On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m diving into the research to uncover what is psyllium husk, including the health benefits, how to use it, and side effects.
Is psyllium husk a good supplement for your specific needs, or is it just a waste of money?
Let’s find out.
This is another episode in a our series where I’m giving you a quick science backed overview of popular supplements.
The goal is to cut through all the marketing BS to help you make healthier decisions, while saving you time and money.
To do this, I’ll quickly answer the most frequently asked questions, by diving into the research, then articulating the findings in an easy to understand format.
The most frequently asked questions about psyllium husk include:
Before we jump in, let me know in the comments below if you have ever supplemented with psyllium husk.
With that said, let’s jump right into it.
Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber derived from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant.
It’s commonly consumed as a dietary supplement in powder or capsule form.
Due to its high fiber content, psyllium husk aids in digestion, supports heart health, and promotes satiety.
Due to it’s water absorbing properties, psyllium husk is also known as a laxative.
Psyllium husk offers numerous health benefits, including:
Don’t forget that it’s important to ensure you drink an adequate amount of water when consuming psyllium husk to optimize its effectiveness.
Psyllium husk is an excellent natural remedy for relieving constipation.
Its soluble fiber content adds bulk to stool, making it easier to pass.
Additionally, it absorbs water in the digestive tract, forming a gel-like substance that softens the stool and promotes regular bowel movements, while relieving constipation.
Start with a small dose and gradually increase it while staying hydrated to prevent digestive discomfort.
Psyllium husk is more commonly known for relieving constipation, rather than causing diarrhea.
However, consuming too much psyllium husk, without adequate water intake, may lead to constipation or blockages.
When it comes to diarrhea, psyllium husk can actually help alleviate it by absorbing excess water in the digestive tract and adding bulk to stools.
However, in some individuals, especially when starting psyllium husk or with excessive intake, it may lead to loose stools or mild diarrhea.
It’s essential to start with a small dose and gradually increase it while staying hydrated to prevent digestive discomfort.
Including psyllium husk in your diet, along with a healthy lifestyle, has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels, which is the “bad” cholesterol.
This study shows the binding process promotes the excretion of cholesterol, leading to reduced total and LDL blood cholesterol levels.
These effects are attributed to its ability to bind to cholesterol and bile acids in the gut, which helps manage cholesterol levels by eliminating it from the body.
Even though scientific studies support its effectiveness, and the FDA recognizes psyllium husk as a heart healthy ingredient, it’s essential to incorporate it into a balanced diet and active lifestyle for optimal results.
Psyllium husk can support weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness and reducing appetite.
Its high fiber content absorbs water in the digestive tract, expanding and making you feel fuller for longer.
By feeling full throughout the day, it can help you get into the required calorie deficit to lose weight, since it can help prevent overeating, thus helping you eating less calories throughout the day.
If you are adding it to water, make sure you drink it quickly to avoid it thickening before consumption.
If you are concerned with psyllium husk causing loose stool or mild diarrhea, start with a small dose and gradually increase it to the recommended serving size.
Keep in mind, it’s essential to stay well hydrated when consuming psyllium husk to prevent digestive discomfort.
If you are taking other medications, consult with your healthcare professional first to ensure the psyllium husk won’t cause absorption issues with your medications.
Since a typical 1 tablespoon serving size of psyllium husk contains 30 calories, it technically breaks a fast.
However, since psyllium husk is considered a non-caloric fiber, consuming it during a fast should not significantly impact your fasting state.
Ultimately, the impact of psyllium husk on fasting depends on your fasting goals.
If you are following a specific fasting protocol, some people prefer to avoid all supplements during fasting periods to maintain strict adherence.
However, for many people who simply follow the more common 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol, the impact of psyllium husk may be minor, without completely breaking the fast.
If you have digestive issues and you can only take it first thing in the morning during your fast, in my opinion, the potential benefits outweigh the slight potential impact on your fast.
The choice between psyllium husk powder and capsules depends on personal preference and specific needs.
Both psyllium husk powder and capsules are effective options, but powder form may be more versatile, as it can be added to various food, while also being easier to adjust the dosage.
On the other hand, capsules offer convenience and may be preferred for those who dislike the taste or texture of psyllium husk powder.
Consider your preferences, lifestyle, and how easily you can incorporate each form into your routine when deciding which is better for you.
Here’s an Amazon link to affordable psyllium husk powders and capsules for you to check out.
While psyllium husk is generally safe for most people, however when first starting it may cause digestive issues such as:
These side effects can often be mitigated by starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it while staying well-hydrated.
Additionally, psyllium husk may interact with certain medications, so it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before adding it to your routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
The best time to take pysllium husk is 30 minutes before meals or with meals.
This is beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels, improving digestion, and help with satiety.
Based on the research, it appears that psyllium husk has the potential to help:
That’s all for today’s quick overview on psyllium husk.
Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.