Metamucil – Artificial or Natural?
Metamucil is one of the most commonly purchased laxatives on our supermarket shelves that claims it’s a ‘Natural Fibre’, and you will ‘feel more active and lighter in 2 weeks’.
There is only one ingredient in Metamucil that is natural, with the remaining ingredients having detrimental side effects to your overall health but more importantly to your digestive system. Pretty ironic when the whole point of taking it is to improve your digestive symptoms.
There are 4 listed ingredients which I will go through with you in detail.
Phenylalanine – This is an artificial sweetener used to make Metamucil more palatable. The side effects for your digestion include heartburn, nausea, indigestion and constipation.
Sunset Yellow FCF CI 15985 – This is a colour additive to make Metamucil appear like the orange ‘Tang’ that we are familiar with from our youth. Banned in some European countries, it is a synthetic coal tar and azo dye. Side effects include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, indigestion and loss of appetite.
Maltodextrin – It has two uses, as an artificial sweetener and a filler as it is relatively cheap. The final ingredient in Metamucil is psyllium husk which is extremely light, so this additive gives the product bulk. Usually made from genetically modified corn or wheat it can have some detrimental side effects such as bloating, vomiting, upset stomach and diarrhoea.
Psyllium Husk – This is an edible soluble fibre as well as being a prebiotic (food for your gut bacteria). It acts a bit like a brush for your colon, sweeping and gathering to form a solid mass that is easily expelled. The benefits for this fibre are that it relieves constipation thereby reducing your risk of bowel cancer, but did you also know that it helps with diarrhoea by absorbing water in the colon? It is also wonderful for the treatment of diverticulitis, colitis and haemorrhoids.
My advice to you, leave the overpriced Metamucil on the shelf where it belongs and simply purchase Psyllium Husk. Sprinkle it over your yoghurt, use it in bread making, to thicken stews, soups and gravy. Your bowels and your wallet with thank you.