Is Cellulose Healthy or Unhealthy?

When you eat plant-based foods, you are consuming cellulose. Cellulose is also removed from plants to be used as an additive in many other foods and sold as supplements.

Cellulose is a fiber found in several fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. It is found in tree bark and a plant’s leaves as a part of its cell walls.

This post provides an overview of cellulose; where commonly found Cellulose Healthy or Unhealthy?

So, without wasting more time, scroll down further, read till the end, and be ready to keep ourselves healthy the way we should be.

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Table of Contents

What is cellulose?

Cellulose is made up of sugar molecules connected in a long chain. Since, it is a fiber that makes up plant cell walls, It is found in all plant foods.

When you eat plant-based food, cellulose stays intact as it passes through your small intestine. This is because humans do not include the enzymes needed to break down cellulose.

Cellulose is an insoluble fiber so that it does not dissolve in water. Fibers can help push food through your digestive system and support regular bowel movements when consumed.

In addition to its role in healthy digestion, cellulose may promote health in other ways. For example, studies suggest that high dietary fiber intake may reduce the risk of several diseases, including gastric cancer and heart disease.

Sources of cellulose

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and other plant foods contain variable amounts of cellulose. In addition, the skin of plant foods usually has more cellulose than meat.

Cellulose is a familiar food additive. When used as an additive, it is either taken from wood or the production of plant foods, such as boat hulls or almond and peanut skins.

Other names of cellulose added to foods include:

  • Cellulose gum
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose

Cellulose may be added to sliced cheese. It’s also located in some ice creams and yogurts. In addition, bread products may be enriched with cellulose to boost their fiber content.

Finally, cellulose is also available in supplement form. Cellulose supplements frequently contain a modified version of cellulose that forms a gel in your digestive tract.

Makers of cellulose supplements claim that they help fill you up, lower calorie intake, and promote weight loss. However, it’s undefined whether cellulose supplements live up to their claims.

Health benefits from cellulose

Cellulose is an insoluble fiber that our body doesn’t have the enzymes to digest. But it still plays an important role in performing as it travels through the digestive tract.

The cellulose fiber absorbs water, which adds bulk and moisture to stool and helps prevent constipation. Like other insoluble fibers, cellulose helps prevent heart disease and lower your risk of diabetes and certain cancers.

Eating cellulose fiber in food can also help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. It may also help with weight management efforts as high-fiber foods tend to be full-filling.

The recommended daily intake for total fiber, including insoluble and soluble, is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.

Is cellulose healthy or unhealthy?

  • Eating cellulose, especially from whole fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and other plant foods, is generally safe.

Any possible downsides of cellulose are related to the side effects of overeating cellulose. If you eat too much cellulose or take cellulose supplements, you may experience:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach upset
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

If you eat a fiber-rich diet or want to increase your fiber intake, drink plenty of water to prevent uncomfortable side effects. Exercise can also help.

People who follow a low fiber diet should limit their cellulose intake. In addition, someone who has a health condition that affects the digestive system, such as inflammatory bowel disease, also needs to manage their cellulose intake.

Cellulose as a food additive is recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, the levels of cellulose currently used in foods are not considered harmful to humans.

However, remember that getting fiber from whole plant foods is usually better than from additives or supplements. These foods provide many other beneficial nutrients, compounds, and fiber.

Before adding cellulose to your diet, it’s best to speak with your healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Question

What is cellulose used for?

Cellulose is the main essence found in plant cell walls and helps the plant to remain stiff and strong. Humans cannot digest cellulose, but it is important as a fiber source in the diet. Cellulose is used to make clothes and paper.

Is cellulose a carbohydrate? 

cellulose, a complex carbohydrate or polysaccharide consisting of 3,000 or more glucose units.

Is cellulose healthy to eat?

There are no known harmful side effects from adding it to food, and it’s completely legal. “Cellulose is a non-digestible plant fiber, and we actually happen to need non-digestible vegetable fiber in our food—that’s why people eat bran flakes and psyllium husks,” says Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks.

Do we need cellulose in our diet?

Humans cannot digest cellulose, but it is important in the diet as fiber. Fiber helps your digestive system – supporting food moving through the stomach and pushing waste out of the body. Animals, such as cows, sheep, and horses, can digest cellulose; that’s why they can get the energy and nutrients they need from grass.

Does cellulose raise blood sugar?

It was shown that cellulose promotes a decrease in glycemia and a rise in the insulin level 1 to 1.5 hours after breakfast.


Cellulose is a fiber that makes up the plant’s cell walls. When you consume plant-based foods, you are eating cellulose.

Many other foods, such as low-calorie or diet foods, have added cellulose to help with different properties. Cellulose is also available in supplement form.

It’s generally safe to take cellulose. But if you consume too much cellulose, you may experience uncomfortable side effects like gas and bloat.

We hope that you must have come to know whether cellulose is healthy or unhealthy from this post.

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