Nutriceuticals in cardiovascular disease: psyllium

Cardiol Rev. 2007 May-Jun;15(3):116-22. doi: 10.1097/01.crd.0000242964.74467.27.


In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of dietary fiber in health maintenance and disease prevention. A deficiency of fiber in the Western diet may be contributing to the current epidemics of diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease (CAD), and colonic cancer. The awareness of fiber as a dietary supplement may have contributed to the reported 30% decline in death rate from CAD observed over the past 15 years. Psyllium is a soluble gel-forming fiber that has been shown to bind to the bile acids in the gut and prevent their normal reabsorption, similar to the bile acid sequestrant drugs. Psyllium is useful as an adjunct to dietary therapy (step 1 or step 2 American Heart Association [AHA] diet) in the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia. In combination with other cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, psyllium provides an added benefit on cholesterol lowering, and is well tolerated and cost-effective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diagnosis
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / mortality
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Psyllium / adverse effects
  • Psyllium / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Psyllium