Adjuvants for constipation - THDLAB - COM

Fibre supplements for constipation

Constipation, also known as bowel irregularity, is a functional disorder of the intestine which is manifested by:

  • reduced frequency of evacuations
  • delay in stool progression along the intestine
  • increase in consistency and stool volume
  • increased effort during defecation

The excessive hardness of the stools, as well as a too large faecal bole, make defecation even more difficult, creating a vicious circle which contributes to aggravate the problem. Constipation can also favour the onset of numerous disorders, including haemorrhoids, anal fissures, abdominal pain, headache, urinary tract infections.

Occasional episodes of constipation can be resolved with the use of laxatives and the concomitant intake of fibres, useful for regulating bowel function.

In the presence of chronic constipation, the use of laxatives is instead contraindicated as it can create addiction and make the intestine even more lazy. In cases of obstinate constipation, after excluding the presence of concomitant diseases, supplementing the diet with fibre-based products allows the disorder to be tackled correctly. In fact, dietary fibres favour evacuation in a natural and non-invasive way.

A diet rich in fibre and the intake of adequate amounts of water contribute to forming soft and easy to evacuate stools, helping to counteract the problem. The minimum fibre value recommended in the LARN guidelines (National Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake Levels) is at least 25 g/day. Of these 2/3 should consist of insoluble fibres and 1/3 of soluble fibres.

Soluble fibres (e.g. pectin, inulin, gums, galactooligosaccharides and fructooligosaccharides) consist predominantly of low molecular weight polysaccharides with a high capacity to retain water.

Insoluble fibres (e.g. hemicellulose, cellulose) contain mainly high molecular weight polysaccharides.
In particular, by forming a viscous and gelling solution in water, soluble fibres regularise intestinal transit and are useful both in cases of constipation and diarrhoea. Furthermore, as they are partially metabolised by the micro-flora of the large intestine, soluble fibres favour the development of bacteria with prebiotic activity at the expense of pathogenic bacteria.

In case of difficulty in regularly taking the right amount of fibre and in the absence of specific contraindications, it is possible to use fibre food supplements. There are numerous fibre supplements for constipation on the market, containing high and low molecular weight polysaccharides. These products can consist of several components, including:

  • Psyllium
  • Apple pectin
  • Bran
  • Guar gum
  • Karaya gum
  • Agar agar
  • Glucomannan

THD offers two supplements based on natural fibres: THD Fibraid® and THD Fibraid® Gel. For further information on the THD Fibraid® line, click here.

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