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How to Improve Bowels & Heart Health with Psyllium Husk

Updated on January 29th, 2020
psyllium husk benefits

Psyllium is derived from the seeds of a herb called Plantago ovate, commonly found in India. Often taken as a dietary supplement, it is available in granules, capsules, or powder.

You can also obtain it through fortified cereals like breakfast and baked goods. It has excellent water solubility, and that’s how psyllium husk benefits in constipation and diarrhea.

Read on to know its other benefits.

Nutrition Profile

1 tbsp of Psyllium Husk provides the following:

Calories 53
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 15 mg
Potassium 165 mg
Carbohydrates 15 g
Protein 0 g
Vitamin A 0
Vitamin C 0 mg
Calcium 30 mg
Iron 0.9 mg

Psyllium Husk – Uses and Benefits

1. Psyllium Husk Benefits Constipation

Constipation relief
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Psyllium husk fiber is as a laxative. It increases stool size and relieves constipation. It helps in binding the digested foods that go from the stomach into the intestine. It aids in absorbing water, which helps in increasing the size and passing of stools.

A study compared psyllium husk to wheat bran, and it showed that psyllium had a more significant effect compared to wheat bran on the weight, structure, and texture of stools.

Another study that was conducted showed that consuming 5.1 gms twice daily for about two weeks helped to increase the water content and also the weight of stools. It also increased bowel movements throughout the day in people suffering from chronic constipation(1).

2. Psyllium Husk Benefits in Diarrhea

It is used to treat diarrhea. It acts as a water-absorbing agent that increases the thickness of the stool and reduces the passage of stool through the colon.

A study observed that the 30 cancer patients who were undergoing radiation had decreased diarrhea after taking psyllium husk. Psyllium benefits our health by treating constipation and diarrhea, which in turn regularizes the bowel movements that might hamper your lifestyle.

[ Read: Poppy Seeds Benefits ]

3. Psyllium Husk Benefits in Lowering Blood Sugar Levels

blood sugar levels
Image:ShutterStock

Psyllium husk supplements have shown results that indicate controlled glycemic response and reduced blood sugar levels and insulin(2). For water-soluble fibers, like psyllium, this is how it works.

Psyllium is known to work better than all fibers, even bran. The gel-made fibers, slow down the digestive process and regulate blood sugar levels.

A study was conducted targeting 56 men suffering from diabetes who consumed psyllium for eight weeks twice every day. It helped in reducing the blood sugar levels by 11 %.

Another study was conducted in people from type 2 diabetes that consumed 5 mg thrice daily for six weeks. It resulted in a 29 % reduction of blood sugar levels in the first two weeks itself.

As psyllium husk slows the digestive process, it is advised to consume it with food rather than having it alone, so it has a better effect on the blood sugar levels in your body.

[ Read: Proven Benefits of Ajwain ]

4. Psyllium Husk Benefits Weight Loss

Psyllium husk has fibers that form compounds that control the appetite and aid weight loss.A study was conducted for 12 students who consumed ten gms of psyllium right before a meal.

There were feelings of satiety in six hours after that meal. Research shows that taking psyllium supplements with a fiber-rich diet had significant effects on weight loss, body mass index, and body fat percentage.

It keeps the stomach full and reduces binge eating. It reduces carb food intake for your body and unnecessary fats.

5. Reduces Cholesterol Levels

Psyllium husk benefits the body in controlling the cholesterol levels in the body. It binds the fat and bile acids that help in excretion from the body. To replace the bile acids that are lost, the liver utilizes the cholesterol in producing more bile. It is how it works to decrease cholesterol levels.

See Also
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A study has revealed that taking 15 gms of psyllium daily for 40 days increased the synthesis of bile and lowered the harmful cholesterol levels, also known as LDL. Another study showed that participants who took six gms for six weeks experienced a reduction in LDL by 6 %. It helps to increase HDL known as good cholesterol.

6. Psyllium Husk Benefits Cardiovascular Health

Cardiac Health 
Image:ShutterStock

Studies show that consuming five gms of psyllium husk three times every day for three weeks has reduced triglycerides by a drastic 26 % when compared to placebo.

It helps in reducing systolic blood pressure, and this why people suffering from hypertension must take this supplement as it keeps it in check and protects the heart.

Psyllium Husk Dosage?

  • Psyllium seeds extracts can be used as capsules once or twice daily.
  • The granules must be mixed with water or juice before consumption.

Precautions and Side Effects

Now that you are fully aware of psyllium husk health benefits let’s take a look at the side effects and precautions to be undertaken.

As it has laxative effects, an overdose of Psyllium can cause serious side effects like

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Gas
  • Loose stools
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache

You must always keep your doctor informed before you start taking these supplements. If you experience breathing difficulty, palpitations, rashes or itching,  stop consuming it and immediately seek a doctor’s attention.

Summary

Before adhering to this regime, make sure your doctor is aware of all your ailments. Dosage varies for every individual depending upon their health conditions. As it soaks a lot of water from the intestines, make sure you drink enough water to keep your body hydrated while consuming psyllium husk.


FAQs

1. Is Psyllium husk benefits for weight loss?

Psyllium husk consists of soluble and insoluble fibers that help in smooth bowel movements, which are a must to lose weight. It also very good for weight loss as it is low in calories.

2. Does Psyllium husk make you poop?

As it soaks water from the intestines, it promotes more bowel movements. If you drink more water, it will soften your stool and promote regular bowel movements.

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