Mineral oil is a lubricant laxative that is used for constipation. Mineral oil coats the lining of the intestines, trapping water and helping to produce a softer bowel movement in six to eight hours. No laxative, including mineral oil, should be used to help you lose weight. Overuse of mineral oil can result in dependence and health problems.
How to Use
Take the indicated dose of mineral oil -- there should be one standard dose on the bottle -- one or two hours before eating and two hours before you go to bed. Drugs.com indicates to measure the correct dose in a medicine cup, poor the mineral oil into a drinking glass, add 2 oz. of water or juice, stir and drink. Water is the best liquid to have with any type of laxative as it alone helps aid digestion and prevent constipation.
Mineral oil is meant to help constipation, not help you lose weight. Taking too much mineral oil or taking it too often may result in diarrhea, cramps and bloating. The American Cancer Society cautions that mineral oil should not be taken longer than a week because your body might become dependent on the laxative -- even if you aren't using mineral oil for the intended purpose of constipation relief, your body may not be able to move bowels without it. Mineral oil also blocks the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K and accumulates in tissues, causing health problems.
Using a laxative to help you lose weight could be an indication of an eating disorder. It's a mistaken notion that any laxative will help you lose weight, as most of the calories you consume have already been absorbed by the small intestine and only food residue mixed with water reaches the large intestine to be expelled. Taking too much mineral oil may prevent the absorption of some essential vitamins and nutrients, causing health issues. Laxative overuse can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and dependence.
If you use too much mineral oil, you might experience some uncomfortable symptoms when you stop using the product. These temporary symptoms include constipation, bloating and fluid retention, resulting in temporary weight gain. These symptoms can be especially difficult to handle if you are sensitive about your weight. The best advice is not to use mineral oil at all to help you lose weight.