What is psyllium?

Psyllium is a type of dietary fiber that comes from the husks of Plantago ovata seeds. It’s most commonly known as a laxative. However, psyllium has many other uses.

Psyllium Husk Benefits

1. Psyllium husk is a source of soluble fiber.

2. Psyllium husk can help relieve constipation and promote regularity.

3. Psyllium husk may help lower cholesterol levels.

4. Psyllium husk may help regulate blood sugar levels.

5. Psyllium husk may promote weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing calorie intake.

6. Psyllium husk is a prebiotic.

7. Psyllium husk may help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

8. Psyllium husk may aid in the treatment of diverticulosis.

9. Psyllium husk may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

10.Psyllium husk is low in calories and fat-free. It’s also gluten-free.

Psyllium Husk Side Effects

1. Psyllium husk is generally well tolerated. The most common side effect is bloating.

2. Psyllium husk may cause allergic reactions in some people.

3. Psyllium husk may interact with some medications.

4. Psyllium husk may not be suitable for some people, such as those with bowel obstructions or swallowing disorders.

If you’re considering using psyllium husk, talk to your doctor first to see if it’s right for you.

Mechanism of Action

Psyllium husk is a source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. This gel-like substance helps slow down digestion and promote regularity. Psyllium husk also absorbs water and becomes more viscous, which helps to keep stools soft and easy to pass.

Dosage

The recommended dose of psyllium husk is 5–10 grams per day. Start with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time to minimize side effects.

Psyllium husk is available in powder, capsule, and wafer form. It can also be found in some breakfast cereals, bars, and baking mixes. You can add psyllium husk to water, juice, yogurt, or smoothies. You can also mix it into soup or other hot food.

Pharmacokinetics

Psyllium husk is not absorbed by the body and is excreted in the stool unchanged.

Half-Life

Psyllium husk has a half-life of 12 hours.

Alternatives to Psyllium Husk

There are a few alternatives to psyllium husk. These include:

Metamucil: Metamucil is a psyllium husk-based fiber supplement. It’s available in powder, capsule, and wafer form.

Citrucel: Citrucel is a cellulose-based fiber supplement. It’s available as a powder or capsule.

Fibercon: Fibercon is a calcium polycarbophil-based fiber supplement. It’s available as a tablet or capsule.

Benefiber: Benefiber is a wheat dextrin-based fiber supplement. It’s available in powder form.

Konsyl: Konsyl is a psyllium husk-based fiber supplement. It’s available as a powder or capsule.

If you’re looking for an alternative to psyllium husk, talk to your doctor about which option may be best for you.

Psyllium Husk Drug Interactions

Psyllium husk may interact with some medications. These interactions can either increase or decrease the effectiveness of the medication or cause unwanted side effects.

To avoid drug interactions, always tell your doctor about any supplements or herbs you’re taking. Be sure to read the labels on over-the-counter products, such as laxatives and fiber supplements, to see if they contain psyllium husk.

Psyllium Husk and Blood Sugar Levels

Psyllium husk may help regulate blood sugar levels. In a study in people with type 2 diabetes, psyllium husk was found to decrease fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29% and post-meal blood sugar levels by up to 18%.

Psyllium Husk and Weight Loss

Psyllium husk may promote weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing calorie intake. In a study in 60 overweight adults, those who took psyllium husk before meals lost more weight than those who didn’t take it. Psyllium husk may also help reduce the number of calories absorbed from food.

Psyllium Husk and IBS

Psyllium husk may help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by relieving symptoms of constipation and diarrhea. In a study in 120 people with IBS, those who took psyllium husk three times daily for eight weeks had a significant reduction in IBS symptoms.

Psyllium Husk Side Effects

Psyllium husk is generally well tolerated. The most common side effect is bloating. Psyllium husk may cause allergic reactions in some people. Psyllium husk may interact with some medications. Psyllium husk may not be suitable for some people, such as those with bowel obstructions or swallowing disorders.