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RMJ. 2010; 35(2): 149-151

Placebo controlled study of psyllium husk to increase HDL cholesterol

Samina Karim, Shah Murad, Manzoor Ahmed Unar, Ghazi Mahmood, Moosa Khan, Amar Lal Ghurbakhshani.


To examine the effects of Psyllium husk on HDLCholesterol levels.
Patient and Methods
This single blind placebo controlled study was conducted at Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Basic Medical Sciences Institute (BMSI), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Karachi, from January 2006 to July 2006. Forty hyperlipidemic patients were included with 20 serving as control and 20 as treatment group who were given Psyllium husk, 9 gram daily, in divided doses for the period of three months. Patients with peptic ulcer, renal disease, hepatic disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and alcoholism were excluded from the study. HDL cholesterol was determined by using a commercial kit (Eli Tech Diagnostic, France). Data were expressed as the mean±SD and “t” test was applied to determine statistical significance.
Two patients were dropped from the study due to low compliance of metallic taste of psyllium husk. Psyllium husk increased HDL cholesterol in 90 days of treatment from 34.61±1.85 to 36.77±1.96 (mg/dl), which was highly significant statistically. Percentage change was 6.24%.
Psyllium husk increased HDL cholesterol by 6% after 90days treatment. (Rawal Med J 2010;35: ).
Key words
Psyllium husk, HDL cholesterol, atherosclerosis.
One in every 2.6 deaths in United States is caused by cardiovascular disease.1The American Heart Association recognizes both LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol as strong and independent risk factors of heart disease. However, raising HDL cholesterol levels is thought to provide greater protection than lowering LDL cholesterol, as every 1% increase in HDL cholesterol decreases the risk for heart disease by 2% in men and 3% in women.2 It is easy for nearly everyone to significantly lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL levels with diet, exercise and supplements, that it seems extreme for health care providers to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs until other simpler measures have been taken and failed. The exception to this would be if you are in imminent danger of having a heart attack and need to take extreme measures.3 HDL cholesterol can be further categorized into specific subtypes. Its most important function is the role it plays in cholesterol transport. High levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with reduced platelet activity, another key indicator of arterial and venous health.4 Many drug groups increase HDL cholesterol, including psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid.5 Moreover, psyllium by decreasing LDL cholesterol changes the LDL-C/HDL-C ratio to normalize the arterial and venous health.6,7 The aim of this study was to determine the effects of Psyllium husk on HDLCholesterol levels as compared to placebo.

This study was conducted in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, from January to July 2006. Forty pa

Key words: Psyllium husk, HDL cholesterol, atherosclerosis.

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