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Supplements for Constipation

Answer:

A number of supplements may be helpful in treating or preventing constipation.

Foods and supplements high in fiber, such as psyllium, glucomannan (a water-soluble fiber) and ground flaxseed may help to relieve constipation. Be aware, however, that ConsumerLab has found some psyllium products to have relatively high levels of lead, a toxic heavy metal (see the Psyllium Fiber Supplements Review), and there is a safety concern when using glucomannan. Eating two servings per day of high-fiber fruits can also help prevent or treat constipation.

Similarly, inulin, which is mostly fiber and is marketed as a prebiotic, has been shown to be modestly beneficial for increasing the frequency of bowel movements in people with constipation, although it may increase gas.

A specific probiotic product was found to significantly increase the number of bowel movements per week in people with chronic constipation. (Other strains have been found to be helpful for constipation associated with IBS).

Magnesium and aloe vera juice (with latex) can help to relieve constipation due to their laxative effects (Note: There are safety concerns with aloe latex -- see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Aloe Vera Review before using).

Be aware that some supplements can cause constipation, including iron, calcium and others.

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