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Psyllium Fiber - Need to Lower "Bad" Cholesterol? by: Bruce Brightman - LifeSource Vitamins - Article
Psyllium Fiber - Need to Lower "Bad" Cholesterol? by: Bruce Brightman  - LifeSource Vitamins - Article

Psyllium Fiber - Need to Lower "Bad" Cholesterol? by: Bruce Brightman - LifeSource Vitamins - Article
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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. 1

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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1 "Cholesterol" posted on the American Heart Association Website www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4488

2 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

3 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

4 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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