Psyllium Fiber Decreases Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Psyllium, a soluble fiber, can be taken as a supplement and tends to cause less bloating and gas than many other fiber supplements
A risky condition
Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more of the following:
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:
(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.