High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease and elevations of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol increase the risk of a patient getting coronary artery disease. It is known that reducing total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol reduces a person’s chance of getting coronary heart disease.
Psyllium is a plant product with a high fiber husk. The present study was done to evaluate whether psyllium would reduce cholesterol in people with high cholesterol blood levels. In a 26 week study, using a low cholesterol diet, a group of patients with hypercholesterolemia were also given 5.1 gm. of psyllium twice daily in water or a placebo.
At the conclusion of the study, the patients given psyllium had an average total cholesterol that was 4.7% lower and the average LDL-cholesterol that was 6.7% lower than the placebo patients. The greatest changes in the total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were during the fourth week of the study for both the psyllium and placebo patients.
CONCLUSION: The authors conclude that taking 5.1 gm. of psyllium twice daily in water reduces total and LDL-cholesterol in men and women who have hypercholesterolemia and are on diet therapy. Diet therapy with the placebo also showed some reduction of the hypercholesterolemia. Greater reductions were seen when psyllium was added to the diet therapy.
Click on the above link to the author’s title to read the author’s abstract.