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8 Kinds of Effects and Side Effects of Psyllium

Psyllium is a form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. It sometimes goes by the name ispaghula.

It’s most commonly known as a laxative. However, research shows that taking psyllium is beneficial to many parts of the human body, including the heart and the pancreas.

Psyllium husk shell fiber powder is currently the most widely used edible gelatinous fiber. Similar to chia seeds, it has the properties of swelling and probiotics after absorbing water (it can absorb more than 3 times the volume of water)

In clinical practice, Psyllium husk fiber is regarded as a kind of bulk-forming laxatives, which can increase stool volume and water content, and achieve the effect of promoting defecation (characterized by non-irritating and addictive)

In addition to promoting bowel movements, current research has also found that Psyllium may also have potential benefits in improving diarrhea, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia


What is psyllium husk?

Psyllium comes from the Plantago family (Plantaginaceae), originated in India and Iran, and is now widely planted all over the world

The health care products of psyllium currently on the market are made by processing and grinding the husk of its seeds, and they are usually in the form of filaments, powders and liquids.

Benefits and side effects of psyllium


What are the recommended empirical effects (benefits) of Psyllium?

  1. Psyllium is beneficial for blood pressure regulation

Blood pressure is defined as the product of cardiac output and peripheral resistance. Hypertension is caused by increased cardiac output or increased peripheral resistance, and is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

A large number of epidemiological data indicate that systolic blood pressure is a far more important determinant of cardiovascular risk than diastolic blood pressure. Systolic hypertension is the most common type of hypertension, which increases coronary artery disease and congestion. Risk of heart failure, stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic), renal failure, and peripheral arterial disease.

*Conclusion: For people with hypertension, supplementation of Psyllium may have a positive effect on blood pressure regulation, but it is limited by the small number of samples, and more research is needed to support it

  1. Psyllium helps to lose weight

Obesity is one of the most common and expensive chronic diseases in the world.

It is estimated that in the United States alone, obesity affects one-third of adults and accounts for one-third of the total death rate. It is caused by pathological processes such as diabetes, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. Key factor

At the most basic level, the pathogenesis of obesity seems to be very simple. Calorie intake exceeds continuous energy expenditure.

However, more and more evidence shows that the pathogenesis of obesity is much more complicated than passively accumulating excessive calories. This complexity is the core reason why obesity is difficult to treat.

*Conclusion: Oral psyllium husk fiber is not significantly helpful for weight loss, but due to the heterogeneity and bias of the included studies, more long-term large-scale trials are still needed for further verification

  1. Psyllium is good for blood sugar control

Type 2 diabetes is mainly related to abnormal insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. The triggering factors can be divided into controllable (body mass index, central obesity and sedentary lifestyle) and uncontrollable (age, race and genetics)

*Conclusion: Oral psyllium is beneficial to the blood sugar control of diabetic patients, and may be used in clinical practice to become an effective lifestyle adjustment option

  1. Psyllium increases satiety and reduces hunger

Overweight and obesity are currently the biggest problems in human health. Therefore, effective weight loss methods are often sought after. Common weight loss principles include: regulating energy consumption, suppressing appetite, and blocking fat/sugar absorption

In terms of ease of implementation, it is the most difficult to control appetite, because the level of appetite is affected by a variety of physiological, behavioral and environmental factors.

*Conclusion: Taking psyllium (shell) before meals can regulate appetite, increase satiety, and help reduce calorie intake

  1. Psyllium regulates cholesterol

Cholesterol has multiple roles in the human body. In addition to forming hormones (gonadal and adrenal glands), vitamin D and bile acid precursors, it is also an important component of cell membranes.

The total amount of cholesterol is mainly related to dietary intake, absorption efficiency, metabolism, intestinal hepatic circulation and excretion rate. If it is too high, it may cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

*Conclusion: Eating Psyllium has a positive effect on regulating cholesterol, but the results still need more large-scale studies to further verify

  1. Psyllium is beneficial for improving constipation

The term constipation generally refers to the disturbance of intestinal peristalsis, which is defined as the number of bowel movements less than 3 times a week, but sometimes any form of dysfunction can also be called constipation, including hard stools, feeling unclean, and intention to defecate but unable to come out Wait

It is estimated that the global prevalence rate of constipation is between 2% and 27%, and the ratio of women to men is about 2:1, and the incidence rate increases with age, with a prevalence rate of nearly 50% above 65

*Conclusion: Oral Psyllium can positively improve constipation symptoms in the short term, but more research is needed to confirm the long-term effect

  1. Psyllium improves fecal incontinence

Fecal incontinence (Fecal Incontinence) is mainly defined as uncontrollable excretion of feces or mucus, and the duration is more than 1 month, the population prevalence rate can reach 0.4% to 18%, and often seriously affect the quality of life of patients (sleep, work and social activities) ). Note 5

There are many main causes of fecal incontinence, including: anal sphincter abnormalities (such as birth trauma, hemorrhoidectomy, stretching injuries), structural abnormalities (fistula, rectal prolapse, perineal descent syndrome), inflammatory diseases (Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, radiation proctitis), diarrhea (after cholecystectomy, irritable bowel syndrome), etc.

*Conclusion: Oral psyllium may improve some patients with fecal incontinence, but due to implementation errors and high bounce rate, more large studies are needed to confirm

  1. Psyllium reduces inflammation indicators: C-reactive protein?

C-Reactive Protein (C-Reactive Protein) is an acute phase protein produced by the human body when it has an inflammatory response, and is mainly synthesized by the liver

Numerous evidences point out that excessive C-reactive protein levels are often associated with coronary heart disease events, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, malignant tumors, metabolic syndrome, depression, and cognitive decline. Note 9

*Conclusion: Supplementing psyllium fiber alone does not have the effect of reducing C-reactive protein


Are there any side effects of psyllium?

For most people, psyllium is a well-tolerated food, but possible side effects or adverse reactions that have been reported include: bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and gas

In addition, although allergy to Psyllium is extremely rare, it can still occur. If you experience chest and throat tightness, flushing, loss of consciousness, rash, itching, swelling (face/tongue/throat), dizziness, difficulty breathing, Sneezing and other abnormal phenomena, please seek medical treatment immediately

Safety precautions (use taboo at 12:00)

  1. When eating, please drink enough water (with at least 250 ml of water per 3 to 5 g) to avoid excessive fiber causing blockage or suffocation of the throat
  1. Do not use with drugs, because it may affect or delay the absorption of certain drugs (the two are at least 2 to 4 hours apart). Common susceptible drugs such as tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline) and epilepsy drugs (Tegretol) , Bile acid binder (Questram), cardiovascular drugs (digoxin), lithium (Lithium), etc.
  1. Ingestion of psyllium may increase the risk of adenoma recurrence in people with a history of colorectal adenoma, especially for subjects with a high calcium diet. Note 1
  1. Diabetics or those taking blood sugar lowering drugs should use caution, because psyllium may lower blood sugar. For safety, please monitor blood sugar regularly. Related drugs are not named: Glimepiride, glyburide Libenclamide, insulin, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, chlorpropamide, glipizide, tolbutamide
  1. Some products may add sweeteners, such as saccharin or aspartame, such as diabetes, phenylketonuria (phenylketonuria) or those who have to restrict sugar diet, please avoid using it
  1. Do not use for patients with dysphagia, fecal impaction, or any gastrointestinal tract narrowing, obstruction, or bowel spasm
  1. Patients with low blood pressure or taking blood pressure lowering drugs should use caution, because psyllium may lower blood pressure. For safety, please monitor blood pressure regularly
  1. Please stop using it 2 weeks before the operation, because psyllium may affect blood sugar, making it more difficult to control blood sugar during and after the operation
  1. Do not use with Carbamazepine (the drug for the treatment of epilepsy, mania, alcohol abstinence syndrome, diabetes insipidus), as it may reduce the efficacy of the drug (because too much fiber will hinder drug absorption)
  1. Do not use together with Lithium salts (bipolar disorder drugs), which may reduce the efficacy of the drug
  1. Do not use Digoxin (digoxin, a drug for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, heart failure, atrial flutter, arrhythmia, paroxysmal upper ventricular tachycardia), which may reduce the efficacy of the drug
  1. Do not use together with Ethinyl estradiol (ethinyl estradiol, a drug for the treatment of acne, hirsutism, contraception, and seborrheic dermatitis), which may reduce the effectiveness of the drug