T Nation


I take Metamucil on a regular basis to up my fiber intake. I believe TC does this too.

I’ve read here (on the forum) that you should not take fish oil with fiber because the fiber will bind to the fish oil and it gets excreted. Is this true or just speculation? Any studies that prove this?

If this is true, that means that Metamucil or similar products could be what Chitosan never delivered???

If so, how many grams of fat does one gram of fiber bind? Say if I take 2 tsp of Metamucil (10g fiber) would it bind all of my fish oil (10 caps)?

Would taking it 1/2 hour before or after the fish oil be sufficient to avoid the binding?


This has been a concern for me as well, I’m hoping someone can answer this question since I used to take my fiber supplement along with my PM fish oil and flax.

Also in regards to this, IF you shouldn’t be taking fiber with any essential fats…what’s the point of eating flax seeds since I’ve been getting the raw seeds themselves to get my EFA’s AND fiber?

AZ & ChuckieT, there’s a simple solution: Take your fish oil or EFAs in the morning and your Metamucil at night. An additional option might be to take a soluble fiber supplement (like guar gum) vs. an insoluble fiber. Of course you could switch the timing. EFAs only have to be taken once a day, the same with your fiber.

TT, I sent you a PM concerning fiber products and situations of when to take and such.

Hey, Boxer Al, I’ll send you a reply shortly. I may be killing my PM soon because I find I can’t keep up with the forum and my PMs, both. But I promise I won’t kill it before I answer your question. (grin)

I never completely understood the idea of no EFA’s with fiber. Okay, so the fiber absorbs the EFA’s…then where does it go?? It doesn’t disappear! It still goes through your digestive system which pretty much absorbs everything it can.

Ironliftr3, insoluble fiber binds with fats – it is not digested or absorbed – and is eventually excreted.

There is NO truth to combining soluble fiber and EFA as to causing mis or underabsorption of the EFA’s. Heck, where did this myth get started?

Are ya telling me if I eat a salmon steak and have some oatmeal or an apple and broccoli with it I will lose out on the good fats? Does not compute…

dkalman, I think that’s what I said . . . that an additional option would be to take soluble fiber instead? Maybe I wasn’t clear.

Yes, you’re able to eat oatmeal and salmon. However oatmeal has a 50/50 split of soluble and insoluble fiber. A very little of your EFAs might be lost. But then again, nothing against oatmeal, most of our veggies have some insoluble fiber, too.

Most fiber supplements I’m aware of are a combination of cellulosics, hemicellulosics, with maybe a little pectin thrown in for good. And since the combos are usually more INsoluble than soluble, my recommendation was that EFAs and fiber be taken at different times.

Isn’t the fiber in flax seeds insoluble? If it is…doesn’t eating flax seeds negate the EFAs you get from it?

I’ve got six studies at my disposal showing that fiber reduces the bioavailability of ingested fat. This due to the fact that fiber binds to fats and speeds up the transit of food thru the intenstines.

So, should you not eat any fiber with your P+F meals? Absolutely consume your fiber. Might there be chance to lose some of your EFAs? Sure, but all of them? I highly doubt it.

This inefficiency is actually a benefit in that it shows how valuable it is to consume fiber to modify the caloric value of ingested foods.

To Timbo, TT et al.- I’m back! I’ve been having real problems with logging on since the new forum came up, so I haven’t been able to post.)

Anyway…Most of the good stuff’s already been said. Just wanted to expand on Timbo’s point. I too have number of ref’s I could cite showing the fiber/fat reduced absorption effect. Shoot, this is exactly what the whole diet industry “wonder products” of the 1980’s was based on. It’s easy- just sell a load of insoluble fiber (make it into a drink or somesuch), and then you eat your fat, and it passes through the system with the fiber!

Having said that, insoluble fiber id indeed very important as a cleanser of the system, a bulk agent (to increase satiety) and also (dependant on the source) can supply some vitamins/minerals. There have been numerous studies on the health benefits in regard to reduced intestinal cancer, with the consumption of insoluble fiber.

To IRonliftr3- No, as TT says, INsoluble fiber is TOTALLY non-absorbed- this is what gives it it’s attributes.

An easy solution, as already mentioned, is to separate the EFA’s and fiber intake. Jeez, the cost of EFA’s mean you can’t be taking unnecessary risks in regard to absorption. I myself don’t use any Metamucil or similar diet aids, preferring instead to take in a large amount of greens, which provide me with an adequate amount of both insoluble and soluble fiber, whilst low in carbs. The EFA binding here will in my opinion be minimal.


What about the use of a Fiber supplement such as metamucil, or HDT’s fiber product all by it’s own? So basically between meals, either hours before or hours after a meal. Simply for the intestinal tract cleaning?

Da Boxer

Boxer Al, not only does fiber do a great job of “cleaning out the pipes,” I like to add it to something like Crystal Light when I’m hungry. It makes my stomach think it’s full and allows me to hold out for my next regularly scheduled meal.

All I can say is that


your boss! I have learned so much from you! I have a huge deal of both respect and appreciation for you.

Nothing but gratitude for ya,
Da Boxer

I hate to ask the same question again…but no one really addressed it.

If eating insoluble fiber with EFA’s is not a good idea…what’s the point of eating flax seeds since flax seeds are such a big source of both insoluble fiber and EFAs?

ChuckieT, my best guess is that the amount of EFAs in flax seeds exceeds the amount of fiber the EFAs could bind to. In fact, flax seeds are kind of interesting. If you don’t crack them slightly, they’ll pass through your digestive tract and have the ability to be planted and SPROUT.

Ground flax seeds are great stuff. I like to add milk and sweetener. Not only does it clean the pipes, it’s a first-class source of Omega 3 fatty acids.

I guess I’ll just keep eating my ground flax seeds then and hope for the best. I just wish I knew what the absorption rate was or something… =(

ChuckieT, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed (not ground) is roughly equivalent to 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil as far as EFAs are concerned. But it also has protein and carbs that flaxseed oil doesn’t.

TT is right on about the flaxseed. i used to sometimes sprinkle whole seeds on my cereal, and low and behold, a poop or two later, there were the little buggers, still intact and everything. now i use flaxmeal, and if it ain’t getting absorbed, i don’t know what it’s doing cause it’s not being excreted; well at least not to the visible extent the whole seeds were.

so, moral of the story: whole flaxseed = part of poop, ground flaxmeal = nutty, good, absorbable source of EFAs.