Background: Soluble fiber supplements are recommended to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). We evaluated the LDL-C-lowering effect of psyllium husk added to low-dose simvastatin therapy. Methods: In a 12-week blinded placebo-controlled study, patients were randomized to receive 20 mg of simvastatin plus placebo, 10 mg of simvastatin plus placebo, or 10 mg of simvastatin plus 15 g of psyllium (Metamucil) daily. Levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B were determined after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Results: The study group comprised 68 patients. All treatments were well tolerated, and after 8 weeks the mean LDL-C levels in the group receiving 10 mg of simvastatin plus placebo fell by 55 mg/dL (1.42 mmol/L) from baseline, compared with 63 mg/dL (1.63 mmol/L) in the group receiving 10 mg of simvastatin plus psyllium (P = .03). The mean lowering of LDL-C in the group receiving 20 mg of simvastatin plus placebo was the same as that in the group receiving 10 mg of simvastatin plus psyllium. Similar results were seen for apolipoprotein B and total cholesterol. No significant changes from baseline triglyceride or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels occurred. Conclusions: Dietary psyllium supplementation in patients taking 10 mg of simvastatin is as effective in lowering cholesterol as 20 mg of simvastatin alone. Psyllium soluble fiber should be considered as a safe and well-tolerated dietary supplement option to enhance LDL-C and apolipoprotein B lowering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine