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Old 04-24-2008, 12:14 PM   #1  
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Default Konsyl- Psyllium- Adding a fiber supplement for weight loss or control

We have 3 generations of dieters in my family. While all talking about our latest strategies for weight loss, my grandmother said her pharmacist told her to take fiber before meals to lose weight and after meals to gain weight. I always take my fiber just before bed, so after meals. I have put back on some weight recently, but don't really attribute it to this.

Does anyone else have an opinion on fiber supplements(basically laxatives) for weight control? I began taking Konsyl while on the Gittleman Fat Flush and stuck with it. The idea is it is part of a detox.

The bottle says up to 3 - 1 tsp doses a day, so I have considered taking a dose before each meal, as it makes me full. I just don't want to fall into a dangerous laxative based weight loss strategy.

Of course all of the above would be in conjunction with lower fat, balanced eating and regular exercise. I am not talking about binge and then purge it out by laxatives.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:09 AM   #2  
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First off, fiber and laxatives are different things entirely, though they do both make it easier to "go". They work in entirely different ways. There are basically three classes of products used to help with bowel movements, fiber supplements, stool softeners, and laxatives.

Fiber works in your digestive track to provide bulk. This not only makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time, but also helps to "bulk up" stool, making it easier to pass. Psyllium and Konsyl are both fiber products, so all they'd do is add extra fiber to your diet. Humans need fiber in their diets, and get some from healthy foods, like veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Some people choose to supplement with extra fiber products, just like some people choose to take vitamin/mineral supplements to make up for what they are not getting in foods. General consensus among nutritionists is that it's better to get these nutrients from foods, but with a few exceptions, it isn't harmful to take reasonable doses of these kinds of supplements, so you should be OK...it's just a fiber supplement.

Fiber products are very different than the other two classes of drugs that have a quickening effect on the digestive tract. Stool Softeners are just what they sound like - medications that soften the stool. This makes it easier for the stool to pass. These are particularly used for people who are on medications that can cause constipation - stool softeners can help prevent or resolve the issues caused by the medication. These shouldn't be used longer than a week or so, unless under a physician's care.

Stimulant laxatives basically provide an artificial stimulus to the intestines, speeding up food's travel through your digestive tract. If used on a regular basis, your body can become dependent on them. This is a physical addiction...basically, if you don't take the laxatives, your intestines aren't stimulated and you won't have bowel movements. They can cause permanent damage to the digestive system if used regularly. Most package instructions state they shouldn't be used for longer than a week, and even that is a bit extreme. So these are NOT a component of any healthy eating or weight loss plan, unless you're under a physician's care and taking these for a medical condition.

So your fiber supplement should be fine, even on a regular basis. But laxatives - definite no-no.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:51 AM   #3  
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I've taken psyllium caps for years and all I have to add is that you must drink lots and lots of beverages that are without caffeine to prevent intestinal blockage. As long as you're drinking lots of water or juice the product will work. I've never had anything but good results.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:29 AM   #4  
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Thanks for the input and the clarification about the difference between laxatives and fiber supplement. That confusion made me think maybe it would be dangerous or somehow deplete my nutrients from my system. I always had a painful time going as a child, so psyllium seemed like a miracle for me.
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