Adults need 30g of fibre per day to support a healthy digestive system. However, the majority of people in the UK are only reaching 18g. One way you can naturally increase your fibre intake is through psyllium husk.
Fibre is essential to help keep our digestive system healthy and prevent constipation, as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
Psyllium husk is a type of soluble fibre that can naturally increase your fibre intake. It works by binding with water to form a gel which moves through the digestive tract. This can help regulate bowel movements, increase levels of satiety and prevent blood sugar spikes.
Prebiotics are a type of fibre that reach the large intestine largely undigested and are fermented by our gut bacteria. This helps them grow and thrive in the gut and produce beneficial compounds such as short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs have several beneficial effects throughout the body including reducing inflammation, helping to maintain a healthy weight and support the immune response.
Taking a psyllium husk supplement alongside a friendly bacteria supplement ensures they are able to colonise and thrive in your gut.
Psyllium husk and IBS
When it comes to fibre and IBS, it can be a little confusing. Too little fibre can cause symptoms, whilst the same is true for too much fibre!
Psyllium husk has dual functionality - it is able to thicken loose stools and loosen hard to pass stools. Therefore it can be helpful for those with IBS regardless of their IBS subtype.
Psyllium husk and IBD
Studies have demonstrated that the use of psyllium husk in the treatment of IBD related diarrhoea as well as gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal pain, urgency, bloating and loose stools) is as effective as the prescription drug mesalamine in maintaining remission. However, too much psyllium for those with IBD may have undesirable effects so this should be discussed with your GP first.
When to take your psyllium husk supplement
We recommend building your intake of psyllium husk slowly over a period of time. Psyllium husk is fermented by our gut bacteria and a by-product of this is gas production - this is completely normal however, increasing your fibre intake too quickly may result in painful bloating.
Take up to 2 capsules of psyllium husk, 3 times a day. We recommend taking with a meal to help regulate blood sugar levels.
It is recommended to avoid taking psyllium around the same time as other medications as it may delay absorption.
Psyllium husk is completely safe to take alongside any of our Probio7 products.
For more information about psyllium husk and if its right for you, book a free 1-1 nutrition consultation with one of our nutrition team here.