Sunfiber: 5 Great Benefits and How it Might be Your Ticket to Better Digestion

Sun and fiber

Do you have ongoing digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal bloating? Have you been told you need to add more fiber to your diet for blood sugar or weight control? If any of these apply to you, Sunfiber might be a great addition to your diet.


But what is this fiber, and do you really need it? Let’s dive into this topic and shed light on a few very interesting, science-based facts about Sunfiber and its potential benefits.

What is Sunfiber?


First of all, what is Sunfiber? I’ll be honest; when I first saw the label at our local supplement store, I could not figure out what it was. And more importantly, why would I need it?


But I noticed Sunfiber is recommended for some people with complex gastro-intestinal issues …  and my interest was piqued. I needed to do some research. 


Known scientifically as partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG), the term “Sunfiber” is actually the patented form of PHGG. It’s made from Indian guar seeds via an enzymatic fermentation process that produces a water-soluble fiber.


This form of soluble fiber is that it does not gel up like other soluble fibers, allowing it to blend well into foods, and it plays nicely with heating and freezing. From a food product perspective, this makes a very versatile fiber product.


And as a non-gelling soluble fiber, Sunfiber is better tolerated by most. It may be an ideal recommendation for those who complain that regular dietary fibers increase their digestive symptoms. 


It also appears there are quite a few health benefits associated with Sunfiber. Published research has shed some light on Sunfiber’s use in conditions such as gut health, diabetes, high cholesterol, weight control, and even the immune system. 


Let’s take a look and see if any of these are backed up by actual science, and, if so, how best to include Sunfiber in your diet.

Health Benefits of Sunfiber


So now that we know what Sunfiber is, what can it do for us? Well read on, because Sunfiber is good for a number of different conditions and may be a huge boost to your health in a few key ways. 

1. Improving Gastrointestinal (gut) health


As a Registered Dietitian who works with a lot of IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) patients, I was curious to know more about how Sunfiber might help in a wide range of GI disorders. 


Turns out there is a lot of evidence showing that Sunfiber (or PHGG as they refer to it in the studies) is very helpful at improving the microbiome, ie your gut bacteria. Sunfiber does this by acting as a prebiotic, feeding your “good” bacteria and helping them grow. 


By supporting healthy bacteria in the gut, studies have shown improvements in patients with IBS, constipation, and bloating. It may even help in more severe GI diseases such as ulcerative colitis


Sunfiber even works well on a Low-FODMAP diet.


It has also been touted as reducing methane gas in SIBO patients. One study showed that treatments for SIBO were more effective when administered along with Sunfiber. Unfortunately, beyond that the clinical studies are few.


Overall, the research seems to indicate that somewhere between 5-10g per day of Sunfiber may help with bowel regularity, especially constipation, and symptoms associated with many types of GI issues. 


2. Balancing Blood Sugar


Sunfiber may also help with blood sugar regulation, which may be of interest to those with pre-diabetes or diabetes, or for those just looking to keep their glucose levels in check. 


A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that 10g of Sunfiber per day reduced A1c levels in those who had both diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 


Another study showed that just 6g of Sunfiber with meals reduced blood glucose after meals and improved insulin levels. In fact, a few of the study participants had their blood levels return to normal levels after 3 months of Sunfiber supplementation.


Likely the reason Sunfiber is so helpful for blood sugar is two-fold: 


  1. It’s a soluble fiber, and we know soluble fiber helps lower blood glucose, and


  1. It’s a prebiotic fiber. Prebiotics promote healthy bacteria that appear to help improve how our bodies process and use glucose.


All this to say, if you have any concerns with your blood sugar, Sunfiber may be a good supplement choice. Of course, if you do decide to try this fiber, always consult with your doctor first, especially if you are already taking medications.


3. Reducing Cholesterol


Another role Sunfiber may play is in reducing cholesterol. Soluble fiber is known to help lower lipid levels, but would a non-gelling form such as this behave the same?


Turns out that might be the case. Some studies have shown that adding Sunfiber may reduce cholesterol levels by up to 10-15%. Another showed that adding 6g per day lowered triglycerides, LDL cholesterol levels and increased HDL cholesterol (ie our good cholesterol). 


While obviously changing up your diet is the most important strategy when trying to reduce cholesterol, it looks like supplementing with soluble fiber, particularly Sunfiber, may be helpful. 


4. Weight Control


Another interesting use for Sunfiber is in the area of weight management. Many studies have noted a correlation between the use of Sunfiber and reductions in obesity, both in animal and human studies. 


First off, Sunfiber may help us feel more full after a meal which is linked to reducing overall calorie intake


In fact, a recent study found that Sunfiber, along with a generally healthy diet, helped people achieve significant weight reduction.


Some of this benefit might be from the ability of Sunfiber to increase short-chain fatty acids in the colon, which is linked with reductions in inflammation. Nutrient absorption might also be improved which may help support healthy weight management. 


While we still need many more studies to understand these connections more clearly, the use of Sunfiber for managing weight, along with a healthy diet and exercise, might be something to consider. 


5. Support the Immune System


While it may seem an odd connection, recent research suggests that Sunfiber might also help improve our immune system.


A 2022 study had Japanese adults take 5.2g of Sunfiber for 12 weeks. Those that came down with colds reported less symptoms and less severity of the cold overall than those who were given a placebo.  


There is evidence that Sunfiber may reduce the risk of influenza as well. 


They believe these benefits are due to Sunfiber’s ability to increase short-chain fatty acids, which is known to help regulate the immune system.


While we definitely need more studies to understand this connection better, adding Sunfiber to your day might be a good strategy, especially during the winter months. It might even be something easy to consider for older adults or anyone with reduced immune function.

Is Sunfiber Safe?


With all these reported health benefits, the real question boils down to, should I try this and is it safe?


The short answer is yes! Sunfiber is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US government. Few if any side effects have been reported in the research studies and it actually seems to be more gentle than most fibers already on the market. 


In rare cases some have reported mild worsening of their GI symptoms (bloating, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, nausea), so stop taking or reduce the dosage if this occurs. 


That being said, anyone taking any sort of medication or even vitamins for therapeutic reasons should always talk with their doctor first before starting on a high-fiber supplement. 


Some fibers may reduce the absorption of certain medications or there may be health conditions where high fiber is not advised, so always get the go-ahead before ramping up supplemental fiber. 

Can I just get fiber from food?


Yes! You can definitely focus on dietary soluble fiber and get most of the health benefits mentioned. The advantage of Sunfiber is that it tends to cause fewer GI symptoms than most other fibers. 


Also, this type of fiber in particular may help reduce methane in SIBO cases which has not been consistently seen with other food-based fibers. 


Additionally, it’s easy to use and easy to measure, so you can make sure you are taking the right dose daily. 


Don’t forget: Whenever using supplements, even fiber supplements, consult a healthcare practitioner beforehand. 


Supplemental fiber such as this can be a useful tool along with changing your diet and other lifestyle factors, but make a plan with your practitioner for how, when, and how long to use it

How to add Sunfiber to your diet


The good news is that you don’t have to add much! Most of the studies suggest that somewhere between 5-10g per day is enough to see health benefits. 


For reference, ONE scoop of Sunfiber is about 7g. This can easily mix into 8oz of water or you can stir it into yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or even soup.


Sunfiber even stands up well to heat so presumably could be used in baking without affecting the taste or texture. 


Also if you travel and worry about your fiber intake on the road, pack your Sunfiber with you.


The Main Takeaway


There are several potential benefits of this lesser-known form of soluble fiber, Sunfiber. From reducing gastrointestinal distress and cholesterol to potentially improving our chances against colds and flu, this fiber has a lot of potential benefits.


Just 5-10g per day may provide health benefits as outlined above. However, don’t forget to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements, even fiber. 


And of course, always start with food first. But if you are needing a boost, especially in the fiber department, consult your healthcare team and see if Sunfiber is a good fit.  



Danielle VenHuizen, MS RDN