Psyllium as a Medicinal Plant
Psyllium seed has been used in traditional Persian medicine since ancient times. The mucilage, or gluey substance, produced by the seeds leads to an increase in the wave-like movements, or peristalsis, of the bowel, while also increasing moisture of the stool, helping to increase both the frequency and volume of bowel movements.
Beyond this, psyllium may favourably alter the microbiota in your intestines, as some microbes may use oligosaccharides from psyllium as an energy source. This means psyllium may have prebiotic potential, helping to support the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, while also boosting production of short-chain fatty acids that improve the health of your colon.
So while traditionally psyllium has been viewed as an excellent tool for improving constipation, it’s now known that it may benefit a number of health conditions, including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Colon cancer
- Cholesterol imbalance
Diseases Researched for Psyllium
- Diabetes Mellitus: Type 2
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Cholesterol: High
- Cholesterol: LDL/HDL ratio
- Diabetes Mellitus: Type 2: Prevention
- Colitis: Ulcerative
- Colon Cancer
- Fecal Incontinence
- High Cholesterol
- Incontinence: Fecal
- Diabetes Mellitus: Type 1
- Leptin: Elevated Levels
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Celiac Disease
- Helicobacter Pylori Infection
Results of Studies
Various studies have shown the multiple benefits of incorporating psyllium husk into your daily nutrition plan. A few studies that have shown remarkable benefits include:
- Psyllium has significant effect on serum total and LDL-cholesterol concentations in subjects consuming a low-fat diet.
- Cholesterol-lowering effects of psyllium intake adjunctive to diet therapy in men and women with hypercholesterolemia: meta-analysis of 8 controlled trials.
- Adding psyllium fiber resulted in reductions in low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol equivalent to doubling the statin dose.
- Both flaxseed and psyllium may decrease constipation symptoms, weight, glycemic and lipid levels, with flaxseed appearing to be superior to psyllium. J
- Cookies enriched with psyllium or oat bran lower plasma LDL cholesterol in normal and hypercholesterolemic men.
- Plaintain seeds improve the colonic flora and butyrate in patients resected for colonic cancer.
- Psyllium has significant effect on lowering serum total and LDL-cholesterol in men and women with high cholesterol.
- Psyllium supplementation significantly lowered serum total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations in subjects consuming a low-fat diet. Psyllium is well tolerated and safe when used adjunctive to a low-fat diet in individuals with mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia.
- Psyllium offers benefits in patients with irrital bowel syndrome.AUG 27, 2009
- Psyllium reduced fecal incontinent episodes and improved symptom severity and quality of life with less adverse effects than Loperamide.
- Psyllium significantly improves metabolic control of type 2 diabetics.SEP 01, 2002
- psyllium supplementation increased stool water and this was associated with significant changes in microbiota, most marked in constipated patients.
- Psyllium therapy was found to be both safe and acceptable for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemic children and adolescents.
Add to smoothies, juices, cereals & baking. In gluten free baking, psyllium powder acts as a binder and provides a firm and moist texture to baked goods.
Adults: Dissolve 1/2 – 1 tablespoon (5-10g) once or twice daily in 250ml’s of purified water. Be sure to consume immediately and follow with another glass of water. Best taken 15-30 minutes before meals.
Supplementing the Lack of Fiber on a Keto Diet
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that’s thought to have many health benefits. But because many fiber-rich foods are also carb-heavy, getting enough fiber on the keto diet can be a challenge, making regularity a problem. Keto constipation is a phenomenon that plagues many keto dieters – the lack of fiber in the diet can leave you with hard, stubborn stool, and a bloated gut.
Adding a fiber supplement like Nuvita’s Fiber Plus s a great way to add more fiber to your diet to keep you regular so you can see the benefits of your keto diet without drawback of constipation.