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Benefiber vs. Unicity Balance Fiber Matrix: Which is Better?

blood glucose cholesterol unicity balance weight loss Nov 19, 2021
Benefiber, unicity balance, fiber, cholesterol, blood sugars, comparison

We've all heard about the importance of fiber in our diet. Yet, if you're like most North Americans, you're not getting nearly enough daily fiber. Fiber plays a crucial role in digestion and is perhaps best known for its ability to relieve constipation. In this article, we'll compare a popular over-the-counter (OTC) fiber supplement, Benefiber, with Unicity Balance fiber matrix.

Benefiber vs. Metamucil: What's the Difference?

Unlike Metamucil, which contains psyllium, Benefiber is made from wheat dextrin. It offers 3 grams of fiber per serving, while its "Shape" version provides 5 grams. The fiber in Benefiber comes from wheat starch. In contrast, Metamucil's fiber comes from the seeds of the psyllium plant. Aside from its 3 grams of wheat starch, Benefiber has no additional nutritional value.

How Wheat Dextrin and Psyllium Work in Your Body

Both wheat dextrin and psyllium are known to absorb water as they move through the digestive tract. This process creates softer, larger stools, which in turn stimulate your intestinal muscles. The result is a bulk-forming laxative effect that helps move waste through your intestines.

What is Wheat Dextrin?

Wheat dextrin is a byproduct of wheat milling and is essentially a form of wheat starch. It's tasteless and has the unique ability to dissolve in both hot and cold liquids, making it a versatile ingredient.

While Benefiber does offer a "gluten-free" version, it's important to note that this label is applied because the product contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. However, the manufacturer advises that individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease should steer clear of Benefiber unless specifically directed by a healthcare professional.

Benefiber is available in a variety of product offerings, including Original, Shape, Digestive Health, Prebiotic Fiber, Gummies, and Chewable forms. It's manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare. Although it's categorized as an OTC laxative, it's worth mentioning that Benefiber is not listed in the Prescribers Desk Reference (PDR).

Weight Loss Claims

The manufacturer of Benefiber claim that you can incorporate it into your weight loss program for rapid weight loss. However, their claims come from a 2011 study that concluded that wheat dextrin supplements could enhance meal satiety in some overweight adults for a limited period. According to the study, an increase in satiety leads to a decrease in hunger levels. While the study did not include Benefiber, it used ingredients similar to its contents. As the website Diet Spotlight noted, “One of the concerns that we had was the complete lack of clinical trials that connected Benefiber in any way to weight loss”.

Other Health Claims

The manufacturer also 'promotes' it to help lower cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease, reduce body fat, boost immune function, improve mineral absorption, lower blood sugar and improve gut health.

The manufacturers of these OTC fiber supplement, Benefiber and Metamucil, both state that they are “heart-healthy products”. This is based on the benefits a high-fiber diet can have on a person’s heart health. These claims have not been clinically proven using their products themselves. Benefiber, as with Metamucil, are not listed in the Prescribers Desk Reference (PDR) being back by science. This is an important distinction.

History of Product Recalls

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare has also had a history of product recalls on Benefiber. The latest was on April 28, 2020, with the FDA statement announcing a voluntary recall for “Potential for plastic pieces or shavings” in the product.

The common ingredients include Wheat dextrin, Cornstarch, Microcrystalline cellulose, Dextrates, Sorbitol, Sucralose and Maltodextrin.

Copy of nutrition facts label for Benefiber

Unicity Balance Fiber Matrix

Unicity Balance is a patented blend of blend of soluble and insoluble fibers, phytosterols with vitamins and minerals. Unicity Balance reduces your appetite, absorbs and removes fat, promotes fat-burning ability, and decreases leptin resistance.

This matrix of fiber in Unicity Balance is specifically designed to absorb much more blood sugar and supports healthy cholesterol more effectively than OTC fiber products like Metamucil or Benefiber, which is are just a single source of fiber that act more like a laxative.

Unicity Balance was first developed by scientists at the University of Santa Barbara in 1986 while conducting research using natural fibers to manage serum cholesterol. Now more than 35 years later, Unicity Balance continues to be the most recommended natural health supplement by doctors and healthcare professionals worldwide.

Unicity Balance is made by Unicity International, a world leader in metabolic health. Unicity is also recognized as the founders of the Feel Great System, which consists of using Unicity Balance fiber matrix along with another unique yerba mate drink called Unimate.

Unicity Balance is only available in the form of a single serve drink mix packet. It is not available in tablet form. This is important, because the Balance fiber matrix forms a gel matrix when it dissolves in water together with the calcium salt in it. A tablet format would be too condensed and would not form the necessary gel matrix that makes Balance so effective.

Unicity Balance is NSF Certified for Sport® certified and also has Gluten-free, Kosher, and Halal certifications, catering to various dietary needs and cultural practices.

Each single serving packet contains 6g of fiber (3g of Dietary Fiber and 3g of Soluble Fiber), 0g of Sugar and as shown in the chart below, it's formulated with natural ingredients that each contributes to a specific mode of action that improves overall metabolic health. 

image of the active ingredients, nutrient list and mechanism of action for Unicity Balance

  • Biosphere Fiber - is a unique blend that includes five different sources of fiber. The fibers help support cholesterol levels and slow the conversion of high-glycemic carbohydrates into blood glucose. These fibers are sourced from Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Citrus Pectin, Oat Fiber and Beta-Glucans.
  • Unicity 7x - is a specialized blend of plant-derived polysaccharides - also known as viscous fibers. Viscous, soluble fibers form a thick gel when mixed with water and as they move through the digestive tract. The gel-like substance helps slow the emptying of your stomach, which results in prolonged satiety. The plant-derived polysaccharides are a proprietary blend that is under a global patent.  
  • Bios Cardio Matrix - is a blend of plant extracts and phytosterols that supports the body’s cholesterol absorption process. The blend can help limit the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive process. This Cardio Matrix is derived from Phytosterols, Chrysanthemum (Flower) Extract, Policosanol (Sugar Cane Extract).
  • Bios Vitamin Complex™ - is a unique blend that supports healthy metabolism. The blend is designed to aid in proper digestion and optimize the conversion of food to fuel. This includes Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Chromium, Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene), Vitamin E (D-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Niacin (Niacinamide), Zinc (Zinc Gluconate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL), Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin HCL), Biotin, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). 
  • Orange juice powder - this provides the distinct light orange flavor for Unicity Balance, and is naturally sweetened with the natural plant stevia. 
  • Nutrition Label (Unicity Balance, also branded Bios Life in some worldwide markets)

nutrition facts label for Unicity Balance ingredients

Unicity Balance Science-Based Results 

Unicity Balance has been extensively studied by reputable institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Sydney. There are peer-reviewed published papers in the medical journals.

For example, In October 2018 the Journal of Dietary Supplements published a double-blind, randomized placebo controlled clinical study done in Indonesia on how Unicity Balance can improve bad cholesterol, total cholesterol, and Apo B levels in people with high cholesterol. In another study, published in the Diabetes in Control August 2000 issue, showed evidence of the clinical impact of Balance on diabetes.

In 2002, Unicity Balance (formerly called Bios Life ) became the first natural product to be listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR), marking a significant milestone and mark of distinction for a science-based natural fiber supplement.

Over the past three decades, Balance has undergone extensive clinical studies worldwide, including placebo and double-blind trials, to prove its wide-ranging benefits—advantages that traditional "Psyllium Fiber" doesn't offer. Balance not only safely and naturally regulates blood sugar levels but also improves both HDL and LDL cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It lowers triglycerides and combats heart disease and stroke risks.

Unicity Balance also tackles insulin and leptin resistance while lowering the glycemic index of the foods you consume. Balance also aids in fat absorption and removal, helping your body burn excess fat more efficiently. It curbs your appetite, reducing cravings and overeating, and promotes healthy digestive and bowel functions. Packed with 100% of the recommended daily intake for many essential vitamins and minerals, Balance boosts your energy levels and mitigates the effects of stress. It even contributes to cellular protection against oxidative damage.

As you can see there is no comparison between Benefiber and Unicity Balance as fiber-based supplements.

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Unicity Balance Fiber Matrix Drink

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Image of the box of Unimate yerba mate lemon flavor and Balance fiber matrix orange flavor with a glass of Balance fiber beside it and slices of oranges and lemon to show the natural flavoring in the drinks

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