- HOW METAMUCIL WORKS IN YOUR BODY
- WHAT IS PSYLLIUM HUSK AND WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?
- Psyllium husk guide
- What is psyllium husk?
- What are the health effects of psyllium husk?
- Does psyllium husk have any side effects?
- The benefits of using psyllium husk in keto and low-carb cooking
- Psyllium husk benefits
HOW METAMUCIL WORKS IN YOUR BODY
Metamucil® is the only leading fiber supplement brand that contains 100% natural psyllium husk—a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Unlike clear-mixing fiber supplements, the psyllium in Metamucil forms a viscous gel, which helps the body maintain healthy blood sugar levels* and helps lower cholesterol levels to promote heart health.† Here’s how it works:
IN THE STOMACH
As the psyllium fiber enters your stomach it thickens and forms a viscous gel that traps some sugars and carbohydrates.
IN THE SMALL INTESTINE
When the gel moves down the small intestine, trapped sugars are slowly released and absorbed into the body, helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels.* The gelled psyllium traps some bile acids in the small intestine, preventing reabsorption. These trapped bile acids are passed into the large intestine with waste. The liver draws cholesterol from the blood to make new bile acids, resulting in lower blood cholesterol levels.†
The soluble viscous gelling fiber from psyllium husk maintains it’s gelled nature through the digestive tract. In the large intestine this results in its stool normalizing benefit. By absorbing and retaining water the psyllium softens the stool to relieve constipation.
WHAT IS PSYLLIUM HUSK AND WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?
WHAT IS PSYLLIUM HUSK?
For centuries, psyllium husk has been used in the ancient traditional medicine of Ayurveda to promote the body’s overall health and well-being. This ancient knowledge has now been proven by modern science, and today psyllium is known as one of the most effective fibers for maintaining regular digestive health*.
Psyllium comes from the Plantago Ovata and is grown in the rolling fields of the Gujarat and Rajasthan regions of India. The name psyllium comes from the Greek word “psulla”, which means flea, because seeds on the plant resemble clustered fleas. Each plant produces about 15,000 tiny seeds!(1)
Once a year, the psyllium seed is gathered and is stone ground to harvest the husk, which is then made into the powder that powers Metamucil. Metamucil is the only leading fiber supplement brand that contains psyllium and can provide all the benefits psyllium fiber has to offer.^
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PSYLLIUM HUSK?
When taken daily, the psyllium fiber in Metamucil can provide four main benefits:
1. PROMOTE AND MAINTAIN REGULARITY*
If you frequently experience constipation, you know how disruptive it can be to your life. Psyllium powder is a fiber that draws water into your intestines to help bulk and soften stool, making it easier to pass. Psyllium husk is also thought to help relieve loose stool by absorbing water, making your stool more solid. So, whether you experience loose stool, constipation, or both, psyllium husk can help you stay regular.*
2. MAINTAIN HEALTHY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS*
After you eat, carbohydrates like bread or pasta are broken down into simple sugars, which are absorbed into the blood stream. Typically, most sugar absorption occurs early in the digestive process. Metamucil forms a thick gel that traps some of the sugar and carbohydrates. This delays the absorption of the sugar so that some of it is absorbed later in the digestive process. And that’s how Metamucil works with your body to trap some carbohydrates and sugar, slow sugar absorption, and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.*
3. HELPS LOWER CHOLESTEROL†
In your body, cholesterol is used to make bile acids in the liver. Bile acids are released into the gut to promote digestion of the fat in the food you eat. The body typically absorbs bile acids to be used again. However, Metamucil forms a thick gel, which traps some bile acid, so not as much is re-absorbed. These trapped bile acids are removed in your body’s waste. In response, the liver removes LDL cholesterol from the blood stream, to make more bile acid, and this results in less LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood!†
4. HELPS YOU FEEL LESS HUNGRY BETWEEN MEALS*
The gel that forms in your stomach when you take Metamucil can also help you feel less hungry between meals. The gel pushes on the stomach walls signaling to the body it is full, helping to curb your appetite and keep you feeling fuller longer.*
Try Metamucil today and experience the all the benefits psyllium fiber has to offer for yourself!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease
†Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 7 grams of soluble fiber per day from psyllium husk, as in Metamucil, may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol. One serving of Metamucil has 2.4 grams of this soluble fiber. One serving of Metamucil capsules has at least 1.8 grams of this soluble fiber.
^P&G calculation based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its ScanTrack Service for the Digestive Health category for the 52-week period ending 4/27/2019, for the total U.S. market, xAOC, according to the P&G custom product hierarchy. Copyright © 2019, The Nielsen Company
Psyllium husk guide
By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE, medical review by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD
What is psyllium husk? | Health effects | Side effects | Benefits in cooking | How to use | Substitutions | Where to find
Psyllium husk has received its fair share of attention within the low-carb community. But what is it, exactly? And what is its role in keto and low-carb baking? Read on to find out all about psyllium husk and how to get the best results when using it.
What is psyllium husk?
Psyllium seed comes from a plant known as Plantago ovato, which is native to southern and western Asia. The seed is covered by psyllium husk, which is a rich source of viscous soluble fiber (the type that absorbs water to form a gel). In fact, nearly all of the carbs in psyllium husk come from fiber. In some countries, and in some health care centers particularly in the UK and Europe, it also goes by the name ispaghula husk.
One tablespoon (5 grams) of whole psyllium husk (as pictured above) contains 4 grams of carbs in the form of indigestible fiber, of which most is soluble fiber.
Psyllium husk can also be ground into a powder, the form most often used in cooking. Because it is more concentrated, one-half tablespoon (2.5 grams) of psyllium husk powder has the same nutritional composition as one tablespoon of whole psyllium husk.
As the active ingredient in the stool-softeners Metamucil and Fybogel, psyllium husk is best known for its laxative properties.
What are the health effects of psyllium husk?
Research suggests that psyllium husk may provide several potential benefits:
- May help control blood sugar: By forming a gel with water, psyllium husk can slow down the movement of food through your digestive tract and the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream. A large review of 35 studies found that taking 5-20 grams of psyllium per day significantly lowered fasting blood sugar and HbA1c values in people with diabetes and prediabetes.1 This effect is likely noticeable mostly for people who eat a significant amount of carbs. On a strictly low-carb or keto diet it may not help much, as there is far less glucose to be absorbed from the food in the first place.
- May improve some heart health markers: Psyllium can bind to bile acids, which may help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, psyllium has been shown to decrease triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol, which may reduce heart disease risk.2
- May improve stool consistency: Because of its strong water-holding capacity, psyllium husk has a potentially positive effect on bowel function: It may improve both constipation and diarrhea.3
Does psyllium husk have any side effects?
Unlike many other soluble fibers, psyllium husk isn’t readily fermented by bacteria in your colon. Therefore, it’s less likely to cause excess gas or other digestive issues. However, if you take a large amount of psyllium husk (greater than 15 grams per day), you might experience bloating, GI discomfort, or increased gassiness.
A good rule of thumb is to introduce a small amount of psyllium husk into your diet initially and gradually increase it.
When consumed with adequate fluid and in moderate amounts, psyllium husk is considered safe. Like other types of fiber, consuming large amounts of psyllium without taking in enough fluid can lead to constipation or even an intestinal blockage, in the worst case (and very rarely).4 Psyllium could be a potential choking hazard if not mixed with enough water when consumed as a laxative, but this is not a risk when used in low carb recipes.
Overall, allergic reactions to psyllium are rare. However, they have been reported, primarily among health care workers who are exposed to large amounts of psyllium in laxatives given to patients. Although components in the seed rather than the husk are responsible for the reaction, researchers report that these components sometimes remain in psyllium husk powder.5 Individuals with highly allergic tendencies, however, can become sensitized to psyllium husk through frequent exposure, particularly through the inhalation of psyllium particles.
The benefits of using psyllium husk in keto and low-carb cooking
Psyllium husk can be a very useful ingredient in low-carb cooking, especially baking.
For many people, giving up bread, pizza, bagels, and other baked goods when going low-carb or keto is even harder than forgoing sweets.
Fortunately, psyllium can help you recreate keto-friendly, gluten-free versions of these and other high-carb favorites because of its ability to replicate their texture. It enables bread to hold more moisture and achieve a light, airy consistency. In addition, it helps make dough more pliable, making it easier to handle and shape or roll out.
Psyllium husk benefits
1. Glucose control
Controlling blood sugar levels is essential for good health. Adding psyllium husk to the diet has been shown to control spikes in blood sugar following a meal by reducing the rate of carbohydrate absorbed.1 This helps to reduce the common energy crash following a meal.
In addition, psyllium husk helps to improve long-term glucose control.2
2. Improved heart health
The gel-like fibre created when psyllium absorbs water may also play an important role in lowering our “bad” LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol without having any effect on our ”good” HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol via a similar mechanism to that of cholesterol-lowering drugs.3 This mechanism involves psyllium binding to bile acids in the gut and preventing their re-absorption. This has important implications for our health as studies have suggested that high LDL cholesterol is associated with various cardiovascular diseases.4
3. Weight loss
Feelings of hunger after meals are all too common when dieting and can completely ruin a well-structured programme in an instant. Whilst a sustained negative energy balance (sustained periods of time eating fewer calories than used by the body) is fundamental for weight loss, the high fibre content of the psyllium husk can be a great tool to have in your weight loss belt as its addition has been demonstrated to help slow the digestion of food within the stomach and increase feelings of fullness following a meal.5
With this in mind, studies6,7 have demonstrated significant weight loss with the addition of psyllium husk to the diet. Whilst this is impressive in itself, these studies also demonstrate sustained, progressive weight loss over time and no weight re-gain during the latter months of the programme.
4. Helps to meet daily fibre recommendations
Each teaspoon of psyllium husk contains a staggering 5g of fibre, which is around 15% of your daily fibre requirements and the equivalent of 200g steamed broccoli. Given that the average fibre intake within the UK is 10-15g lower than recommended values8 (Institute of Medicine recommends 14g per 1000 kcal), especially for those consuming low-carbohydrate diets, it is important to keep on top of daily fibre intake.
As low-fibre diets appear to be a risk factor for heart- and gastrointestinal issues, amongst others, it is clear that this low intake must be addressed. Whilst these benefits can be achieved through a range of whole food sources, the addition of 1-2 teaspoons of psyllium husk each day can help to provide a quick and efficient fix to fibre deficiencies within our diets.9
5. Promotes natural bowel movements
Healthy bowel function is essential for optimal health and to avoid gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and subsequent haemorrhoids. Not only are these damaging to our health but they can also impact our performance or make exercise impossible altogether.
To this end, psyllium has been demonstrated to provide a clear laxative effect and help to improve the regularity of the bowel and is highly recommended for those suffering with chronic constipation.10
When compared with other dietary fibre sources, psyllium appears to be one of the most effective for bowel-related issues whilst also being associated with fewer side-effects such as bloating and gas.
Furthermore, psyllium supplementation is also glutein-free and suitable for those with coeliac disease.
Psyllium fibre may interact with many medications by reducing the amount of other medications that is absorbed. Therefore it is recommended that other medications not be taken 2 hours before or after taking this medication.
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Metamucil