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Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Feb;59(2):395-400.

Effect of Plantago ovata (psyllium) husk and seeds on sterol metabolism: studies in normal and ileostomy subjects.

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Gastro-Intestinal Laboratory, Western General Hospital, Edinburg, UK.


The diet of six normal and five ileostomy subjects was supplemented with 10 g/d Plantago ovata psyllium husk for 3 wk while six normal and four ileostomy subjects received 10 g/d psyllium seed. Fecal and ileostomy output, sterol excretion, serum cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured before and after supplementation. The husk had no effect on cholesterol or triglyceride concentrations in either normal or ileostomy subjects. Total and high-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations were reduced on average by 6.4% and 9.3%, respectively, in the normal group after seed supplementation. No effect on fecal bile acid excretion in the normal subjects was found after both regimes. Ileostomy bile acids were increased (on average 25%) after seed supplementation, whereas no effect on cholesterol concentrations was found. These results suggest that psyllium seed might be more effective than the husk in reducing serum cholesterol, that this cholesterol-lowering effect is not mediated by increased fecal bile acid losses, and increased ileal losses of bile acids might be compensated for by enhanced reabsorption in the colon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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