Initial Posting: 7/8/2017    Last Update: 7/8/2017
Question: Which supplements can cause diarrhea?
Answer: There are a number of supplements which can cause diarrhea. Discussed below are some of the most common culprits. Diarrhea can also be caused by certain medications, illness and infection, and certain health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and lactose intolerance -- so be sure to consult with your physician if you experience severe or chronic diarrhea.
Aloe supplements containing latex are also known for their laxative effect. If you are taking aloe for a different purpose, be sure to choose a product labeled as aloe gel or vera leaf juice which has been processed to remove the latex.
Be aware that many weight loss supplements contain herbs with laxative properties, such as cascara, frangula, rhubarb root and senna, so be sure to carefully read the label if you are taking a supplement for weight management or "cleansing", such as certain acai supplements and drinks.
Certain types of fiber can also have a laxative effect, but do not necessarily cause diarrhea — some forms of fiber, in fact, may be helpful for diarrhea associated with IBS.
Other common supplements that can cause diarrhea: Fish oil and other supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, or a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and borage oil, can cause diarrhea. Taking smaller doses throughout the day, rather than a single, large dose, may help reduce this effect.