Psyllium husk is a soluble fibre that’s best acknowledged for its potential to improve constipation. No wonder it’s a common ingredient in many fibre drinks. However, psyllium husk can do so much for the health apart from just improving bowel movement. Discover many of psyllium husk’s fascinating health benefits in this article.
Components of Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk is the psyllium seed’s outer coating. Psyllium husk is full of mucilage and fibre which makes it highly beneficial for gut health. It is also composed largely of carbohydrates (at much as 85%), with the remainder consisting of protein, plant ash, and fats.
The carbohydrate portion contains twice as much soluble fibre as insoluble (hemicellulose, lignin, and cellulose). Both are vital to the benefits psyllium husk provides.
Psyllium Husk’s Mechanism of Action
The fibrous and dry content of psyllium husk works by drawing water into the gut. This is done by pulling water from low to high moisture environments.
- Insoluble fibre is not water absorbent. However, it still helps draw water into the gut and stimulate gut flow. Insoluble fibre also adds bulk, making stools larger and firmer.
- Soluble fibre absorbs water easily, causing it to expand in the gut. Its dual effect is physically stimulating gut transport and softening the stool.
Psyllium Husk’s Fascinating Health Benefits
Listed below are some of the most fascinating health benefits only psyllium husks can provide:
As mentioned earlier, adding psyllium husk to one’s diet has been proven to reduce constipation. This is done by drawing water in and absorbing it as it passes through the gut. As a result, the stool softens and expands, making it easy to move while stimulating gut flow at the same time.
In a lot of studies, it was discovered that psyllium husk helped reduce stool transit time significantly while increasing bulk weight and stool softness. What’s even more amazing? All those can be achieved without disrupting proper absorption of nutrients.
Prevention of Heart Disease
The FDA has approved claims that the soluble fibre in psyllium husks are associated with lower blood cholesterol and reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
Psyllium husk is also believed to improve one’s overall cholesterol profile. A study conducted on psyllium husk’s impact on cholesterol indicated increased bile production and lowered LDL levels after psyllium treatment.
Bile acid production as well as subsequent excretion is considered one of the primary methods of eradicating blood cholesterol.
A small clinical trial involving 45 teenage males at risk for developing metabolic syndrome also displayed the beneficial health benefits of psyllium husk. After the study, a massive improvement in cholesterol profiles has been observed. Not only that, there was also an improvement in the overall distribution and composition of body fat.
Psyllium husk is believed to help with weight loss by increasing fullness. In a study involving 200 subjects, it was discovered that consuming psyllium husk with meals has dramatically improved fullness while reducing appetite sensation. The result is around 10 pounds of weight lost.
Moreover, aside from weight loss, psyllium husk has also been known to help reduced BMI as well as total body fat percentage. The study also revealed that while reducing BMI and total body fat percentage was achieved through the use of psyllium husk alone, combining it with a healthy diet will produce maximum health benefits.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A study involving 28 subjects looked into the role psyllium husk plays in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. What they discovered was psyllium husk eliminated the symptoms of the condition. They also found out that the subjects had a relapse when psyllium husk was removed from the equation.