High-fibre intake has been shown to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome (MS), cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Psyllium is one of the most widely used fibre supplements because it is reasonably cheap and is better tolerated than other fibre supplements. The review of the literature supports the notion that the consumption of psyllium provides benefits to many components of the MS. Psyllium supplementation does improve glucose levels and insulin response, blood pressure, as well as lipid profile in both animals and humans, thereby reducing metabolic risk factors. Appetite has also been reported to decrease after the consumption of psyllium in most studies. Collectively, psyllium supplementation could be promoted to patients who present MS risk factors, such as hypercholesterolaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia and hyperglycaemia. It may also play a role in controlling body weight, body composition, appetite and hypertension, but further investigation is still required.
© 2012 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity.