Products containing psyllium may lower both total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic, and Metamucil contains psyllium husk as its active ingredient. The manufacturer reports that Metamucil powder formulations contain 3 grams of psyllium per dose.Continue Reading
Side effects of using Metamucil may include gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation or nausea, according to the Mayo Clinic.
When consumed as part of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet at a dose of 1.78 grams per serving, with 4 servings consumed per day at mealtimes, psyllium has been shown to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol significantly relative to the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet alone, according to a randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1992. A meta-analysis of studies comparing pysllium to placebo on a variety of dietary backgrounds, which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that pysllium lowered both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in a dose- and time- dependent fashion. The meta-analysis included 21 randomized controlled trials.
The mechanism whereby soluble fibers such as psyllium lower cholesterol is unclear. Proposed mechanisms include reducing glycemic responses to meals and preventing bile salt re-absorption, according to a review article in Food & Function.Learn more about Vitamins & Supplements