Psyllium fibre improves lipid markers, delays CVD risk
Psyllium (Plantago ovata) fibre may help delay the process of atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in individuals with or without hypercholesterolemia by effectively improving conventional and alternative lipid markers, a recent study has found.
The investigators searched Medline, Embase, Cinahl and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials through 3 October 2017. Relevant data were extracted and risk of bias was assessed by independent reviewers.
A total of 28 trials were included in the analysis (n=1,924). Supplementation of a median dose of ∼10.2 g psyllium led to a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (MD, –0.33 mmol/L; 95 percent CI, –0.38 to –0.27; p<0.00001), nonhigh-density lipoprotein cholesterol (MD, –0.39 mmol/L; –0.50 to –0.27; p<0.00001) and apolipoprotein B (apob; MD, –0.05 g/L; –0.08 to –0.03; p<0.0001).
“Effect estimates for LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol were graded as moderate quality on the basis of downgrades for inconsistency and graded as high quality for apoB,” the investigators noted.
Included in the meta-analysis were randomized controlled trials with a duration of ≥3 weeks that assessed the effect of psyllium on blood lipids in individuals with or without hypercholesterolemia. The investigators pooled data using the generic inverse variance method with random-effects models, expressed as mean differences (MDs) with 95 percent CIs.
Heterogeneity was assessed using Cochran’s Q statistic and quantified with I2 statistic. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to assess the overall quality of the evidence.
“Studies have identified viscous dietary fibre as potentially attenuating cholesterol, including psyllium, which reduces LDL cholesterol and thus may complement CVD treatment,” the investigators said.