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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
4 days ago
No association exists between physical activity and the risk of urological cancer, according to a population-based prospective study in Japan.
5 days ago
Patients with childhood-onset inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to die than the general population, a study suggests.
5 days ago
Reduced caloric intake results in a significant improvement in glucose metabolism and body-fat composition, including liver-fat content, according to a study. Changes in ferritin levels appear to mediate the striking reduction in liver fat.
Pearl Toh, 5 days ago
A latest study at ISC 2019 shows that even patients with large-core stroke damage can have a good outcome after mechanical clot removal with endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), depending on the size of the infarct and time lapses between stroke onset and treatment.