The Pros And Cons Of Psyllium Seed
The abundant reasons why regularly consuming psyllium fiber either as flakes or ground seed husks is not a healthy practice for long term health.
Psyllium is a substance contained in the seeds of some plants. Frequently touted as a natural and healthy food, consumption of psyllium-containing seed husks is promoted as a natural solution for resolving several common chronic conditions.
However, there are a number of downsides to using psyllium. Conventional health authorities tend to completely ignore these dangers to the detriment of those seeking helpful advice on the subject.
Psyllium Husk Helps Eliminate Cholesterol From The Body
The digestive system absorbs what it can from what we eat as food travels through the system. Whats left is then removed from the body during bowel movements. More cholesterol trapped within the digestive system in the form of bile means more of it leaves our body. Because bile is needed for proper digestion, the body has to compensate for the bile lost from the body when psyllium is present. To create the additional bile needed, the liver uses cholesterol from the blood, so as more bile is created, blood cholesterol levels are lowered.
Psyllium fiber leads to less LDL cholesterol. Researchers investigating the effect of psyllium fiber on cholesterol have observed an association between higher levels of bile acid synthesis and reductions in LDL cholesterol levels in those taking psyllium. Because the body uses cholesterol to create this bile, there is less cholesterol left over in the bloodstream as LDL.
It May Boost Satiety And Aid Weight Loss
Fibers that form viscous compounds, including psyllium, can help control appetite and aid weight loss .
Psyllium may aid appetite control by slowing down stomach emptying and reducing appetite. Decreased appetite and calorie intake may support weight loss.
One study found that taking up to 10.2 g of psyllium before breakfast and lunch led to significant reductions in hunger, desire to eat, and increased fullness between meals compared to a placebo .
Another older study from 2011 showed that psyllium supplementation on its own, as well as paired with a fiber-rich diet, resulted in a significant reduction of weight, body mass index, and percentage of body fat .
That said, a 2020 review of 22 trials reported no overall effect of psyllium on body weight, BMI, or waist circumference (
In one study, taking 5.1 g twice a day for 8 weeks resulted in a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol, as well as an increase in HDL levels in 49 people with type 2 diabetes .
Interestingly, a review of 21 studies reported that reductions in total and LDL cholesterol are dose dependent. This means greater results were observed with treatments of 20.4 g of psyllium per day than 3.0 g per day .
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Side Effects Of Psyllium Fiber
Some people experience gas, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or constipation when taking psyllium fiber supplements, according to MedlinePlus. The supplement also may cause headaches, coughing, runny nose, and sinus problems. To prevent side effects, start with a low dose and gradually increase it if necessary. Itâs also important when taking any fiber supplement, to increase your fluids, and drink plenty of water each day.
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Other Benefits With Psyllium
Consistent use of psyllium may have other positive effects on health, Dr. Simon says.
We are also seeing other benefits with this product, such as blood pressure lowering and reductions in markers of blood sugar elevation in patients with diabetes, Dr. Simon says.
The best part is that it is a natural approach that does not rely on medicine, with their potential side effects, he says.
When patients find out they can have these kinds of benefits from a natural fiber product, most people say, I’m game, I’m in, he says.
I really can’t think of a downside to using this product. It’s convenient, it’s easy to use and it will help you get more fiber in your diet, which most of us are lacking,” Dr. Simon says. “Plus, it has the potential to reduce coronary heart disease as a consequence of lowering cholesterol.
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It Has Prebiotic Effects
Prebiotics are nondigestible compounds that nourish intestinal bacteria and help them grow. Researchers believe that psyllium has prebiotic effects .
Although psyllium is somewhat resistant to fermentation, intestinal bacteria can ferment a small portion of psyllium fibers. This fermentation can produce short-chain fatty acids , including butyrate. Research has linked SCFAs with health benefits (
Constipation And Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk fiber is a soluble fiber that absorbs water, creating a gel-like texture that softens stools and relieves the symptoms of constipation. A number of studies have conclusively demonstrated the efficacy of psyllium husk in relieving constipation.
One randomised, double-blind study published in 1998 compared the laxative effects of psyllium powder to docusate, a sodium-based laxative. It found that psyllium was better at softening stools by increasing water content than the traditional medicinal laxative.
In addition to easing bowel movements in constipated patients, psyllium husk benefits the gut microbiome an essential ecosystem of bacteria inside the colon. According to a small 2019 study, ground psyllium husk powder was particularly beneficial for the gut flora of constipated participants.
In this study, psyllium husk increased the abundance of three key types of bacteria that produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that promotes gut health and combats inflammation. Researchers also found that psyllium powder was correlated with higher water content in stool, faster colonic transit time, and looser stools.
Is psyllium husk a prebiotic?Psyllium mainly supports gut microbiome health by encouraging healthy bowel movements. It is only mildly fermented by gut bacteria.
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Side Effects Of Psyllium
The possible side effects of psyllium are mild digestive discomfort and bloating. This is usually only temporary as your body gets used to the added fiber in your diet.
At the time of taking supplemented psyllium husk, you need to ensure you take sufficient water, as psyllium can swell in your throat and cause choking if you dont take it with enough liquid. Of course, this consequence is extreme but you need to be aware of it in any case.
As with any fiber supplement, or an increase in fiber intake of any kind, make sure to drink plenty of water .
Always check with your doctor if you are taking medications. And keep in mind its best not to take prescription medications within an hour of taking psyllium.
How Does Psyllium Husk Work
Much of the power of psyllium fiber comes from its resistance to absorption by the small intestine, which enables it to work with the body to provide its benefits throughout the digestive tract.5 Psyllium fiber can resist absorption because the human body cannot break it down. When it mixes with water it forms a gel in the body, increasing its volume by about 20 times that of the dry powder.6,8Letâs break down how the psyllium fiber in Metamucil helps your body to provide its four main benefits:
Supporting digestive health**
Once in its gel form, psyllium achieves its laxative effects by retaining water in the intestines which helps soften stool.6,9â11 The increase in stool water changes the environment in the colon and makes it easier for your body to move waste through the digestive track to maintain regularity.6,12 Through this process, psyllium helps trap and remove waste that weighs you down.*
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels**
Psyllium fiber in the gut also can slow the entry of glucose into the blood following meals. As the sugars and carbohydrates from your food mix with the psyllium gel it slows their absorption, helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.*
Support heart health by lowering cholesterolâ
Support appetite control**
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Which Is Better For Hemorrhoids Miralax Or Metamucil
It is not recommended to take laxatives when you have hemorrhoids. Miralax, an osmotic laxative, could have the potential of worsening hemorrhoid inflammation. Laxatives can induce diarrhea, which can further inflame these sensitive blood vessels.
Those with hemorrhoids are advised to take a bulk-forming fiber supplement, like HemRid Fiber Gummies or HemRid Fiber Supplement. Or, you can try Metamucil. Both the HemRid Fiber Supplement and Metamucil uses psyllium, a fiber source with proven results in shrinking hemorrhoids are relieving hemorrhoid symptoms.
The HemRid Fiber Gummies use Chicory Root which works great as well.
For external or internal hemorrhoids, doctors will often suggest a fiber intake increase to lessen straining during bowel movements. Additional pressure on the lower rectal area can inflame hemorrhoids, but with fiber supplements, stools become softer and more comfortable to pass.
Metamucil is a wise choice for hemorrhoid relief, especially when taken regularly. An appropriate amount of soluble fiber regulates the colon, and with less straining, hemorrhoids go away more quickly.
When taking Metamucil for hemorrhoids, it is essential to ensure you are also drinking lots of water to help pass the fiber through your digestive tract. Take Metamucil with at least 8 ounces of water for optimal results.
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Is Metamucil The Best Natural Prescription
No. Dont ever think that Metamucil is a one-shot deal something that in and of itself can miraculously clear up cholesterol problems, points out Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition and Educator at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
Whats most effective in terms of improving LDL blood cholesterol and heart health is comprehensive lifestyle changes, particularly dietary changes, that involve eating a lot more fiber-rich, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes , and whole grains, and a lot less saturated fat and trans fat.
Foods with saturated fat include butter, fatty flesh like red meat, full-fat and low-fat dairy products, palm oil, and coconut oil.
Trans fats are found in some margarines and many snack foods like fries, donuts, cookies, and crackers. If you see partially hydrogenated fat or oil in the Ingredient List of a food label, that food has trans fats.
Other lifestyle changes that help reduce total and LDL cholesterol include:
- Losing excess weight
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Avoiding Psyllium Seed In All Forms Is Best
In conclusion, while psyllium can have some benefits to health, the positives are short term. The negative impacts over the long haul far outweigh them!
Most people, for example, use psyllium to help with constipation issues, but there are other natural methods to resolve infrequent bowel movements that strengthen the gut environment rather than harm it.
In short, while conventional health advice sings the praises of psyllium in the diet, smart consumers look at the whole picture and realize that avoiding it is the best policy.
Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Colon Cleaner
Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Colon Cleaner is a pretty basic psyllium husk supplement. It comes in a smaller 12 ounce canister, and is finely powdered.
The primary downside is that this psyllium husk is neither organically grown nor flavored, meaning its outclassed by several competitorseven though its not an objectively bad product.
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How Psyllium Fiber Helps Lower Cholesterol
When was psyllium fiber recognized for promoting heart health?
Because of the evidence of the cardiovascular benefits of psyllium, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998 ruled that foods containing psyllium fiber can state on their labels that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 7 grams of soluble fiber per day from psyllium husk may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol. One serving of Metamucil powder has 2.4 grams of this soluble fiber. One serving of Metamucil capsules has at least 1.8 grams of this soluble fiber.
Psyllium fiber helps to keep cholesterol in the digestive symptom.
After we eat, bile â which contains cholesterol â is released from the liver to help us digest our food. Once the bile has helped us absorb nutrients, itâs recycled back to the liver. However, if what we are digesting contains psyllium, the substance will be thicker and stickier, making it harder for the bile to get out of the gut. Psylliumâs gel-forming properties help to trap the bile and its cholesterol inside the digestive system, preventing it from getting back into the blood to be recycled and helping to lower our cholesterol levels.
Psyllium fiber helps eliminate cholesterol from the body.
How Much Psyllium Fiber Do I Need to Take to Help Lower Cholesterol?
To promote heart health and help lower cholesterol,â take Metamucil fiber supplements as follows:
Healthworks Psyllium Husk Powder
Healthworks Psyllium Husk Powder is an organically grown and certified psyllium husk powder that comes in a one-pound bag.
Its a good option if you need a moderately large bulk amount and value the purity of an organic product. The resealable bag can make a bit of a mess if you arent careful, but that aside, its a solid pick.
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Organic India Whole Husk Psyllium
Organic India Whole Husk Psyllium is an organically grown and non-GMO psyllium husk supplement that comes in a small 12-ounce canister that makes it well-suited for people who only occasionally use psyllium husk, or who do not need large bags of fiber sitting around. Bulk users will want to look elsewhere, but for everyone else its a pretty good choice.
What Is Cholesterol
From the bad rap high cholesterol gets, you might assume that all cholesterol is bad or that cholesterol is foreign to your body. Actually, cholesterol is found in every cell of your body and is critical to your health. This waxy, yellowish fat is a building block of the membrane surrounding each of your cells. It also plays a role in producing vitamin D, hormones, and bile, which helps your body digest fat.
Another common misconception about cholesterol is that it primarily comes from the foods you eat. In truth, your liver and intestines produce the majority of cholesterol in your body around 80%. Only the remaining 20% comes from your diet. Animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy contain cholesterol.
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What Is Metamucil 4
Metamucil is a fiber supplement that is mostly soluble. Its active ingredient is the psyllium husk of the dried Plantago ovata seed.
Psyllium has been determined to be GRAS by the FDA. It is sometimes used in commercial cereals and as a food thickener in products like ice cream.
Metamucil comes in several different forms, including powders that are to be mixed in 8 oz of water, capsules, wafers, and chewable tablets.
For comparison purposes of this article, I will focus on the Metamucil 4-in-1 powder form.
Because psyllium husk is not 100% soluble, it does not dissolve completely in water, so it has a somewhat grainy texture when drinking the mixture.
Metamucil adds maltodextrin, citric acid, aspartame, orange flavor, and yellow 6 for palatability.
How Is Psyllium Fiber Made
Once a year, the psyllium seeds are gathered and are stone ground to harvest the husk, which is then made into the powder that powers Metamucil powders. Metamucil is the only leading fiber supplement brand that contains psyllium and can provide all the benefits psyllium fiber has to offer.
Feel lighter & energetic**
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How Much Does Metamucil Lower Ldl Cholesterol
In a meta-analysis1 of 8 studies involving 384 people with high cholesterol levels who had been following a low-fat diet for several weeks, adding psyllium supplementation lowered LDL cholesterol an additional 7%.
Another well-designed study,2 from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, found that 197 people who had been taking psyllium for 6 months netted LDL cholesterol levels that were 6.7% lower than the 51 people in the placebo group.
More Things You Can Do To Help Lower Cholesterol And Promote Heart Health
Itâs important to keep HDL levels high and LDL levels low to prevent plaque buildup in the arteries. However, high cholesterol isnât the only risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Along with maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, you can do more to promote your cardiovascular health.
1. Exercise to Help Lower Cholesterol and Promote Heart Health
Get your muscles moving and blood flowing with exercise. Regular exercise is known to reduce the risk for cardiovascular health. There is a significant amount of evidence demonstrating the benefits of exercise on cardiovascular health.
2. Eat Smart to Help Lower Cholesterol and Promote Heart Health
There is an abundance of evidence that show that eating high levels of unsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats canlower cholesterollevels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. That means incorporate more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil, fish, and poultry into your diet, and eat less high-fat dairy products and meat.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is much easier said than done for many of us. Consider talking to an expert like a doctor, licensed nutritionist, or dietician if eating smart and exercising regularly are not enough to get to or maintain a healthy weight.
4. Refrain from Smoking to Help Lower Cholesterol and Promote Heart Health
5. Talk to Your Doctor
HOW THE PSYLLIUM FIBER IN METAMUCIL CAN HELP LOWER CHOLESTEROL
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