A. The Health Benefits Of Psyllium
We include products that we believe will be useful to our readers. If you buy from links on this page, we can earn a small commission. Here is our process.
1. What is flea seed?
Fleas are a form of fiber produced from the seed husk of the Plantago ovata plant. It is sometimes known by the name of Ispaghula. It is more commonly known as a laxative. However, research shows that taking psyllium is beneficial to many parts of the human body, including the heart and pancreas.
2. Digestive system health
Psyllium is a bulk build laxative. This means that it absorbs water in the intestines and makes evacuation much easier and can help promote regularity without increasing gas. It can be used once to relieve constipation or it can be added to your diet for regularity and general digestive health. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease are well acquainted with bowel irregularities. The results of studies on the effectiveness of psyllium in treating these conditions are still mixed. Fleas are a prebiotic – a substance necessary for the growth of healthy probiotic colonies in the intestine.
A healthy colony of good bacteria in the digestive system is essential for healthy immune function. Your body is better able to fight infections, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy tissues and cells. Psyllium not only keeps your bowel movements regular and treats a chronic illness, but it can also soften your stools, as long as you drink plenty of water. This can be helpful for short term symptoms like constipation. This way you can prevent constipation complications such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Preliminary research shows that psyllium may help with the painful symptoms associated with these disorders. Since there is no real scientific consensus, talk to your doctor to see if flea seeds can help you.
3. Heart health
Research has shown that consuming soluble fiber can help people control their cholesterol levels. Proper cholesterol regulation is important for everyone, but vital for people over 50 years old. One study shows that consuming psyllium daily for at least six weeks is an effective way for obese or overweight people to lower their cholesterol levels, with few side effects.
If you’ve been instructed to watch your cholesterol levels, ask your doctor if adding psyllium to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet will help. Numerous studies have shown that fiber such as psyllium, taken as part of a healthy diet, can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Psyllium can affect the heart, reducing blood pressure, improving lipid levels and strengthening heart muscle.
4. Watch your weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is a concern for many people, especially those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes. In addition to being good for your blood and heart sugar levels, psyllium can also help you lose weight. Because psyllium absorbs fluid in your body, it can help you feel full. This can help you control the amount of food you eat. Talk to your doctor about the option of taking psyllium if they have suggested you lose weight.
People with diabetes need to watch their diet to maintain a healthy balance between insulin and blood sugar (glucose). Some research has found that fiber such as psyllium can help people maintain a healthy glucose balance.
6. Psyllium dosage
The exact dosage of psyllium depends on the product you are using. Dosage requirements may also vary depending on the purpose of the psyllium. You can usually take the product with a full glass of water, one to three times a day. Some research has shown that consuming 7.9 grams of psyllium per day (about 3.6 grams) with probiotics is a safe and effective way to treat Crohn’s disease. However, other results show that soluble fiber such as psyllium can make symptoms worse in some people.
One study found that taking 5 grams of psyllium twice a day can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. Another study of people with type 2 diabetes found similar results but emphasized that flea therapy must be tailored to each individual. Follow all product instructions carefully. Do not take more than the recommended dose unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
7. Possible side effects
As fleas form an intestinal mass and have a laxative effect, this substance can have adverse side effects. You may be especially prone to side effects if you are new to psyllium or if you take more than the recommended amount per day.
Some of the possible side effects are:
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Loose stools
- Frequent bowel movements
- Nausea and vomiting
Call your doctor right away if you have allergic reactions to psyllium. Although rare, risks from a trusted source can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin rashes
- Swelling, especially of the face and throat
- To vomit
8. How do I get psyllium?
Psyllium seeds are most commonly consumed as a powder or waffle. It is also available in capsules, granules and as a liquid concentrate. It is the main ingredient in many over-the-counter laxatives, including:
- Maalox Daily Fiber Therapy
- University laxatives
B. Psyllium Husk (Isabgol) : Nutrition Benefits and Side Effects
On the one hand, it is a common thickener in the food industry. Some people also use psyllium with low-carb flours to make baked goods with a texture similar to wheat. In this article, we explain what psyllium is, how to use it, its nutritional benefits, and possible side effects.
1. What is Psyllium Husk?
Psyllium husks are fibers obtained from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. This plant grows all over the world, and growers obtain the fiber by grinding the outer layers (ie, “husks”) of psyllium seeds. Psyllium contains a hemicellulose fiber called arabinoxylan, a type of water-soluble viscous fiber that attracts and attaches to water.
After drinking water, psyllium forms a transparent gel-like substance whose volume increases up to 10 times its original volume. The fiber obtained from psyllium – psyllium husks – is also known as slime. The psyllium is swollen, the small intestine does not digest it, and it absorbs water as it passes through the digestive system.
2. What is psyllium used for?
Because of its properties, psyllium husk has many uses.
a. Baked goods
Bakers often use flea seeds to thicken bread and cakes. Using psyllium in this way will absorb moisture and help give the final product a thicker, denser texture. There are also many low-carb bread recipes that use psyllium to achieve a typical bread thickness.
b. As a commercial thickener
Psyllium husks are very popular as thickeners in the food industry. Many companies do, and research shows that common foods like ice cream, cakes, frozen desserts, and milkshake products use psyllium.
c. For health reasons
Many people choose to take psyllium husk as a dietary supplement because of its supposed health benefits. Typically, psyllium husk powder (or capsules) is consumed with or mixed with a liquid beverage. There are many claims about how psyllium can help improve conditions like constipation, blood sugar levels and more. We’ll examine these claims – and the evidence for them – in more detail later.
Important point: Psyllium is a fiber obtained from the seeds of Plantago ovata. It is a soluble fiber that escapes digestion and absorbs water.
3. Nutritional information
See the table below for the complete nutritional profile for ground psyllium husks. These values are based on a serving of a tablespoon (approximately 8 grams). The source of the nutrition data is the NCC Food and Nutrient Database.
Psyllium husks: basic nutritional information (per tablespoon)
Calories / amount of nutrients
- Calories 16.75 kcal
- Carbohydrates 6.47 g
- Fiber 6.47 g
- 0 g sugar
- 0.04g of fat
- Protein 0.39 g
Because our body does not digest psyllium husk carbohydrate, it does not contain any “liquid carbohydrate” (total carbohydrate minus fiber) per serving.
Psyllium husks: vitamin and mineral profile (per tablespoon)
Amount of vitamins/minerals% DV
- Calcium 24.62 mg 2.5%
- Manganese 0.02 mg 1.2%
- Sodium 10.47 mg 0.4%
As the table shows, psyllium is not a particularly good source of vitamins and minerals. However, it does contain small amounts of calcium and manganese.
4. Potential Benefits of Using Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husks are one of the most popular supplements, so why are people using them? Here are some potential benefits of this fiber.
a. Decreases postprandial blood sugar
Psyllium seeds are capable of slowing the release of sugar into the blood after a meal. When taken with a high-carbohydrate meal (or snack), psyllium fiber slows the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, thus improving the glycemic response.
Furthermore, randomized controlled trials support this mechanism of action. In a randomized clinical trial of forty patients with type 2 diabetes, 10.5 grams of psyllium supplemented daily led to improvements;
- Fasting blood sugar (163 to 119 mg / dL)
- HbA1c (8.5% to 7.5%)
- Insulin level (27.9 to 19.7 μIU / ml)
Another study looked at this question and found similar results. In a study of 34 men with type 2 diabetes, 5.1 grams of psyllium twice daily resulted in 11% lower postprandial glucose levels.
Important point: psyllium supplementation can reduce spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.
b. It can increase satiety and stimulate weight loss
Since psyllium is a filler, it can help with feelings of fullness and fullness. As a result, psyllium supplementation can potentially promote weight loss. There are also several studies in this area that show fiber can be helpful in weight loss. In two randomized controlled trials, ingesting small amounts (3.4 g, 6.8 g or 10.2 g) of psyllium before meals increased satiety levels. The results showed a significant decrease in hunger and desire to eat. In addition, randomized clinical trials of psyllium and weight loss show some signs of efficacy.
For example, in a one-year intervention study, participants ingested five grams of psyllium per day before each meal. Participants did not change any other eating habits. Compared with participants in a rice flour placebo group, people taking psyllium lost an average of 1.4 kg more weight during the year.
Important point: Flea seeds can increase the feeling of fullness and reduce the feeling of hunger, which can lead to slight weight loss.
c. Psyllium husks can lower blood pressure
There is some evidence that psyllium husk supplementation may slightly lower blood pressure. However, there is no noteworthy high-level research in this area. However, a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing randomized controlled trials showed that psyllium supplementation had an “overall lowering effect” on systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
d. Can help with diarrhea (inconsistent research)
Psyllium is increasing and is believed to help make stools firmer, which can help treat diarrhea symptoms. On the positive side, some studies show that psyllium supplementation can improve stool consistency in people with diarrhea. However, research in this area is inconsistent.
In contrast to the studies mentioned above, a recent randomized study of 83 people found that 15 grams of psyllium per day had no benefit in reducing the incidence of diarrhea. Notably, however, this study was conducted in elderly patients who were fed through an enteral tube and may not be representative of how psyllium affects healthy individuals.
Important point: Psyllium husks can potentially help relieve diarrhea symptoms. However, the research base is small and the evidence is inconsistent.
e. Can help relieve constipation
Constipation can be very uncomfortable and unfortunately in some cases it can also be chronic. In this situation, fibers such as psyllium husk can sometimes be beneficial. The reason for this is that psyllium absorbs water and helps maintain size (and water content) of faeces.
A randomized clinical trial of 170 participants showed that supplementation with psyllium;
- Increased frequency of evacuations.
- It resulted in higher water content in the stool, which made it softer.
- It had a stronger laxative effect on constipation compared to supplements like docusate sodium.
Important point: Psyllium can be a useful tool for improving diarrhea symptoms.
f. Psyllium husks reduce LDL cholesterol
The association is not necessarily causal, but higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (“LDL cholesterol”) are associated with increased cardiovascular risk. There are many different theories about what the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease are. For example, some researchers believe that high triglyceride levels and higher fasting glucose and insulin levels are more significant risk factors than LDL-C alone.
However, LDL-C is still related to cardiovascular risk and some people are uncomfortable with high levels of this lipoprotein. In addition to dietary changes, there are other options for lowering LDL, including supplementing with psyllium. Interestingly, several controlled studies show that flea seed supplementation can significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels. Depending on the study, this reduction appears to be between 5 and 10%. In addition, a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials confirmed that psyllium has significant LDL-lowering effects.
Important point: There is a wide range of evidence to suggest that psyllium husks can lower LDL levels.
h. Can potentially improve IBS symptoms
Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, can cause a lot of stress, pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas and cramps. Although IBS is a complex condition that affects different people in different ways, research suggests that psyllium husks may have benefits in some cases. In a systematic review of 14 randomized controlled trials, psyllium supplementation had a significant positive effect in reducing the severity of IBS symptoms.
Important point: psyllium can help reduce the symptoms of IBS.
5. Cons, concerns and side effects
Although psyllium husks can have some beneficial health effects, care should be taken when supplementing with pure fiber. Here are some possible negative considerations about psyllium.
a. fleas can increase the risk of bezoars (intestinal blockage)
It sounds scary, but excessive intake of psyllium can potentially lead to something called bezoar. Be direct; A bezoar is a type of intestinal blockage caused by a mass of fiber/non-digestible ingredients. Unfortunately, case reports show that, on occasion, psyllium was the cause of this condition.
However, it is important to note that bezoars are incredibly rare and the chances of developing this condition are small. As always, it is important to stick to the recommended dosage for any supplement. When supplementing with psyllium, sufficient water should be consumed.
b. Allergic reactions
Although rare, people who use psyllium husks have had allergic reactions. In some cases, these reactions were severe enough to cause anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction). The probable cause of this allergy is specific proteins found in psyllium. It is important to see a doctor if anyone suspects they are having an allergic reaction.
c. Fleas can be a choking hazard
Fleas can pose a choking hazard if they ingest water and accumulate in the throat. For this reason, it’s important to drink psyllium husks with enough water (rather than swallowing them dry). Participants in psyllium intervention studies were advised to take their dose of psyllium with 150 ml of water.
d. Other sources of fiber may be more beneficial (for constipation)
With a special focus on constipation, fiber from fruits and vegetables can be more effective than a psyllium supplement. For example, a systematic review of randomized studies shows that plums were more effective than flea seeds in improving stool frequency and consistency.
Important point: Psyllium can cause a variety of side effects, especially if taken in excess or if dosing instructions are not followed.
6. Where can I buy psyllium husks?
While there are several different psyllium products available, pure psyllium husk powder is the most cost-effective. This product is available at health food stores, large grocery stores / supermarkets and also online.
7. Final thoughts
Overall, psyllium husk is a useful supplement that can have several valuable benefits. However, we should not see these supplements as a substitute for a healthy diet. While psyllium can help with health markers such as blood pressure and sugar levels, a healthy diet should always be a priority.