HEALTHY LIVING
07/24/2013 03:35 pm ET

The Facts About Fiber And Probiotics Are Murky, Health Experts Say (VIDEO)

Scientists are still largely uncertain about what benefits our bodies truly take from multivitamins, and there's often even more confusion among consumers.

One thing many food packages tout is fiber, which often means an extracted form of fiber has been manufactured and added to food as powder, according to Melanie Warner, an author who writes about processed foods. She told HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps that those fiber additions are "fine," but they don't offer the complete benefits that an array of naturally-occurring dietary fibers can.

"In order to really help our guts and help digestion, which is one of the main biological purposes of fiber, you need to be consuming a full range of different types of fiber," Warner said. "There's dozens of different types of fiber, and if you're getting it from processed foods, you're only getting a couple."

Another supplement that raises questions is probiotics. Research is positive for effectiveness in preventing bacterial infections that can result from taking antibiotics, according to Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com. But he added that probiotics don't deliver on other advertised benefits, like treating irritable bowel syndrome.

Check out the complete conversation on the truth about multivitamins at HuffPost Live HERE.

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