[Effects of Psyllium Husk] 3 Reasons Why Psyllium Husk Helps with Constipation

[Effects of Psyllium Husk] 3 Reasons Why Psyllium Husk Helps with Constipation

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Effects of Psyllium Husk] 3 Reasons Why

Psyllium Husk Helps with Constipation

Psyllium Husk
What is ‘This,’ That is Also Used as a Laxative
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Psyllium Husk
1. Increases stool weight and decreases stool hardness
2. Reduces cholesterol
3. Reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

Today, I would like to introduce ‘psyllium husk’, which has recently become popular among those suffering from constipation. Psyllium husk is the skin (blood) of plantain seeds (psyllium), and is known to facilitate bowel movements by absorbing moisture in the intestines and increasing the amount of stool. Because it promotes bowel movements with an action most similar to the original physiological phenomenon of the human body, it is also used as a laxative and has a lower possibility of side effects compared to other laxatives.

Now, let's look at some actual research papers to see what benefits psyllium has specifically for constipation and what additional benefits it may have.

Increases Stool Weight and Decreases Stool Hardness

When you say you have difficulty with bowel movements, it doesn't just mean that you have fewer bowel movements. Although they go to the bathroom, there are many cases where there is a feeling of residual stool or the stool is too hard, causing pain during defecation. Psyllium husk may also help improve these symptoms.

A paper published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther found that consuming psyllium husk not only helps increase the frequency of bowel movements, but also increases stool weight and reduces stool hardness.

“Psyllium husk increases stool frequency and weight and improves stool consistency in idiopathic constipation (constipation of unknown cause).”

Reference :  W Ashraf, F Park, J Lof, E M Quigley. (1995) Effects of psyllium therapy on stool characteristics, colon transit and anorectal function in chronic idiopathic constipation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 9(6):639-47..
2. Reduces Cholesterol

We all know that managing cholesterol is important to prevent adult diseases. It is especially important to lower LDL cholesterol. Unlike HDL cholesterol, which transports cholesterol accumulated on the walls of blood vessels to the liver, LDL cholesterol is called ‘bad cholesterol’ because it accumulates on the walls of blood vessels and can cause arteriosclerosis.

Regards to this, a report was published in British Journal of Nutrition in 2015 containing the results of an experiment on the effect of psyllium husk intake on cholesterol levels in children and adolescents.

“Statistically significant changes were observed between the control and intervention groups over time for total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. (omitted) In addition to leading to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, psyllium husk therapy was found to be safe and tolerable in the treatment of children and adolescents with hypercholesterolemia.”

Reference :   Ribas, S. A., Cunha, D. B., Sichieri, R., & Santana Da Silva, L. C. (2014). Effects of psyllium on LDL-cholesterol concentrations in Brazilian children and adolescents: a randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel clinical trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 113(1), 134–141.
3. Reduces Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure

According to published by the Korean Society of Hypertension, the number of people diagnosed with high blood pressure at medical institutions has steadily increased from 3 million in 2002 to 9.7 million in 2018. Likewise, over the same period, the number of people prescribed antihypertensive medication steadily increased from 2.5 million to 9 million. There are probably many people reading this who are worried about managing their blood pressure.

In 2010, a paper was published that studied changes in systolic blood pressure (highest blood pressure) and diastolic blood pressure (lowest blood pressure) according to psyllium husk intake.

“Long-term supplementation with psyllium husk was associated with significant reductions in systolic blood pressure after 4 and 6 months of treatment. (omitted) After 6 months of supplementation, an average decrease of 2.2 mmHG in diastolic blood pressure was also observed."

Reference :  Cicero, A. F., Derosa, G., Bove, M., Imola, F., Borghi, C., & Gaddi, A. V. (2009). Psyllium improves dyslipidaemia, hyperglycaemia and hypertension, while guar gum reduces body weight more rapidly in patients affected by metabolic syndrome following an AHA Step 2 diet. Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 3(1), 47–54.

Today, we looked at three benefits of psyllium husk that have been proven in academia. Psyllium husk expands when it meets water in the intestines and promotes intestinal peristalsis, so to maximize these benefits, it is recommended to consume psyllium husk with plenty of water.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

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