Bastyr Center for Natural Health, Seattle, Washington
Search
Health Information
Overview Health Conditions and Concerns Conditions A-M Conditions N-Z Healthy Lifestyle Tips Bastyr Health-E News News and Events Recommended Reading List Recipes National and Community Resources
Schedule an appointment today
Diabetes | Psyllium Fiber Decreases Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Woman Eating Yogurt

Psyllium, a soluble fiber, can be taken as a supplement and tends to cause less bloating and gas than many other fiber supplements.

Psyllium Fiber Decreases Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Adding some psyllium fiber to your diet might lower your chances of developing a set of risk factors for heart disease called metabolic syndrome, says a study in Obesity Reviews.

A risky condition

Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more of the following:

  • Alterations in blood fats (high total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high triglycerides,

  • Abdominal obesity

  • Elevated blood sugar

  • Elevated blood pressure

People with metabolic syndrome are at significantly higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke and developing diabetes than people without the condition. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is steadily increasing worldwide in parallel with rising obesity rates.

Fiber fights against metabolic syndrome

High-fiber diets are associated with lower body weight and smaller waist size, better blood fat (lipid) profiles, and lower blood sugar levels. But many people don’t get the recommended 25 to 30 grams of fiber they need each day.

Psyllium, a soluble fiber, can be taken as a supplement. When added to water, it takes on a gelatin-like consistency that may help create a feeling of fullness and decrease cholesterol and glucose absorption. Psyllium tends to cause less bloating and gas than many other fiber supplements since it doesn’t ferment in the intestines as easily.

A review of studies conducted over the past 32 years showed that taking a psyllium supplement helps decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. It seems to improve blood sugar levels, insulin response (how much insulin is released into the bloodstream after a meal), and blood fats. More studies are needed to determine if psyllium can help lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss. “Research to date does support the notion that the consumption of psyllium may provide benefits to many components of metabolic syndrome,” concluded the researchers.

Seize the reins

If you have metabolic syndrome, look at it as an opportunity to change the course of your health. There are plenty of things you can do in addition to adding psyllium to your daily regimen. To get out of the risk zone and into well-being:

  • Be active. Exercise helps lower your blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss, and enhance your metabolism so you burn more calories even when you’re at rest. It’s one of the single best things you can do to stop metabolic syndrome in its tracks! 

  • Clean up your diet. Switch out white bread and pastas for whole grain versions, skip the sugar in your coffee, opt for fiber-rich protein sources like beans and nuts in place of meat, and make sure you eat some fruits and veggies at every meal. Every little change helps add up to a healthier you.

  • Quit smoking. This is often easier said than done, so get the help you need to quit for good. Smoking increases your risk for countless health problems; quitting helps lower your risk of many of these right away.

(Obes Rev 2012;doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counseling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Learn More About It

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |

Find a Provider

Want to find the provider that's right for you? Learn more about our health care providers.  »



Bastyr Center Disclaimer
gif
gif

The health information contained in this site is not intended as medical advice and should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical care. Any products mentioned in studies cited in Healthnotes articles are not necessarily endorsed by Bastyr. As with any product, consult with a natural health practitioner to discuss what may be best for you.

gif

Appointments: 206.834.4100
Bastyr Center clinic appointments

Submit a contact request or call us to schedule an appointment »

Bastyr University Clinic in San Diego

Are you looking for Bastyr University Clinic, our new teaching clinic in San Diego? More »

Learn More About Our Services

Natural medicine can treat many types of conditions including:

More treatable health conditions »


Bastyr Center healthcare providers

Interested in finding a provider who's right for you? We recommend that your first visit at BCNH be with a Naturopathic Medicine Provider. »

Home  | Health Information  | Health Care Services  | Our Providers  | Patient Care  | Dispensaries

About BCNH  | Contact Us  | Appointments  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map | Bastyr University