Psyllium Husk and Weight Loss

Woman measuring waist
Psyllium isn't likely to cause large amounts of weight loss. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Psyllium husk is a type of soluble fiber that's sometimes used in laxatives and for treating high blood sugar, constipation, diarrhea and high cholesterol. It absorbs water, which makes it bulkier and may help you feel fuller. The evidence is mixed, however, as to whether or not taking psyllium husk supplements can help you lose weight.

Research Results

Increasing fiber consumption may help with weight loss, potentially increasing satiety after meals so that you eat less food throughout the day, according to an article published in "Nutrition" in March 2005. Psyllium supplementation for six months led to a decrease in body mass index, according to a study published in "Clinical and Experimental Hypertension" in August 2007. An article published in "American Family Physician" in November 2004, however, notes that although psyllium appears to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, it doesn't appear to improve weight-loss results.

Dosage for Weight Loss

If you want to try psyllium for weight-loss purposes, consume psyllium at least 30 minutes before meals, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center. Take psyllium with a full glass of water, and don't take it at the same time as any medications you may be taking, as it may decrease their absorption. Always speak to your doctor before using supplements.

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