Psyllium is a good way to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, an analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in November 2018 has confirmed. This seed grain is sold as a fiber supplement and laxative; Metamucil is one brand.
The analysis pooled data from 28 clinical trials involving 1,924 people, most with elevated blood cholesterol, and lasting an average of about 12 weeks. It found that a medium dose of psyllium (10 grams, about 2 teaspoons, which supplies 7 grams of soluble fiber) lowered LDL by an average of 13 mg/dL, or about 10 percent.
Psyllium also lowered blood levels of apolipoprotein-B and non-HDL cholesterol, two other markers ofcoronary risk. Higher doses of psyllium did not produce additional benefits.
Psyllium plays a prominent role in the cholesterol-lowering Portfolio Diet.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.