The average American diet doesn't include enough fiber, according to the MedlinePlus website. Fiber is essential for normal digestion and can also prevent constipation. Dietary fiber supplements can help fill in the gaps if you suspect that your diet doesn't include the recommended 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men. Benefiber and Citrucel are two fiber supplements to consider, but always speak to your doctor so you can choose the one that's right for you.
Benefiber and Fiber Content
The fiber in Benefiber comes from wheat dextrin, a type of soluble fiber. A 2-teaspoon serving of Benefiber powder contains 3 grams of fiber. That's 12 percent of what women need each day and 8 percent of what men need on a daily basis. Three Benefiber caplets or three Benefiber fruit chewables also contain 3 grams of fiber. There are also 3 grams of fiber in a 2-teaspoon Benefiber stick pack, each of which contains one serving of the supplement.
Citrucel and Fiber Content
Citrucel's fiber comes from cellulose, which is soluble fiber. One scoop of Citrucel powder, which comes in orange and sugar-free orange flavors, contains 2 grams of fiber, or 8 percent of a woman's daily needs and 5 percent of a man's daily requirement. A two-caplet dose of Citrucel contains 1 gram of fiber.
Wheat Dextrin vs. Cellulose
The cellulose in Citrucel is a non-fermentable fiber, which means that the bacteria in your digestive tract doesn't ferment it. If your digestive tract doesn't ferment the fiber, you're less likely to experience gas, bloating and other gastrointestinal issues, according to the Formula Medical Group. Wheat dextrin, on the other hand, is a fermentable fiber. This means that you might experience more gas and bloating, but fermentable fiber can also help increase mineral absorption and decreased production of certain kinds of bad bacteria, according to a 2010 article published in the "Journal of Medicinal Foods."
Fiber Supplements in Your Diet
Always ask your doctor before taking Benefiber, Citrucel or any other fiber supplement. If you get doctor approval, increase your intake of fiber slowly because taking too much at one time can cause uncomfortable bloating and gas. Benefiber and Citrucel can interfere with certain medications, according to Drugs.com, so tell your doctor what medications and supplements you take. Drink plenty of water when you're taking fiber supplements. This is especially true for Citrucel because it can expand in your throat and lead to choking, warns Drugs.com.
- MedlinePlus: Dietary Fiber
- USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- Benefiber: Benefiber Fiber Supplement Products
- Citrucel: Freqently Asked Questions
- Journal of Medicinal Foods: Wheat Dextrin, Psyllium and Inulin Produce Distinct Fermentation Patterns, Gas Volumes, and Short-Chain Fatty Acid Profiles in Vitro
- Drugs.com: Benefiber
- Drugs.com: Citrucel
- Formula Medical Group: All the Different Fibers