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Psyllium Fiber

How a Psyllium Fiber Diet Benefits You

Clinical studies have shown that taken daily, 7 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium husk, the amount in 3 to 4 servings of Metamucil®, may help reduce heart disease risk by lowering cholesterol.

Psyllium husk has a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicines. Metamucil, which contains psyllium, was introduced to the United States almost 80 years ago.

Psyllium husk is derived from the seed of the plantago ovata plant. Besides plantago ovata, psyllium is also known as ispaghula and isapgol. Plantago ovata is an annual herb native to Asia, the Mediterranean region, and North Africa. Psyllium grows in sandy and silty soils.

Psyllium is extensively cultivated in India and Pakistan. India provides about 85 percent of the psyllium available in the world market. The United States is the world's largest importer of psyllium husk.

Psyllium has a long history of use throughout the world. It has been used in traditional medicine in the United States, Europe, India, and China.

In the U.S., psyllium husk is most often used as a bulk-fiber laxative, in foods or in various fiber supplements. In fact, psyllium is a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of a health claim in the labeling of foods and dietary supplements containing psyllium husk. The health claim states that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 7 grams of soluble fiber per day from psyllium, as found in Metamucil, may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol.

Psyllium is a bulk-forming fiber. Other fibers that belong to the class of bulk-forming fibers are cellulose, methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, karaya, malt soup extract, polycarbophil, and wheat bran. Bulk-forming fibers are laxatives because of their water-holding properties. They exert their action primarily through mechanical effects by bulking the colonic contents and decreasing transit time.

Whether you are 35 or 65, it is never too early or too late to start to reduce the risk of heart disease.

There are several risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, including lack of exercise, obesity, family history, smoking, and elevated cholesterol levels. Some of these factors can be modified by lifestyle changes. For example, scientific evidence shows that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Metamucil provides an easy and convenient way to take positive steps toward reducing your risk of heart disease by adding soluble fiber from psyllium to your heart-healthy diet.

Talk to your doctor now to understand how Metamucil, along with lifestyle changes such as exercise and a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, may help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol.

Metamucil also helps your body maintain healthy blood sugar levels as part of your diet*—a benefit not provided by clear mixing fiber supplements. It works in your digestive system by gelling and trapping sugars so they can be slowly released and absorbed in your body.