  • Single ingredient

Cons
  • May cause bloating or gas

If you are dealing with constipation, you may benefit from a fiber supplement that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber stimulates the colon to produce water, adding soft bulk to stool and making it easier to pass bowel movements.

Research shows that ground flaxseed may help alleviate symptoms of constipation. In addition to the digestive benefits of flaxseed, it is also a rich source of omega-3 fats, which support heart health. Flaxseeds can also help with blood sugar balance and has cancer-protective properties, making this an all-around beneficial food.

Ground flaxseed is very easy to incorporate into your daily diet. It contains a slightly nutty flavor, so it can be added to baked goods, yogurt, salads, oatmeal, or smoothies for a fiber boost. Viva Naturals Organic Ground Flaxseed contains 3 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons and no other ingredients.

Price at time of publication: $11 ($0.41 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Flaxseed | Serving size: 2 Tablespoons | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Other ingredients: None

Best for Diarrhea & Constipation

Citrucel Methylcellulose Fiber Therapy Caplets for Irregularity

Citrucel Methylcellulose Fiber Therapy Caplets for Irregularity

Citrucel

Pros
  • Easy to use capsule form

  • Non-fermentable (non-gas producing)

  • May help with both diarrhea and constipation

Cons
  • Contains artificial coloring and other additives

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms into a gel, slowing down digestion and adding bulk to stool. A non-fermentable, soluble fiber supplement may therefore be beneficial if you are experiencing diarrhea. Citrucel caplets contain methylcellulose, which absorbs water and can help you form cohesive and solid stools. Citrucel supports overall regularity, and it may be used to treat constipation as well.

Some fiber supplements require mixing in water, which can get messy. We like that Citrucel comes in caplet form, making it easy to take. For adults over age 12, the recommended dose is to start with two caplets and increase as needed without exceeding six caplets per day. This product is also non-fermentable, meaning it likely won’t result in excess gas or bloating.

Keep in mind that Citrucel needs to be taken with adequate fluids. It is suggested to take a serving of two caplets with at least 8 ounces of water. Taking these caplets with not enough fluids could result in increased choking risk.

Price at time of publication: $20 ($0.40 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Methylcellulose | Serving size: 2 caplets | Fiber per serving: 2 grams | Other ingredients: Crospovidone, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake, Magnesium Stearate, Maltodextrin, Povidone, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Best for IBS

FiberCon Fiber Therapy for Regularity

FiberCon Fiber Therapy for Regularity

Source: FiberCon

Pros
  • May help with both diarrhea and constipation

  • Capsule form for ease of use

  • Non-fermentable (non-gas producing)

Cons
  • Large capsules

  • Contains additives

There are various forms of IBS, including IBS-D (diarrhea), IBS-C (constipation), and IBS-M (a combination). Depending on the form of IBS you have, different supplements may be appropriate for your needs. FiberCon contains calcium polycarbophil, a non-fermenting bulk-forming laxative. Calcium polycarbophil is an insoluble fiber that behaves similarly to a soluble fiber. It has been shown to be helpful for those prone to both constipation and diarrhea.

In addition to its versatility, a major benefit of FiberCon is that it’s easy to use. One dose of FiberCon for adults is two capsules once per day, while other fiber supplements contain larger doses or must be mixed into water. It should be noted it is  important to take FiberCon with at least 8 ounces of water. 

If you experience IBS-D or IBS-C, we recommend consulting with a healthcare provider to determine whether this supplement would be appropriate for you.

Price at time of publication: $22 ($0.32 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Calcium polycarbophil | Serving size: 2 caplets | Fiber per serving: 1 gram | Other ingredients: Caramel, crospovidone, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate

Best for Diverticulosis

Metamucil Psyllium Fiber Supplement

best fiber supplements

Amazon

Pros
  • Contains just psyllium husk and gelatin

  • May help to lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar management

  • May alleviate both diarrhea and constipation

Cons
  • Many capsules per serving

If you have diverticulosis, a condition in which small pockets form in the colon, you may benefit from a soluble fiber supplement. Finkel says, “A high fiber diet has been shown to lower the risk of diverticulitis [inflamed pouches in the digestive tract]. I will sometimes recommend a fiber supplement in conjunction [with a high fiber diet], such as a soft bulking agent like ground psyllium husk. This can help to avoid constipation and/or small, hard pieces of stool from getting trapped [in the pockets].”

If you find that your diet is lacking in fiber, a supplement such as Metamucil may help. Metamucil is a psyllium husk supplement. We like that it comes in pill form since psyllium husk can thicken quickly when added to liquids. Like other fiber pill supplements, it is very important to take these capsules with enough water to prevent choking risk.

Note the recommended dose of Metamucil is five pills per serving, which you may or may not find suitable. It is suggested to start with one serving per day, and a healthcare professional may suggest taking it up to four times per day. If you would prefer to avoid pills, this product is also available as a powder or as a Fiber Thin cracker. Also note this supplement contains gelatin, so it is not suitable for diets that avoid pork products.

Price at time of publication: $35 ($0.58 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Psyllium husk | Serving size: 5 capsules | Fiber per serving: 2 grams | Other ingredients: Gelatin

Best for Diabetes Management

NOW Foods Acacia Fiber Powder

NOW Foods Acacia Fiber Powder

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Contains prebiotic soluble fiber 

  • Dissolves easily in liquids

  • Single-ingredient

Cons
  • Powder form may not always be convenient

If you have diabetes, research shows that soluble fiber may help with blood sugar management. According to Jonathan Valdez, MBA, RDN, CDN, CCM, CDCES, ACE-CPT, “Soluble fiber has the most benefit for diabetics, since it slows the digestion and absorption of carbs in the body, leading to improved blood sugar control and less spikes in blood glucose and insulin. It is also the type of fiber that is more associated with weight loss due to its strong effect on satiety.”

Valdez says that it is ideal to turn to whole food sources of fiber first since whole foods also contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. However, a supplement can be a great way to boost your intake if this proves challenging. 

While psyllium husk and beta-glucan are the most well studied functional fibers for improved glycemic control, acacia powder is another alternative soluble fiber option. NOW Foods Acacia Pure Powder only contains organic acacia fiber—a soluble prebiotic fiber that can be beneficial for those with diabetes. Acacia fiber may help you feel full and can lower the rise in blood sugar that happens after a meal with carbohydrates. This unflavored powder can be mixed into water, smoothies, soups, and other soft foods to easily dissolve. However, mixing a powder into a liquid may not always be a convenient option.

NOW Foods has extensive in-house testing on their supplements, and this supplement is allergen-friendly and vegan making it a suitable choice for many with dietary concerns. We recommend speaking with a healthcare provider first to determine if this fiber supplement is appropriate for you.

Price at time of publication: $14 ($0.30 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Acacia fiber | Serving size: 1 tablespoon | Fiber per serving: N/A | Other ingredients: None

Best for Kids

L’il Critters Kids Fiber Gummy Bears Supplement

best fiber supplements

Amazon

Pros
  • No artificial flavors or dyes

  • Gummy form

  • Third-party tested brand

Cons
  • Contains sugar alcohols

Similarly to adults, children need adequate amounts of fiber for digestive and overall health. Jennifer Friedman, MS, RD, a registered dietitian who works with children, says, “Fiber can be one of the trickier foods for kids to get through their diets because it’s primarily found in whole grains, beans and legumes, fruit, and vegetables—typically not a child's most preferred foods, especially picky eaters.”

Friedman says that if your child is not able to get enough fiber from food or if they are experiencing constipation, you may want to consider fiber supplements. Keep in mind that fiber supplements haven’t been studied as well in children, so it is always best to check with a healthcare provider first. They can also help you determine what type of fiber would be most appropriate.

L’il Critters Fiber Gummy Supplements are a supplement that your kids will love adding to their routine. The recommended dose is two gummies for ages 2 and up, which provides 3 grams of fiber. L’il Critters is a USP-verified brand, so this supplement is third-party tested for ingredient amounts and contaminants. These gummies do not contain any added sugars and are sweetened with sorbitol and sucralose. You should note that sorbitol is a sugar alcohol, which may cause GI upset in some. Friedman says that fiber in supplements often comes from different sources, so she recommends experimenting to see which fiber source and supplement type agrees best with your child.

Price at time of publication: $13 ($0.29 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Polydextrose | Serving size: 2 gummies | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Other ingredients: Water, sorbitol, blend of oils with beeswax, colors (purple carrot juice concentrate, turmeric), malic acid, natural flavors, sucralose

Best Functional Food

Navitas Organics Chia Seeds

Navitas Organics Chia Seeds

Courtesy: Amazon

Pros
  • Can easily be added to foods

  • High in omega-3 fats

  • Source of minerals

Cons
  • Some may not enjoy the consistency

If you’re looking for a fiber supplement you can easily add to your daily routine, consider Navitas Organic Chia Seeds. These small seeds contain 3 grams of fiber for every tablespoon and are very versatile in their use. Chia seeds don’t have any flavor on their own, and they can be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and salads or used in many creative ways

Since chia seeds are high in soluble fiber, they will absorb water and swell, which can form a gummy, pudding-like texture. Because of this, similar to other fiber supplements, chia seeds should be eaten with fluids. Chia seeds are also a plant-based food high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health. Additionally, chia seeds are a source of minerals, including calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Price at time of publication: $15 ($0.41 per serving)

Key specs:
Fiber source:
Chia seeds | Serving size: 1 tablespoon | Fiber per serving: 3 grams | Other ingredients: None

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. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent third-party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com.

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.

What to Look For

Third-Party Testing

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:

  1. Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
  2. Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. 
  3. The third-party certifications we can trust are: ConsumerLab.com, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. 
  4. Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  5. Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.

Contamination with heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium may be a risk with certain fiber supplements. Psyllium husk has been found to be contaminated with lead, so we chose one that has been tested and approved by ConsumerLab.com. However, most fiber supplements are not third-party tested.

Form

Fiber supplements come in a variety of forms, including capsules, powders, or gummies, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Capsules may be easy to take, but the serving size can vary between supplement brands. In some cases, many pills may be needed to meet your required dose. In addition, capsules need to be taken with adequate fluids and may not be best for people with swallowing difficulties.

Powder fiber supplements can often be added to liquids or soft foods, but some can thicken quickly in liquid, making them more suitable for baked goods. Gummies may contain added sugars or sugar alcohols which may or may not suit your needs.

Ingredients and Potential Interactions

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

It is important to review ingredient labels, as some fiber supplements may contain additional ingredients that can result in GI upset. If you experience IBS, you may want to avoid products with ingredients such as sugar alcohols, inulin, or chicory root, as these can lead to gas or bloating for some. 

If you have diabetes or are managing your blood sugar levels, be aware fiber supplements can impact blood sugar levels and potentially interfere with diabetes medication. You may also want to check whether products contain added sugars. If you have diabetes, check with a healthcare professional before adding a fiber supplement.

Fiber supplements can also interact with your body’s ability to absorb certain medications, including tricyclic antidepressants, diabetes medications, carbamazepine, digoxin, or lithium. You may need to take medications one hour before or two to four hours after fiber supplementation. If you are taking medications, you should consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating fiber supplements.

Fiber Dosage

According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, daily dietary fiber recommendations are as follows:

  • Ages 2 to 3: males and females — 14 grams 
  • Ages 4 to 8: males — 20 grams, females — 17 grams
  • Ages 9 to 13: males — 25 grams, females — 22 grams
  • Ages 14 to 18: males — 31 grams, females — 25 grams
  • Ages 19-30: males — 34 grams, females — 28 grams
  • Ages 31-50: males — 31 grams, females — 25 grams
  • Ages 51+: males — 28 grams, females — 22 grams 

You should first focus on meeting your fiber needs through whole foods sources and consult a healthcare professional before turning to a fiber supplement. 

How Much is Too Much?

There is no Tolerable Upper Level for dietary fiber. However, consuming too much fiber can result in GI disturbances such as gas and bloating, so it may be best to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dose for your needs. It is important to increase your fiber intake gradually along with increasing fluids accordingly to minimize GI discomfort when increasing fiber.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are there different recommendations for fiber supplements for women versus men?

    Yes, men, in general, have a higher recommended intake of fiber. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that adult men obtain around 35 grams of fiber per day and that adult women obtain 28 grams of fiber per day. Whether for men or women, we recommend first turning to whole food sources of fiber such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to meet your needs. If you are able to meet your daily requirements, you may not need a fiber supplement.

  • Do fiber supplements make you poop more?

    Depending on the type of fiber supplement you’re using, fiber supplements can help regulate your bowel movements. In general, consuming enough dietary fiber, combined with adequate hydration can improve bowel regularity. Additionally, some functional fibers may help to alleviate constipation including psyllium, methylcellulose, calcium-polycarbophil, and coarse wheat bran. Psyllium husk is the most researched-backed functional fiber for regularity, so we recommended trying Yerba Prima Psyllium Husks Powder.

  • Can fiber supplements make you constipated?

    Fiber supplements should be taken along with adequate water and often need to be incorporated into the diet in a gradual way. Increasing your fiber intake rapidly or doing so without adequate water intake can lead to bloating, gas, and cramping and could lead to constipation.

  • Can fiber supplements cause diarrhea?

    Fiber supplements taken improperly may contribute to diarrhea. This might occur if you are taking a fiber supplement high in insoluble fiber or if you increase your fiber intake too quickly. It is important to understand the type of fiber you need and to allow your body some time to adjust.  

  • Are all fiber supplements beneficial for health?

    Fiber is an important nutrient that can benefit digestive health and can have broader impacts on overall health. If you are consuming adequate amounts of dietary fiber, you may not need a fiber supplement. Not all fiber supplements are beneficial for each individual, and some may exacerbate certain issues. If you are uncertain as to whether a fiber supplement would be helpful for you, we recommend speaking with a healthcare provider.

17 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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