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  1. Default Psyllium Husks & Nutrient Absorption

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    In an old thread on psyllium husks, Wotan advised against taking psyllium with food/supplements as the husks would interfere with absorption of minerals etc. How strong an effect is this? Enough to justify the effort of taking them away from food, or not enough to worry too much about assuming your having a fairly healthy diet? Assuming the effect is large enough, how long before/after a meal should the psyllium be taken? Is an hour after/a couple of hours before enough? Some websites seem to suggest the paste it forms coats the bowel as it goes through so not sure if 2 hours before food would be enough time. Am I over analysing all this?

    p.s. Interestingly, all the warnings I've found about this simply suggest avoiding taking with medications or 'your daily vitamin tablet', seemingly assuming that the tablet would be your main source of micro-nutrients for the day. Sadly indicative of the modern diet?
    Meh!
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    Quote Quote
    Originally Posted by Fiji View Post
    In an old thread on psyllium husks, Wotan advised against taking psyllium with food/supplements as the husks would interfere with absorption of minerals etc. How strong an effect is this? Enough to justify the effort of taking them away from food, or not enough to worry too much about assuming your having a fairly healthy diet? Assuming the effect is large enough, how long before/after a meal should the psyllium be taken? Is an hour after/a couple of hours before enough? Some websites seem to suggest the paste it forms coats the bowel as it goes through so not sure if 2 hours before food would be enough time. Am I over analysing all this?

    p.s. Interestingly, all the warnings I've found about this simply suggest avoiding taking with medications or 'your daily vitamin tablet', seemingly assuming that the tablet would be your main source of micro-nutrients for the day. Sadly indicative of the modern diet?
    YES

    Why are you taking the husks anyway?
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    Originally Posted by Gareth83 View Post
    YES

    Why are you taking the husks anyway?
    Thicken things up. Since I don't have a colon anymore, no starchy carbs with meals = pretty much water coming out the other end. Psyllium works well as a no carb substitute. However since I'll be taking it with most meals, obviously nutrient absorption becomes a problem if the interference of the husks is great.
    Meh!
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    Hi Fiji. Well, as you've probably realised by now the colon is pretty much involved with extracting water from faecal material. I presume therefore that your diet and the physical end result is pretty well different to the vast majority of people here. Fair play to you for sticking at things!!

    Anyway, the main "problem" with psyllium (apart from things like being allergic to it etc) is that it is a simple, inert bulking agent. It therefore "dilutes" the nutrients that your intestinal wall is trying to absorb. If you eat psyllium with food then the amount of food in contact with the intestinal surfaces is reduced ... considerably so in fact.

    The other factor to take into account is that this large, soggy inert mass also speeds up peristalsis. In other words everything moves through the bowel system that much quicker. This is, of course, precisely why people take it. It "regulates" bowel movements. No, it doesn't ... it just makes you poo more and more quickly! There's no regulation as such involved at all! The problem here is that the wall has an absorbtion rate that the pysillium is simply reducing.

    If you want to take psyllium then I think its best to take it between meals, maybe at bedtime say? This goes for all such bulking agents (pectins etc).

    I don't know what you think would be best for you in your circumstances but have you thought of eating something like porrige? Oats are pretty bulky too and unlike psyllium actually contain nutrients.

    If you really like psyllium though and need to forgo oat's carb contents (presumably because your intestinal flora is drastically reduced/different to others) then I personally would simply take extra vitamins/minerals to account for the reduced exposure within the bowel.

    As an afterthought I should point out that there are other intestinal "aids" available that are not inert bulking agents at all. Epsom salts are one. They absorb water and so keep the stool soft and make it more easily passable. In Fiji's case this is precisely what he doesn't need I would say. This is because what gets absorbed is more than water, its nutrients as well.

    There are also clays available, kaolin (china clay) is probably the best known one. These actually adsorb ions and hold them within a molecular cage as it were through electrical charges. These really really do interfere with nutrient availibilty. This is good if the molecule is an undesired one (bacterial toxins, heavy metals etc) but is a bit of a bummer (sorry, couldn't resist that one) if its a normal, needed electrolyte like pottasium etc.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Wotan; 22-09-2008 at 01:49 PM.
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    Good post Wotan
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    Disclaimer: All posts on these forums are for information and discussion purposes only and solely the views of the forum member who posted. No posts constitute or replace medical advice. Any information should be considered in regard to specific circumstances. All advice is followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research or doctors advice.
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    Thanks, that explains things nicely. My problem currently is that for the next couple of months (NHS waiting lists permitting) I've only got abot 2/3rds of my small bowel in use. Obviously in combination with lack of large bowel, fluid absorption isn't the best. Immodium & starchy foods (oats, potatoes, white bread) sort things out nicely but I'm trying to start a low carb diet. I've been wanting to for a while but keep bottling it, my main concern being training performance. Since I can't train for the time being I've got no excuses anymore! Anyway, I'll stick to using the psyllium between meals like you suggest, it'll only be for a little while anyway so shouldn't be too much hassle trying to remember to take it. Cheers Wotan!

    Edit: Can't figure out how to rep you anymore, but if I could I would!
    Last edited by Fiji; 22-09-2008 at 02:29 PM.
    Meh!
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    I think the rep system has been done away with now hasn't it? I think we have to use the "thanks" button or something. If you get ten of these "thank you"s MP send a troupe of dancing girls round to your house where they get you breakfast in bed and do the washing up afterwards.



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    Disclaimer: All posts on these forums are for information and discussion purposes only and solely the views of the forum member who posted. No posts constitute or replace medical advice. Any information should be considered in regard to specific circumstances. All advice is followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research or doctors advice.

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