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The Best Supplements to Alleviate Constipation

natural supplements for alleviating constipation
natural supplements for alleviating constipation

Constipation is a common digestive issue that affects people of all ages, causing discomfort and reducing quality of life. While diet and lifestyle changes are first-line treatments, supplements can also provide significant relief. This article explores the best natural supplements known for their effectiveness in alleviating constipation, offering a gentle, yet effective approach to improving bowel movements.

Key Takeaways:

  • Supplements can be a helpful addition to diet and lifestyle changes for relieving constipation.
  • Fiber supplements, probiotics, and magnesium are among the top choices for natural constipation relief.
  • Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

1. Fiber Supplements

Fiber is crucial for healthy digestion and can significantly improve constipation. It works by absorbing water, which helps to soften stools and promote regular bowel movements. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, both beneficial for constipation.

  • Psyllium Husk: A popular soluble fiber supplement that has been shown to increase stool frequency and consistency.
  • Wheat Dextrin: Another soluble fiber that can help with bowel regularity without causing too much gas.

Recommended Dosage: Varies by product; it’s essential to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed.

2. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that improve gut health and can relieve constipation by balancing the gut microbiome. They may increase stool frequency and improve stool consistency.

  • Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium: Strains of bacteria that have been found effective in improving bowel movement regularity.

Recommended Dosage: Generally, 1-10 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) per day, but optimal dosages can vary.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium acts as a natural laxative by drawing water into the bowels, softening stool, and relaxing the muscles in the intestines. This can make it easier to pass stools.

  • Magnesium Oxide: Commonly used for its laxative effect.
  • Magnesium Citrate: Known for its bioavailability and effectiveness in treating constipation.

Recommended Dosage: 200-400 mg per day, but it’s crucial to adjust based on individual needs and tolerance.

4. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are types of dietary fiber that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. They can help improve digestion and relieve constipation by enhancing gut microbiome health.

  • Inulin: A type of prebiotic fiber found in many plants that can improve bowel function and regularity.

Recommended Dosage: 5-10 grams per day, though starting with a lower dose is recommended to assess tolerance.

Supplements can offer a natural and effective way to alleviate constipation, especially when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Fiber supplements, probiotics, magnesium, and prebiotics are among the best options for promoting regular bowel movements and improving digestive health. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, as individual needs and potential interactions with medications must be considered.


  1. Can I use these supplements long-term?
    • Most of these supplements can be used safely over the long term, but it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
  2. Are there any side effects of taking these supplements?
    • Side effects are generally mild but can include bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits. Starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing can help minimize side effects.
  3. How quickly will I see results?
    • The time to see results can vary depending on the supplement and the individual. Some people may notice improvements within a few days, while for others, it might take a few weeks.
  4. Can children take these supplements?
    • Some supplements may be suitable for children at lower dosages, but it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before giving any supplements to children.
  5. Should I still focus on diet and lifestyle changes?
    • Yes, supplements should complement, not replace, a healthy diet rich in fiber, adequate hydration, and regular exercise, all of which are essential for preventing and managing constipation.


  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements: Offers detailed information on various supplements and their effects on health, including fiber, magnesium, and probiotics, providing a solid foundation for understanding their role in alleviating constipation.
  • American Gastroenterological Association: Provides guidelines and research findings on the management of constipation, emphasizing the importance of fiber and probiotics in digestive health.
  • International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders: Shares insights into the causes and treatments of constipation, supporting the use of dietary supplements as part of a comprehensive approach to managing constipation.
  • Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: Features studies on the effectiveness of magnesium supplements in treating constipation, highlighting its role as a natural laxative.