Cellulose powder is a white, odorless powder derived from the fibers of plants. Cellulose powder is insoluble in water and many other liquids; instead it tends to absorb water and other liquids and helps to flush impurities from the body. It is most often marketed as a powder, is reasonably priced and can be found at most health food stores.
Cellulose powder, due to the way it is processed, is free of contaminants both organic and inorganic. This makes it safe for ingestion in the human body. Since it absorbs water, it works as a way to cleanse the colon and makes bowel eliminations easier on the body. Because it is insoluble in water, it is considered to cause less gas buildup in the system than other common fiber supplements.
Cellulose powder is used in both powder and tablet forms. As a dietary supplement, it is often marketed as an intestinal tract cleanser or a fiber additive to water for making the digestive tract function regularly. It is often the active ingredient of products advertised to increase the daily amount of fiber, such as Citrucel, which uses a form called methylcellulose. Cellulose is also used as an ingredient in other vitamin and mineral supplements as a binding agent.
Cellulose powder has no nutritional value yet absorbs available water. Because of this, it is sometimes used as a diet aid for reducing water bloat as it absorbs water in the system. Like many diet and nutritional supplements, there are no FDA guidelines on what is a safe amount of cellulose power to ingest on a daily basis.
As with all over-the-counter supplements, the addition of cellulose powder to the diet in any form should be discussed with your primary health care provider before using. Due to the absorption properties of the powder, it may react adversely with other medications or health conditions. When using cellulose powder, read and follow the package directions for the best benefits of the powder.
Cellulose powder used in nasal sprays is being studied as a natural alternative to chemical preservatives. Since cellulose powder is resistant to bacterial growth, it is believed to serve as an organic blocker to allergens, viruses and other bacteria. Working with the natural moisture available in the nasal passages, the cellulose powder creates a gel similar to normal mucus, which traps the allergens, preventing them from entering the bronchial system.