Psyllium also known as Plantago ovata, is a soluble fiber made from seeds for your gut bacteria. It is a shrub like plant that was originally from India. When consumed, psyllium expands due to water in the colon and it forms a gelatinous substance. Then the gel-like substance pushes out the toxins and waste in the body.
Like most fiber supplements, Psyllium binds to fat and bile salts in the body. The liver then uses cholesterol in your body to replace the bile acids that were excreted. This processes results in a deficit of cholesterol, which in turn lowers a person’s cholesterol (1). It doesn’t just lower total cholesterol. Psyllium improves the good (HDL) to bad (LDL) ratio and in one study lowered LDL Cholesterol as much as 8.2 percent (2).
Psyllium can act like a gentle laxative in the body, allowing for constipation relief. It has been found to be superior to docusate sodium and wheat bran for chronic constipation (3)(4).
Not only does Psyllium improve constipation but it can be used to treat diarrhea. Due to the plants ability to absorb water, it reduces diarrhea (5).
Psyllium has a minor effect on blood sugar which can help regulate weight. This is because if there is an excess of sugar in your blood stream your body stores as fat. It also helps to support weight loss by making you feel full and controlling your appetite cravings (6).
In a study of 36 people with high blood pressure they ingested 12 grams of psyllium and showed to reduce their blood pressure by 5.9mmHg (7).
With all of these advantageous attributes Psyllium Husk has to offer, it’s no wonder it’s a great fiber choice to add to your daily regime.
- “Effects of Psyllium Hydrophilic Mucilloid on LDL-cholesterol and Bile Acid Synthesis in Hypercholesterolemic Men.” Journal of Lipid Research.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017
- Bell, MD Larry P. “Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Psyllium Hydrophilic Mucilloid.” JAMA. American Medical Association, 16 June 1989. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
- “Psyllium Is Superior to Docusate Sodium for Treatment of Chronic Constipation.” Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
- “Comparison of the Effects of Psyllium and Wheat Bran on Gastrointestinal Transit Time and Stool Characteristics.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
- “Supplementation with Dietary Fiber Improves Fecal Incontinence.” Nursing Research.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
- “The Right Fiber for the Right Disease: An Update on the Psyllium Seed Husk and the Metabolic Syndrome.” Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
- “Dietary Protein and Soluble Fiber Reduce Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Treated Hypertensives.” Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979). U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.