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Functional Foods

Psyllium

13 years, 8 months ago

2086  0
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m. By Bill Freeman

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Psyllium is the main ingredient in the majority of bulk-producing non-irritant laxatives, which are milder and much safer treatments for constipation than stimulant laxative herbs, for example senna and cascara sagrada. ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING: Psyllium is mostly soluble dietary fiber but it is also rich in water-absorbing mucilage, which is not broken down in the digestive tract.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Psyllium is the main ingredient in the majority of bulk-producing non-irritant laxatives, which are milder and much safer treatments for constipation than stimulant laxative herbs, for example senna and cascara sagrada. 

 

ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING:

Psyllium is mostly soluble dietary fiber but it is also rich in water-absorbing mucilage, which is not broken down in the digestive tract. Psyllium adds bulk to stools, absorbs excess liquids in the intestines and speeds bowel transit time. Psyllium’s regulation of blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels may be due to effects on cholesterol-containing bile and digestion of carbohydrates. In a recent triple-blind study (subjects, researchers and statisticians all were unaware of who was getting what), 17 "nonrestrained eaters" tested psyllium for its effects on appetite. Taking 20g of seed granules with seven ounces of water, three hours prior to and again immediately before a meal, caused a significant increase in the feeling of fullness and a reduction in the consumption of fat and calories. Psyllium may also help to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar and could therefore be of benefit to diabetics.

THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:

Psyllium is sold as dried whole seeds, powders, wafers, and liquids. An average dose is one rounded teaspoon (5 to 6g) of powdered psyllium mixed with at least eight ounces of water or other liquid, taken at meal times. Effects on the bowels are usually noticeable within one to two days.

MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL: Not established

SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Always drink plenty of water with psyllium to promote its therapeutic effect and to prevent it from causing choking or intestinal blockage. Some people may experience flatulence or upset stomach; allergic reactions are rare but possible. Pregnant women, people with bowel obstructions, and diabetics or people who have difficulty keeping their blood sugar levels under control should not use psyllium.

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