The surprising facts about dietary fiber

How to use dietary supplements

It is difficult to change your eating habits so that you get enough dietary fiber to meet the tentative dietary goal for preventing lifestyle related diseases (DG). Of course, it is best to try to get enough dietary fiber from your diet, but you can also use dietary fiber supplements.

What kinds of dietary supplements can help make up for insufficient dietary fiber?

Making good use of dietary supplements can help make up for insufficient quantities of dietary fiber obtained through regular meals.

Tablet Supplements, Health drinks, Powdered soups and coffee

Nowadays, you can easily get dietary supplements at drug stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
Dietary supplements include polydextrose, which is made out of corn, and indigestible dextrin, which is made out of starch. These are soluble dietary fibers made for the purpose of supplementing fiber and can be taken safely, as they are approved as "Foods for Specified Health Use" by the Consumer Affairs Agency, Japan.

Types of soluble dietary fiber often used as food ingredients
  • Indigestible dextrin
    Safe and most frequently used dietary fiber made for the purpose of supplementing diets deficient in dietary fiber.
  • Polydextrose
    Dietary fiber that is used as a safe "food" (as approved by the government in Japan), which has the effect of suppressing the increase in blood glucose level and reducing cholesterol.

Supplementation is especially recommended for the following kinds of people

The following kinds of people should take dietary supplements to ensure they get a sufficient amount of dietary fiber:

  • People who always eat or drink out, and are concerned about high blood sugar.
  • People who often eat high-fat foods and who are concerned about high cholesterol levels.
  • People whose blood pressure is on the high side.
  • People with irregular mealtimes and who are concerned about obesity.
  • People who tend to have constipation.

How many grams of dietary fiber should you get in a day?

The amount of dietary fiber that you can get from food differs from person to person, but the daily average for Japanese people is 18 grams (2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey), which is less than the DG (tentative dietary goal for preventing life-style related diseases) for people aged 18 and older (21 grams for men and 18 grams for women).
Women in their 20s, for example, who have an average intake of 14.6 grams get 3.4 grams less than the recommended amount (2019 National Health and Nutrition Survey).
There is no established daily UL (tolerable upper intake level) for polydextrose. This indicates just how safe it is, but consuming only processed foods fortified with dietary fiber can cause loose stools and mineral deficiencies, so it is important to check the ingredients and ensure that you get the amount that you need.

If you tend to get diarrhea you should use dietary supplements only after consulting your doctor.