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Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Sep;72(3):784-9.

An unfermented gel component of psyllium seed husk promotes laxation as a lubricant in humans.

Author information

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53706, USA. jmarlett@nurisci.wisc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In addition to increasing stool weight, supplements of psyllium seed husk produce stools that are slick and gelatinous.

OBJECTIVE:

Our purpose was to test the hypothesis that a gel-forming fraction of psyllium escapes microbial fermentation and is responsible for the characteristics that enhance laxation.

DESIGN:

Fifteen healthy adults consumed controlled diets for two 7-d periods, one of which included 8.8 g dietary fiber provided by 15 g/d of a psyllium seed husk preparation. All stools were collected and evaluated and diet was monitored throughout.

RESULTS:

Psyllium significantly increased the apparent viscosity of an aqueous stool extract, stool moisture, and wet and dry stool weights. A very viscous fraction, not present in low-fiber stool and containing predominantly 2 sugars that are also found in abundance in psyllium husk, was isolated from psyllium stool.

CONCLUSIONS:

In contrast with other viscous fibers that are fermented completely in the colon, a component of psyllium is not fermented. This gel provided lubrication that facilitated propulsion of colon contents and produced a stool that was bulkier and more moist than were stools resulting with use of comparable amounts of other bowel-regulating fiber sources.

PMID:
10966900
DOI:
10.1093/ajcn/72.3.784
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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