Excess consumption of some types of sugar substitutes may have a laxative effect.

Excess consumption of some types of sugar substitutes may have a laxative effect.

Water
Water is essential for staying hydrated as well as maintaining regularity and preventing constipation.

Research shows that staying hydrated can help alleviate constipation by improving the consistency of stool, making it easier to pass (65Trusted Source).

It can also amplify the effects of other natural laxatives, like fiber.

In one study, 117 participants with chronic constipation were given a diet consisting of 25 grams of fiber per day. In addition to the increased fiber, half of the participants were also instructed to drink 2 liters of water per day.

After two months, both groups had an increase in stool frequency and less dependence on laxatives, but the effect was even greater for the group drinking more water (66Trusted Source).

2. Sugar Substitutes
Excess consumption of some types of sugar substitutes may have a laxative effect.

This is because they pass through the gut mostly unabsorbed, drawing water into the intestines and speeding up transit in the gut (67Trusted Source).

This process is especially true for sugar alcohols, which are poorly absorbed in the digestive tract.

Lactitol, a type of sugar alcohol derived from milk sugar, has actually been investigated for its potential use in the treatment of chronic constipation (68Trusted Source).

Some case studies have even linked the excessive consumption of sugar-free chewing gum containing sorbitol, another type of sugar alcohol, to diarrhea (69Trusted Source).

Xylitol is another common sugar alcohol that acts as a laxative.

It’s usually found in small amounts in diet drinks and sugar-free gums. If you consume it in large amounts, however, it could draw water into the intestines, inducing a bowel movement or even causing diarrhea (70Trusted Source, 71Trusted Source).

Large amounts of the sugar alcohol erythritol could also have a laxative effect in the same way, spurring a bowel movement by bringing large amounts of water into the intestines (67Trusted Source).

The Bottom Line
There are many natural laxatives that can help keep you regular by increasing stool frequency and improving stool consistency.

In addition to using these natural laxatives, make sure you stay well-hydrated, follow a healthy diet and make time for regular physical activity.

These steps will help prevent constipation and keep your digestive system healthy.

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