What are the difference between calcium polycarbophil and psyllium?


Cleanliness and hygiene are the much talked topics with regards to health. So how do you clean your house? With a broom!  It has long  bristles which catch the dirt and grime in between and clean up everything. Now you must be wondering why am I  talking about brooms when the concerned subject is entirely different. Well all this broom talk was to give you an idea of the way fibers clean our intestine and flush out toxic substances so that we remain fit, healthy and fine.


Why is the intake of calcium polycarbophil and psyllium necessary?

If proper diet is taken which is well balanced in proteins, carbohydrates, fats and other multivitamins as well as micronutrients, our body’s requirement is fulfilled. But along with it a small amount of fiber should also be eaten regularly which is specially helpful in cleaning the colon which is the place for toxin collection. The only way to clean our Colon is by eating more fiber but as our modern day lives are all about eating refined food most of the time 90% of us don't consume the required amount of fiber.  So we end up having problems and this is where psyllium and polycarbophil come to our rescue. These special fiber laxatives like calcium polycabophil or psyllium are suggested by the physicians to help with digestion and regulation.

What is calcium polycarbophil and psyllium?

Calcium polycarbophis is a fiber laxative which is produced artificially whereas psyllium is a natural fiber which is derived from crushed seeds of an herb called Plantago Ovata plant which is native of Asia, North Africa and Mediterranean region. Although one is artificial and the other is natural product both the fiber laxatives resemble in their appearance as well as in function i.e. both of them are used for constipation and to cure abdominal problems.


What are uses and properties of calcium polycarbophil?

Calcium polycarbophil is an artificial laxative which does not provide nutrition to the body. But owing to this quality it also does not cause any side effects like flatulence which is caused by the natural laxatives like psyllium. Usually used in tablet form, it is highly soluble in water and forms a mass of fiber in colon when taken. The calcium polycarbophil fulfills the need of fiber in the body and due to its property to absorb high amount of water is also helpful in controlling diarrhea. Although not as a cure, it still is recommended as an additional treatment in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is considered to be very useful for constipation problems.

What are the uses and properties of psyllium?

Psyllium is a natural laxative highly soluble in water. When taken in the form of capsules, seeds or dry husk they form large mass in the colon. It is very useful in the problem of constipation and is nowadays being mixed with various cereal breakfast products. In 1998, FDA recognized psyllium as a blood cholesterol reducing agent and stated that 3 g to 12 g soluble psyllium husk or seeds if taken regularly along with low saturated cholesterol and fat diet can reduce the heart risk. It is also known to reduce the bad cholesterol- LPD (low density lipid protein) and is helpful in the treatment of IBD (Crohn's Disease and Colitis).


What are the drawbacks of calcium polycarbophil or psyllium?

  • One of the greatest disadvantages of these fiber laxatives is that they are richly soluble in water and form the fiber matrix of even the vitamin and drug pill components when taken at the same time. As a remedy for this action, the drugs and these laxatives should be taken by keeping a gap of 3 to 4 hours.
  • Polycarbophil should be taken atleast 2 hrs after Tetracycline or  2



  • With both of them always make sure do drink them with a  lot of water, otherwise they could swell and could cause choking.

As with any medications always consult a doctor to make sure you are using them the right way.

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