Do I Need Psyllium?

By: thedrswolfson
September 2, 2015
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Should You Add Psyllium Husk Powder to Your Smoothie?

Millions of people take psyllium based products every day. I am sure you are familiar with the major brand name Metamucil and the countless generic products sold by companies such as Walmart, CostCo, and CVS.

Don’t take those products!

Why not? Here are a couple of reasons:

  1. They use artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors.
  2. The psyllium is not organic.

Go Organic Psyllium!

Organic psyllium is the only way since the conventional stuff comes from India and it is heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Additionally it is grown with toxic and synthetic fertilizers.

If it kills bugs and plants, it will kill us. Stay organic.

My choice for organic psyllium is Organic India. Great company with great organic psyllium. I like the taste as it gives some added texture to my morning green’s drink.

Now the question is WHY you should take psyllium at all.

From a cardiovascular standpoint, it binds cholesterol in the gut and eliminates it from the body. A review article from 2009 showed a 15 point reduction in total cholesterol. Not a huge change, but it does so naturally and without negative side effects. Multiple studies agree with these findings.

As a reminder, cholesterol is not the problem. Elevated LDL particles are a sign that the body is irritated by poor nutrition and chemicals. But psyllium can lower excess LDL particles. It likely improves gut health, thus decreased production of LDL particles as another mode of action.

Another study found that psyllium husk powder reduces triglycerides. I find this to be the case in my patients. The lower your triglycerides, the lower your heart disease risk.

Psyllium has been shown to have an additional reduction in LDL in people on a statin versus statin drug alone.

A positive side effect is a great morning bowel movement IF you are well hydrated. So drink plenty of water with a level tablespoon of Organic India. Drink lots of water throughout the day.

Is psyllium necessary if you are eating tons of vegetables? We all should be doing that, but extra psyllium certainly doesn’t hurt.

Here are some other benefits of psyllium supplementation:

  1. Lowers blood sugar
  2. Improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  3. Improves constipation
  4. Slows diarrhea

That’s all for this post. Stay organic and stay healthy.

Sources:

  1. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;63(7):821-7.
  2. Can J Diet Pract Res. 2011 Spring;72(1):e107-14.
  3. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct;63(10):1269-71
  4. J Indian Med Assoc. 2007 Mar;105(3):142-5, 150.
  5. Dig Dis Sci. 2011 May;56(5):1460-71.

 

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