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Statins boosted by premeal psyllium fibre

20 Oct 2018
Statin side effects are found to be largely related to patients’ negative expectations.

Concomitant use of psyllium fibres, taken before meals, appears to enhance the cholesterol-lowering effects of statins, according to a recent meta-analysis.

The systematic review yielded three randomized controlled clinical studies eligible for inclusion. Two studies enrolled participants with high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels at baseline, one of which assessed the efficacy of atorvastatin (study 1) while the other, simvastatin (study 2). The third study involved healthy individuals with normal baseline LDL-C.

In both studies with hypercholesterolaemic participants, psyllium supplementation improved the effects of statins. For instance, in study 2, a lower dose of simvastatin (10 mg), when given with 15.3 g/day of psyllium fibre, delivered a similar efficacy to that of the 20-mg dose. The same was true for study 3, which employed lovastatin.

The meta-analysis showed that study 1 (standard difference in means, –0.541; 95 percent CI, –0.959 to –0.134; p=0.009) and study 2 (standard difference in means, –0.661; –1.225 to –0.068; p=0.029) demonstrated the largest effects, with both studies showing a statistically significant advantage of psyllium supplementation to statin treatment alone.

This effect was absent in study 3 (standard differences in means, –0.229; –1.032 to 0.573; p=0.576), which was expected.

Pooling all three studies together showed that psyllium fibre supplementation significantly improved the efficacy of statins in reducing LDL-C levels (standard differences in means, –0.528; –0.837 to –0.218; p=0.001).

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Most Read Articles
5 days ago

Dr Michael Lim, a senior consultant at the Paediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Division, National University Hospital, Singapore, speaks to Roshini Claire Anthony on the rare disease that is cystic fibrosis.

3 days ago
Susceptibility‐guided therapy is as effective as empiric modified bismuth quadruple therapy for the first-line treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection, with both yielding excellent eradication rates, as shown in a recent trial.
5 days ago
It appears that long-term consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acid does not influence the risk of incident hypertension in middle-aged and older men, suggests a US study.
3 days ago
The risk factors and outcomes associated with an increased risk of permanent pacing include atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, multivalve surgery and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III/IV, a recent study has found.