Citrucel vs Metamucil For Constipation - Comparison of Benefits & Side Effects

Citrucel

It is made from methylcellulose, a plant fiber – the structural part of plant foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains, and legumes – which our bodies cannot digest or break down. As a result, it produces less gas than other treatments.

That’s because methylcellulose is a soluble fiber. While soluble fiber ferments in the large intestine and creates uncomfortable gas, methylcellulose is a non-fermentable, soluble fiber.

This actually means it has all of the benefits of soluble fiber (better regularity and increased water absorption) with none of the downsides (no fermentation which causes uncomfortable gas).

Methylcellulose is also used in numerous other products, such as – toothpaste, shampoo,  paint and wallpaper paste, and even ice cream.

In addition to methylcellulose, Citrucel contains dibasic calcium phosphate (a calcium supplement usually found in prepared breakfast cereals), citric acid, FD&C yellow #6, dibasic calcium phosphate, and aspartame.

Health Benefits

Good For Constipation

This product is useful for people who experience constipation. It does so by increasing the stool’s bulk which helps to prompt movement by the intestines.

According to the manufacturer’s information, it is cleared for use in children with constipation who are as young as 6 years of age.

Reduces The Risk Of Diverticular Disease

It is a condition which can occur while straining during a bowel movement, like with constipation. By preventing intestinal blockages and constipation, soluble fiber helps reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids and small folds in the large intestine.

Dosage

This over-the-counter medicine is designed to be taken by mouth once it has been thoroughly dissolved in cold water.

The usual recommended dose for children 6-11 years of age is 2.5 level tsp. Increase the dose as needed, up to 3 times a day.

The usual recommended dose for adults and children 12 years of age and over is 1 heaping tablespoon, up to 3 times a day.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • rumbling stomach;
  • bloating;
  • upset stomach;
  • diarrhea;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • vomiting;
  • severe abdominal pain;
  • mild abdominal cramps;
  • nausea.

In addition, individuals taking diabetes drugs (like Metformin), tricyclic antidepressants,  lithium, cholesterol-lowering drugs, or digoxin should not use fiber supplements without talking to their doctor, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Metamucilsupple

It contains powdered psyllium husks, about 30% percent insoluble fiber (meaning it passes through the gut relatively intact, helping to keep you regular and providing bulk) and 70% soluble fiber (meaning it can help slow digestion and increase fullness).

Psyllium husk is created from the crushed seeds of Plantago ovata plants. Each plant can produce up to 15,000 seeds, from which psyllium husk is produced. Each serving of this OTC medicine contains 6g of dietary fiber.

Other ingredients – citric acid, sucrose, Yellow 6, natural and artificial orange flavor.

This brand was created in 1934. It is currently owned by Procter & Gamble, an American consumer goods corporation with the headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Health Benefits

Constipation

Consumption of this over-the-counter product promotes the movement of bowels and toxic waste through the intestines, hence, it helps the individual to get relief from chronic constipation. According to research, psyllium had a substantially greater effect than other types of fiber on the total weight, moisture, and texture of stools.

Diarrhea

Soluble fiber can actually absorb excess fluid in the bowel, therefore, it acts to firm up a loose stool.

Weight LossLip

According to a recent study, psyllium supplementation resulted in a notable reduction of body mass index, weight, and percentage of body fat.

Reduces LDL Cholesterol

Studies have shown that psyllium can lower LDL and total cholesterol levels, that may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

For the treatment of high LDL cholesterol, this product works by increasing bile acid loss.

Controls Blood Glucose

Obese type 2 diabetics can benefit from this type of fiber, as it can help them feel fuller longer for lower caloric intake as well as it helps to prevent instant spikes in blood glucose levels.

Increases Calcium Absorption

According to research, soluble fiber helps improve absorption of electrolytes, including magnesium and calcium due to its beneficial prebiotic effects within the gut.

Feeds Healthy Gut Microbiome

Soluble fiber feeds gut bacteria, therefore, it helps the bacteria thrive longer.

Reduces The Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

By lowering LDL and total cholesterol levels, decreasing fat absorption, and stabilizing blood sugars, regularly eating soluble fiber may considerably reduce the risk of circulatory conditions and heart disease.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose for children ages 6 to 11 is half a dose in 8 ounces of liquid. The usual recommended dose for adults is one dose in 8 ounces of liquid. This dose can be taken up to 3 times per day if needed. It typically works within 12-72 hours.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • skin rash;
  • itching;
  • difficulty swallowing.

More importantly, fiber supplements can substantially decrease the absorption of certain medications, like – carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol) and aspirin.

Citrucel vs Metamucil – Which Is Better?

Citrucel acts like natural fiber, without the unwanted side effects. The type of fiber in this product can’t ferment, hence, it will not produce excess gas. In addition, it is 100 percent soluble.

Metamucil is another fiber powder (70 percent soluble fiber and 30 percent insoluble fiber) with similar effects, but it contains psyllium. This type of fiber ferments in the body, producing excess gas but also feeding the healthy gut bacteria.

A fiber supplement that is made up mostly of soluble fiber will lessen both constipation and diarrhea. A fiber supplement that is made up mostly of insoluble fiber helps with constipation but can make diarrhea worse.

In conclusion, Citrucel (which is 100% soluble fiber) is good for constipation and diarrhea, while Metamucil is good for constipation and feeds the healthy gut bacteria but it produces gas.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221226721631187X
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415970/
https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/constipation