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Arch Intern Med. 2005 May 23;165(10):1161-6.

Effect of combining psyllium fiber with simvastatin in lowering cholesterol.

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Division of Cardiology Lipid Disorder Center, Department of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick, USA.



Soluble fiber supplements are recommended to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). We evaluated the LDL-C-lowering effect of psyllium husk added to low-dose simvastatin therapy.


In a 12-week blinded placebo-controlled study, patients were randomized to receive 20 mg of simvastatin plus placebo, 10 mg of simvastatin plus placebo, or 10 mg of simvastatin plus 15 g of psyllium (Metamucil) daily. Levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B were determined after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment.


The study group comprised 68 patients. All treatments were well tolerated, and after 8 weeks the mean LDL-C levels in the group receiving 10 mg of simvastatin plus placebo fell by 55 mg/dL (1.42 mmol/L) from baseline, compared with 63 mg/dL (1.63 mmol/L) in the group receiving 10 mg of simvastatin plus psyllium (P = .03). The mean lowering of LDL-C in the group receiving 20 mg of simvastatin plus placebo was the same as that in the group receiving 10 mg of simvastatin plus psyllium. Similar results were seen for apolipoprotein B and total cholesterol. No significant changes from baseline triglyceride or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels occurred.


Dietary psyllium supplementation in patients taking 10 mg of simvastatin is as effective in lowering cholesterol as 20 mg of simvastatin alone. Psyllium soluble fiber should be considered as a safe and well-tolerated dietary supplement option to enhance LDL-C and apolipoprotein B lowering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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