The effects of psyllium supplementation on body weight, body mass index and waist circumference in adults: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(5):859-872. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1553140. Epub 2019 Mar 18.


Background: Previous studies reported inconsistent findings regarding the effects of psyllium supplementation on obesity measures. This systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to summarize data from available randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on the effect of psyllium supplementation on body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC) in adults.Methods: PubMed, SCOPUS, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant articles up to August 2018. The effect sizes were presented as weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) by using random effects model. To detect dose-response relationships, we used fractional polynomial modeling.Results: A total of 22 RCTs were included. Meta-analysis did not find any significant effect of psyllium supplementation on body weight (MD: -0.28 kg, 95% CI: -0.78, 0.21, p = 0.268), BMI (MD: -0.19 kg/m2, 95% CI: -0.55, 0.15, p = 0.27) and WC (MD: -1.2 cm, 95% CI: -2.6, 0.2, p = 0.09). Subgroup analysis showed that psyllium dosage, kind of psyllium administration, duration of trial, study design, sample size, and gender were potential sources of heterogeneity. Moreover, there was nonlinear association between duration of psyllium consumption, BMI and WC.Conclusion: Psyllium supplementation does not reduce body weight, BMI, and WC significantly.

Keywords: Psyllium; anthropometry; body weight; meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Psyllium / administration & dosage
  • Psyllium / pharmacology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Waist Circumference / drug effects*


  • Psyllium