Wheat dextrin is a soluble fiber that is sold as an over-the-counter natural laxative and fiber supplement to maintain regularity. While wheat dextrin supplements are considered safe for human consumption, the best source for dietary fiber is from your diet. If you do not consume enough fiber each day, wheat dextrin may help maintain digestive regularity and soften stools. Wheat dextrin is also used to treat occasional constipation. Talk with your doctor before using wheat dextrin.
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Wheat dextrin is soluble fiber, which means the substance absorbs water during digestion, making your stools softer and easier to pass. Wheat dextrin is not digested by the human body, adding roughage to your waste, helping move the matter through your digestive system. According to Drugs.com, children under age 6 should not use wheat dextrin. Children between 6 and 11 years old can use 1 teaspoon up to three times a day. Adults can take 2 teaspoons up to three times daily. This fiber is tasteless, odorless and does not thicken when added to foods or beverages.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average American consumes only 15 grams of fiber daily, while the recommended daily fiber intake is between 30 and 35 grams. A low-fiber diet, which consists of refined foods, such as white bread, white pasta and processed foods, can lead to constipation, anal fissures and high blood sugar levels. Increasing your daily fiber intake may normalize your bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, maintain bowel health and aid in weight loss.
If you suddenly increase the amount of fiber in your diet, you may develop common side effects, including gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhea. The bacteria in your large intestines need time to get used to the increased fiber in your diet, according to MedlinePlus. The excess gas may cause abdominal pain and the feeling of fullness. Do not use any supplement to treat a medical condition without first consulting your health care provider.
Wheat dextrin is made from wheat and may cause an allergic reaction if you’ve been diagnosed with a wheat allergy. Common symptoms of a wheat allergy include asthma, nasal congestion, hives, skin rashes and digestive problems. If you have a sensitivity to wheat, talk to your doctor before taking wheat dextrin.