Psyllium is a type of fiber commonly used as a gentle, bulk-forming laxative.Being a soluble fiber, psyllium is able to pass through your digestive system without being completely broken down or absorbed.Instead, it absorbs water and becomes a viscous compound that benefits constipation, diarrhea, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight loss.This article tells you all you need to know about psyllium, including 7 ways it can benefit your health.Psyllium is a soluble fiber derived from the seeds of Plantago ovata, an herb mainly grown in India.
It’s used as a dietary supplement and is usually found in the form of husk, granules, capsules or powder. However, it can also be obtained through fortified breakfast cereals and baked goods.Psyllium husk is the main active ingredient in Metamucil, a fiber supplement often used to reduce constipation.Because of its excellent water solubility, psyllium can absorb water and become a thick, viscous compound that resists digestion in the small intestine.
Its resistance to digestion allows it to help regulate high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels. It can also aid weight management and relieve diarrhea and constipation.Moreover, unlike some other potent sources of fiber, psyllium is well tolerated.Psyllium is used as a bulk-forming laxative. It works by increasing stool size and therefore helps relieve constipation.
Initially, it works by binding to partially digested food that’s passing from the stomach into the small intestine.It then helps with the absorption of water, which increases the size and moisture of stools. The end product is bigger and more easily passable stools.One study found that psyllium had a greater effect than wheat bran on the moisture, total weight and texture of stools.