Are Fiber Supplements Like ColonBroom Better for Weight Loss?

scooping powder from a canister

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Key Takeaways

  • The dietary fiber supplement ColonBroom claims to speed weight loss and increase energy.
  • ColonBroom features the same active ingredient as Metamucil at a much higher price.
  • Fiber can help relieve constipation and keep your stomach full without adding calories.
  • The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements.

Sponsored posts and social media ads abound for the internet’s newest glow-up of an existing product: fiber supplements.

Ads for products like ColonBroom are populating Instagram and TikTok with claims of weight loss, increased energy, and detoxification. But what makes them different from traditional fiber supplements like Metamucil or Benefiber? And do they work?

The answer is murky. Although ColonBroom purports impressive results, the product has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and its effects cannot be guaranteed. Gastroenterologists report that its active ingredient is the same as Metamucil—psyllium husk fiber.

ColonBroom differs in two ways: its inactive ingredients, like sweeteners, and its price, which is nearly five times the cost of other psyllium husk fiber supplements.

ColonBroom is also unique in its explicit claims to promote weight loss. Other products stop short of weight loss statements, focusing instead on “weight management” or feeling full. It’s possible—but unlikely—one fiber supplement has risen above the rest to help you lose weight. And that’s because of the way fiber works.

What Does Fiber Do?

Fiber supplements are commonly prescribed to help regulate bowel movements and fight constipation. Psyllium husk fiber, the main active ingredient in both ColonBroom and Metamucil, is considered soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance when it absorbs water in the gastrointestinal tract, according to Jesse Houghton, MD, FACG, senior medical director of gastroenterology at Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Gastroenterology Associates.

“When we are referring to fiber supplements, we are usually describing what we call ‘bulk-forming laxatives.’ These are used to treat constipation,” Houghton told Verywell. “They all exert their laxative effect by increasing fecal mass by absorbing water in the intestines. This then lubricates the stool and causes the colon to contract by distending the colon and causing a reflex contraction.”

Psyllium husk is one of the most common fiber supplements, but there are others available such as methylcellulose (Citrucel), wheat dextrin (Benefiber), and calcium polycarbophil (FiberCon).

Do Fiber Supplements Help You Lose Weight?

Because psyllium fiber forms a gel when mixed with water, it can also help with making you feel full. Users may feel full longer without consuming additional calories, leading producers to market fiber as a weight loss tool.

However, the primary goal of constipation relief may be the only thing that fiber supplements can reliably claim to achieve. Aakash Aggarwal, MD, a gastroenterologist at Gastroenterology Associates of New Jersey, said that while some patients may experience weight loss while taking fiber supplements, it is not an approved weight loss product, and weight loss may be a result of a combination of factors.

“A lot of the claims that supplements make don’t have to be proved in clinical studies,” Aggarwal told Verywell.

Still, a 2020 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 62 studies to show that adding soluble fiber supplements did aid in modest weight loss, even when participants did not restrict their diets. But it wasn’t much—after two months, those who took fiber lost less than a pound more than those who didn’t. Researchers found that while waist circumference and body weight were slightly reduced, body fat remained the same. Participants who were considered obese or who had cardiovascular disease tended to have more significant weight loss.

Are Fiber Supplements Necessary for Weight Loss?

The average adult woman should try to consume between 22 and 28 grams of fiber daily, primarily from a diet high in fruits and vegetables. For the average adult man, the range is between 28 and 34 grams. Fiber supplements can help reach that goal, but Aggarwal said it’s not just the fiber that helps keep the bowels healthy. Increasing water intake and exercise help relieve constipation and maintain a healthy weight.

“I would tell my patients that instead of spending so much money, drink plenty of water, try regular Metamucil one or two times a day, exercise regularly, and get enough fruits and veggies in your diet,” Aggarwal said.

Houghton cautions that there may be side effects when patients add more fiber to their diets, including bloating and gas. He said the symptoms ease over time as the body gets used to its new fiber intake.

While fiber supplements may not be a magic bullet for weight loss, they can help meet daily fiber goals to aid digestion and help you feel full longer. But pricey supplements aren’t necessary. Tried and true generic fiber supplements will do the trick.

What This Means For You

Don’t fall for flashy marketing on fiber supplements. Instead, go to the ingredient list to look for soluble fiber like psyllium husks, wheat dextrin, or calcium polycarbophil. Most fiber supplements are readily available at health food stores, drug stores, and big-box retailers. Also, remember that fiber naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Note: ColonBroom could not be reached for comment for this story.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Jovanovski E, Mazhar N, Komishon A, et al. Can dietary viscous fiber affect body weight independently of an energy-restrictive diet? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;111(2):471-485. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqz292

  2. United States Department of Agriculture. Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.

By Rachel Murphy
Rachel Murphy is a Kansas City, MO, journalist with more than 10 years of experience.