Individuals who regularly take Metamucil swear by this powerful laxative because of the drug’s efficacy in helping one to get respite from the irritating symptoms of constipation and diarrhea. Metamucil has been available in apothecaries and drugstores since 1934 and is presently a brand owned by Proctor & Gamble. The primary ingredient in Metamucil is psyllium-a naturally occurring fiber obtained from the pods and husks of the plant by the same name that is water-soluble-that boosts up bowel movement.
Fibers of psyllium add bulk to the watery stool of diarrheic patients on one hand and soften up the hard fecal matter of individuals suffering from constipation. Metamucil is taken as a dietary supplement along with regular meals by individuals around the world for coping with constipation or diarrheic issues. However, it has been alleged by dieticians, nutritionists and other health experts that Metamucil has other benefits.
For instance, Metamucil for weight loss can help one to lose weight. But there haven’t been enough studies to establish this assertion. However, it can be stated quite convincingly that Metamucil had always been touted as a laxative and marketed as such and never meant to be a weight-loss drug. Of late, there have been claims that Metamucil can go a long way in helping one to lose pounds.
Health Benefits of Taking Metamucil
There are several health benefits that result from the routine intake of Metamucil. Apart from aiding in the tackling of symptoms associated with constipation and diarrhea, Metamucil can help reduce the proportion of LDL (low-density lipoprotein known as bad cholesterol) content in the bloodstream. Reduction of LDL, in turn, leads to better or improved circulation of blood.
Improvement in the circulation of blood helps to maintain normal blood pressure. Hypertensive patients can consider including a Metamucil supplement like a powder or pill to regulate their high blood pressure, only after consultation with a physician. Since Metamucil aids in the clearance of toxic wastes from the body along with the stool, the product also boosts the functioning of the metabolic system.
Metamucil and Weight Loss: What is the Connection?
As mentioned earlier in this article that studies or trials haven’t been conducted to pinpoint the belief that Metamucil can contribute towards weight-loss. However, one commercial sponsored by P&G-manufacturer of Metamucil-claims that habitual intake of the medicinal product can ‘help you feel less hungry between meals’. Additionally, the advertorial just stopped short of saying straightaway that consumption of Metamucil directly enabled to shed pounds.
The commercial also encourages people to log in to the official website of Metamucil, www.metamucil.com to check out details regarding the drug and its possible health benefits. Both the advertisement and the website have not linked the claim (that Metamucil helps to control food cravings) to any study or trial. Linking to the ‘about our products’ page, one can see sections on ‘meta daily heart health,’ ‘meta daily immune support,’ ‘meta daily blood sugar support,’ ‘meta appetite control’ and ‘align probiotic supplement.’
The supplement ‘contains 100% psyllium fiber which works with your body to help you feel less hungry between meals’ (quoted text). The site claims that it has been (quoted text) ‘clinically proven to help control cravings between meals.’ Biologically speaking, fiber plays a stellar role in enabling one to shed extra kilos as it was completely free from calories.
So, at least you can rest assure that in case you put on weight, especially during the festive season when one tends to binge, the gain would not be on account of Metamucil. The psyllium fibers also help slow down the digestive mechanism giving you a sensation of fullness that stays for a long time. However, studies have been carried out in the past to prove that an increase in the intake of fibers can result in the cutback of calories consumption by at least 10%.
Using Metamucil for Weight Loss
Continuous or prolonged consumption of Metamucil for 4-5 months can enable one to lose weight to the extent of nearly 5 pounds. Not surprisingly, numerous weight loss and slimming supplements are loaded with fiber extracts which also happen to be the chief ingredient as well. Some weight loss products contain glucomannan-a fiber supplement that is obtained from the Konjac root and hardly contains any calories.
This fiber forms a firm lump in the abdomen and makes one feel full after a meal. The psyllium husk in Metamucil also undergoes a similar transformation when taken with water and speeds up the movement of broken down food particles. As per a trail conducted in 1995 that lasted for three days, some participants were told to drink a solution made up of 7 ounces of water and 20gms of psyllium twice before taking a meal.
The first intake was taken 3 hours before the meal and the next just before mealtime. Other participants were directed to consume the meal without taking any psyllium husk solution. It was observed that those who had taken the psyllium solution felt full even hours after taking the meal compared to those who hadn’t. The participants who had not taken the fiber supplement started to feel hungry after a couple of hours.
This study at least proved to some extent that psyllium husk does contribute to reduced or moderated hunger cravings. And lesser the hunger cravings, lesser the intake of foods which automatically tones down calorie consumption. Adults can add two tablespoons to about 7 ounces of water and take the same 2 hours before meals. Take the supplement at least three times in a day.
Diabetics can add just one tablespoon to the same amount of water and consume the same at least three times in a day to control blood sugar level. The same dosage is recommended for those with a high level of LDL cholesterol in their bloodstream. 2-3 tablespoons of Metamucil powder along with fiber obtained from food would be sufficient to take care of your daily needs. And you can opt for Metamucil wafers or capsules if you find the powder unpalatable