Psyllium Fiber - Need to Lower "Bad" Cholesterol?
by: Bruce Brightman - founder, LifeSource Vitamins
When it comes to cholesterol, you have the "good" and the "bad".
High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol
because it carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the
liver, where it's passed from the body. Removing excess cholesterol slows
the growth of plaque and is believed to protect against heart attack.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the "bad" cholesterol. It is the major
cholesterol carrier in the blood. Over time, LDL can slowly build up in the
walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain, forming plaque and
leading to atherosclerosis and increasing your risk of heart attack or
stroke. Having an LDL cholesterol above 160 mg per deciliter increases your
risk of heart disease.1
Recent research has pointed to the American Heart Association's support of
cholesterol-lowering medications to help reduce the risk of heart disease
and stroke.2 But an increased interest in alternative medicine
over prescription drugs by many Americans3 has increased focus
on nutritional supplements as way to help lower cholesterol.
A new study4 has found that psyllium fiber may be just the
supplement to decrease the need for cholesterol-lowering medications. In
the study, 68 patients took either 20 mg of simvastatin (a
cholesterol-lowering medication) plus placebo, 10 mg of
simvastatin plus placebo, or 10 mg of simvastatin plus 15 g of
psyllium daily for 8 weeks. Researchers measured total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and
apolipoprotein B after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment.
At the end of 8 weeks the psyllium group had a greater decrease in LDL
cholesterol (63 mg per deciliter) compared to the group taking 10 mg of
simvastatin plus placebo (55 mg per deciliter). Notably, the psyllium
group's fall in LDL was the same as that of the group taking 20 mg of
simvastatin. Similar results were seen for apolipoprotein B and
total cholesterol while no significant changes in triglyceride
or HDL cholesterol levels occurred.
For the researchers, "Psyllium soluble fiber should be
considered as a safe and well-tolerated dietary supplement
option to enhance LDL and apolipoprotein B lowering."
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supplements and more info at LifeSource Vitamins
"Cholesterol" posted on the American Heart Association Website
Grundy, S. M., J. I. Cleeman, et al. (2004). "Implications of recent
clinical trials for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult
Treatment Panel III Guidelines." J Am Coll Cardiol 44(3): 720-32
Eisenberg DM. Trends in Alternative Medicine Use in the United States,
1990-1997: Results of a Follow-up National Survey Journal of the American Medical Association 1998;280:1569-1575
Moreyra, A. E., A. C. Wilson, et al. (2005). "Effect of combining psyllium
fiber with simvastatin in lowering cholesterol."
Arch Intern Med 165(10): 1161-6
Bruce Brightman – founder
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