Methylcellulose is a bulk-forming laxative that increases the amount of water in your stools to help make them softer and easier to pass. (source)
The food industry continues to morph and expand with “approved” ingredients but let’s just be honest, just because it’s “approved” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. I mean, white bleached table sugar is approved yet we all know that can cause a wide variety of health issues. Stevia is approved, gums are approved, and even artificial flavors and artificial colors are approved in food “items” – SEE HERE regarding the later statement.
So if artificial colors are FDA approved, should we be eating them?
What is the most important information I should know about Methylcellulose (Citrucel)?
You should not take methylcellulose if you are allergic to it.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
irritable bowel syndrome;
stomach pain with nausea or vomiting;
a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts 2 weeks or longer; or
if you have been constipated for more than 1 week.
This medicine may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using methylcellulose if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Ask your doctor before taking methylcellulose if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 years old without medical advice.
What are the side effects of Methylcellulose (Citrucel)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
Severe stomach cramps, rectal bleeding; or
no bowel movement within 3 days after using methylcellulose.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR IN FOOD?
Its food grade has wide uses for its thermal gelation, lubricity, stabilizing the emulsion, preventing syneresis and so on.
Methylcellulose can also be used in bakery items, frosting, fried foods, gluten free breads, salad dressing, sauces to stabilize the emulsion and extend the shelf life. It can also function as a bulking agent in jellies, plant based meats, syrups and gums to provide fiber content without increasing available energy value. (source)
So given the above information, it’s up to you to determine if you want to eat such an “ingredient” (AKA: medication). If you’ve ever eaten the below items (or others containing methylcellulose [modified cellulose]) and had severe stomach cramps and other issues associated with stomach issued, this is probably why.
Food Products Containing Methylcellulose
I could go on and on sharing foods that contain methylcellulose (modified cellulose), but that’s not the goal here….my goal is to educate the public, make you aware what is being put into your food, and give you the tools to look at labels and reserch yourself. Fact is, there are new food products constantly being “formulated” and brought to market and I myself can’t even keep up with it all. This is just another reminder to read labels, and IF YOU DON’T KNOW WAHT AN INGREDIENT IS IN YOUR FOOD, DON’T BUY IT. You shouldn’t have to question what an ingredient is. You should clearly recognize food and the ingredients in the food you eat.
It’s our right to know…but sadly, many peopel get lazy, rely on front label marketing (i.e. “soy free” “gluten free” “vegan” “non-GMO” and even “organic” certifications) to determine if it’s healthy for us or not.
Looking for plant based meat alternative recipes? Try these below!