How do psyllium husks work?
Psyllium husks contain approx. 85% fibers. These water-soluble fibers can absorb water in large quantities – up to 40 times their own weight.
When psyllium husks mix with water, or any other liquid, they start absorbing the water immediately. So when ingested with water, they swell up in the gut and make a lot of mucilage. The result is a jelly-like mass in the gut that provide fullness in the stomach and gut, stimulate the movements in the gut (the peristaltic movements), and stimulate normal bowel elimination. In addition, the mucilage formed from the fibers have a lubricating effect.
All together, the fibers in the psyllium husks provide you with a soft stool that may easily pass through your gut and the psyllium husks thus help you to smooth and regular visits on the bathroom. Psyllium husks can also help control your blood cholesterol.
Daily intake of fibers is health beneficial and may have a regulating effect on the gut. The official nutritional advice from the Danish National Board of Health states that women should ingest 25 g of dietary fibers daily, while men should ingest 31.5 g of dietary fibers daily.
Unfortunately, people tend to ingest too few dietary fibers to maintain a balanced digestion and a functional gut. It is thus advisable to eat food containing large amounts of dietary fibers, or use diet supplements with high levels of water-soluble dietary fibers, e.g. psyllium husks.