Psyllium Supplement: Possible Benefits, Known Risks, and More

Recently, a fiber supplement known as psyllium has become popular for its possible weight loss effects. This article examines its benefits, risks, and possible effects on your well-being.

What Is Psyllium?

According to the American Botanical Council, psyllium is a soluble fiber obtained from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. It is primarily used as a laxative and is also available as a dietary supplement.

Functions of Psyllium

Kenneth Brown, MD, a gastroenterologist, said psyllium forms a gel-like substance that can boost bowel regularity when mixed with liquid. He also said this can benefit individuals who suffer from diarrhea and constipation.

Forms of Psyllium

Psyllium is a dietary supplement that is available in multiple forms. These include:

● Powder
● Gummies
● Thins, or wafers
● Capsules

Possible Health Benefits of Psyllium

In addition to regulating bowel movements and improving digestion, psyllium could also have the following advantages:

Digestion and Gut Health

According to a research review published in July 2022 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, chronic constipation affects up to 12 percent of adults. For these cases, psyllium acts as a stool softener and laxative.

It can also help relieve hemorrhoid symptoms, such as discomfort, itching, and rectal bleeding.

Heart Health

According to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine, adding psyllium husk to your diet could lower your blood pressure.

Possible Risks and Side Effects of Psyllium

Psyllium comes with multiple health benefits, but it can also have negative effects on certain individuals.


Psyllium is not recommended for people with a history of bowel obstruction. Dr. Brown said it could expand and block the esophagus or intestine of such individuals.

The supplement is also not recommended for people with kidney diseases. If you need to do so, it should be taken one hour before or two hours after taking other medications.

Side Effects

Psyllium may result in different side effects, including:

● Bloating
● Abdominal pain and cramping
● Frequent bowel movements
● Nausea
● Loose stools of diarrhea

Dosage of Psyllium

Generally, studies have revealed that taking about 8 to 10 grams of psyllium daily could help with overall gut support and blood sugar balance. However, you should start with small dosages and increase gradually as directed on the product’s packaging.


Psyllium is a supplemental fiber for regulating bowel movements and relieving constipation. However, it should be avoided if you have a history of bowel obstruction and swallowing disorders. If you are taking other medications, you should consult your doctor before adding psyllium to your diet.