Fiber Gummies: Why They're a Waste of Money

Fiber Gummies: Why They're a Waste of Money


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Fiber gummies are an increasingly popular supplement category, because they taste great and seem more “fun” than fiber powder. Fiber gummy companies claim that you can get all of the health benefits of fiber in a tasty, gummy format.

But is supplemental fiber even proven to have health benefits or are these just marketing claims? Do fiber gummies contain unhealthy additive ingredients? How does the cost of fiber gummies compare to the cost of fiber powder? And are there health concerns about gummy supplements generally? 

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review medical studies on supplemental fiber to determine if it has health benefits or if it’s a waste of money.

We’ll highlight some of the questionable additive ingredients in one of the most popular fiber gummies brands and compare the cost per gram of fiber between gummies and fiber powder to determine which option can save you money.

We’ll also feature a video published by TIME suggesting that gummy supplements generally may be less healthy than other formats of supplements.

Can Supplemental Fiber Make You Healthier?

Many Americans consume a low amount of fiber in their diet due to processed foods, so supplemental fiber seems like a convenient option. Its health benefits have actually been studied in various research trials.

A medical review on the health benefits of fiber published in the Nutrition Reviews journal found that higher intakes of fiber reduced the risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, amongst other health issues.

A medical review published in the Nutrients journal found that higher fiber intake is associated with improved metabolic and gut health.

The research backing fiber and weight loss is particularly impressive. As we documented in our Almased reviews article on a high-fiber shake, high supplemental fiber intake combined with moderate caloric restriction is associated with weight loss of over 30 pounds in some clinical trials.

It’s also important to understand how much less fiber most people today eat compared to our ancestors. Medical research reports that fiber intake was around 100 grams (g) per day before industrialization, while averages today are often less than 20 g.

Based on the available research, we do consider fiber supplementation likely to improve human health. But do fiber gummies have unhealthy additives that will negate any health benefits? We’ll review in the next section.

Are Fiber Gummies Unhealthy?

Because fiber gummies are marketed as a tastier, candy-like alternative to regular fiber powder, it’s not surprising that they tend to contain a large number of unhealthy additive ingredients.

The ingredients list below is from a fiber supplement called “Fiber Choice” which is currently Amazon’s Choice for fiber gummy supplements:

Fiber Choice ingredients

This product contains added sugar (in the form of fructooligosaccharides). Although a small amount is included, added sugar when consumed in excess is associated with increased risk of obesity and diabetes according to a 2019 medical review.

Citric acid is a preservative and flavor enhancer which can cause inflammatory reactions in some people, as we documented in our article on CBD gummies for pain.

Natural flavors are a healthier option than artificial flavors, and there are some legitimate toxicity concerns regarding some natural flavoring compounds according to medical studies.

So we consider fiber gummies to be much less healthy on average than fiber powder, given that most fiber powder products are entirely free of questionable additives.

And the Fiber Choice product highlighted above is actually healthier than most fiber gummies we’ve reviewed. Our Metamucil Gummies reviews article analyzed a brand that includes artificial flavors and processed cane sugar in some of their formulations.

But how does the price of fiber gummies compare to the price of fiber powder? We’ll review in the next section.

Are Fiber Gummies Overpriced?

On a purely cost basis, fiber gummy supplements tend to cost more per gram of fiber than powder. This makes sense logically, because fiber gummies contain a host of other ingredients and are more expensive to make than a bulk powder.

The Fiber Choice fiber gummies we highlighted in the previous section cost $12.94 per bottle and a bottle contains 135 g of fiber total. This equates to a cost-per-gram of fiber of $0.10.

Benefiber is one of the cheapest fiber powders, and currently costs $12.44 on Amazon and contains 186 g of fiber total. This equates to a cost-per-gram of fiber of $0.07, or around 30% cheaper than fiber gummies.

Given that fiber gummies are less healthy on average and more expensive on average than fiber powder, we consider them to be a waste of money.

Other Issues With Gummy Supplements

A TIME exposé on gummy supplements highlights some interesting research suggesting that the whole category of supplements may be worse for you than other types of supplements:

Our Clean Gut Health Picks

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ is our top fiber pick because it's certified organic, provides 7 g of fiber per serving and costs under $1.85 per serving at the time of updating this article.

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ contains 100% soluble fiber, which was described as "one of the most important nutrients for the gut microbiota" in a clinical review published in the Molecules journal.

Bulletproof Express 3-in-1 Probiotic is our top value probiotic supplement, because it costs only $1.20 per serving at the time of updating this article.

Probiotics "can improve in the immune, gastrointestinal...health systems in healthy adults" according to a 2019 medical review.

VSL#3 is our top premium probiotic pick, because this probiotic supplement has been studied in 25 clinical trials, and a 2020 meta-study on VSL#3 concluded the following:

"...many studies demonstrated that VSL#3 has a beneficial effect on obesity and diabetes, allergic diseases, nervous systemic diseases, AS, bone diseases, and female reproductive systemic diseases."

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Fiber supplementation can improve the health of many individuals who eat a processed diet and intake low levels of fiber from diet. Higher fiber intakes are clinically associated with improved overall health, improved cardiovascular health, improved body weight control and reduced risk of diabetes.

Our ancestors ate around 5x the amount of fiber as modern humans eat, which likely contributes in part to the poor overall health of modern humans.

Most fiber gummy supplements contain unhealthy additive ingredients like flavoring agents and refined sugar. We consider fiber powder to be a healthier alternative to fiber gummies. Fiber powder is also typically cheaper per gram of fiber than fiber gummies.

Some third-party testing suggests that gummy supplements generally may be less likely to be accurately labeled than other categories of supplements.