Great Gut Blog

Is Psyllium a Prebiotic?

Posted by Brad Dennis, Ph.D. on

Is Psyllium a Prebiotic?

Updated for 2023

Recently, there's been a buzz about psyllium husk and its potential as a prebiotic powerhouse. Does it really nourish the good bacteria in our gut? The answer, backed by a series of rigorous studies, is a resounding yes. Psyllium husk isn't just a dietary supplement; it's a proven ally for your digestive health, feeding and fostering the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

What Is Psyllium?

Psyllium, also called ispaghula, is a fiber made from the seed husks of the plant Plantago Ovata. It’s most often used as a laxative, but research has discovered it also has benefits to the heart and pancreas. Psyllium absorbs water and stimulates healthy bacteria, so it can significantly help with both constipation and diarrhea.

What Are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are fibers that are fermented by the gut’s microflora when they reach the colon. They are non-digestible food ingredients that can’t be broken down inside the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, but only upon their arrival to the colon. They are actually food for the natural good bacteria in the body.

Psyllium as a Prebiotic

If you encounter a list of all the prebiotics out there, you don’t often see psyllium included in the list. That’s because it ferments much more slowly than any other prebiotic.

There have been studies demonstrating that, when combined with probiotics and synbiotics (products containing both prebiotics and probiotics), psyllium’s effectiveness is considerably increased. Not only can it regulate bowel movements and improve gut health, but it can also help treat inflammatory bowel disease.

Apart from these benefits, psyllium husk can effectively reduce cholesterol and lower blood glucose levels, as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Many people may in fact be using psyllium without realizing it. It’s one of the major ingredients in products like Metamucil and Fiberall.

While psyllium has its merits, it's not the ultimate prebiotic choice. Excessive use can sometimes lead to discomfort like abdominal cramping, or even changes in digestion, including increased bowel movements or diarrhea. Seeking the best in prebiotic fiber? Turn to Great Gut's Prebiotic Fiber Powder. Our exclusive formula blends four premium soluble fibers, each selected for their proven effectiveness. Together, they harmonize your gut biome and elevate your digestive health to new heights. Pick yours up today!


Pharmacological Basis for the Medicinal Use of Psyllium Husk (Ispaghula) in Constipation and Diarrhea

Evaluation of Prebiotic Potential of Refined Psyllium (Plantago Ovata) Fiber in Healthy Women



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