By Rob Holston
June 11, 2006
The first local informative medical web site I found in my opinion had some alarming information and was presented in a manner typical of the medical profession. I think warnings are important, but they probably should come after the basic definition of what the product is. This medical web site warned that the most important things to know about psyllium are not to take this product "without a doctor's permission if you are presently experiencing stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, rectal bleeding or difficulty in swallowing." (Although this may be good advice, it certainly puts a negative connotation of the very notion of eating psyllium.) "Take it with enough water or it may cause you to choke!" (How very encouraging!) And last but not least, "If you experience chest pain, vomiting or difficulty in swallowing after taking psyllium, seek immediate medical attention."
With an introduction like that,
who is going to want to go near the stuff? And how unfortunate
it is that we have medical institutions, supposedly looking out
for the best health interest of our communities that are doing
little or nothing to encourage consumption of this healthful
food. Don't they know that it helps with or prevents the following:
blood sugar levels for diabetics, appendicitis, breast cancer,
candida, cholesterol, colitis, colon and colorectal cancer, constipation,
coronary heart disease, dental caries, diabetes, diverticular
disease, gallstones, hemorrhoids, hiatus hernia, hypertension
& stroke, infection, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, prostate
cancer, ulcers and varicose veins? I guess not!
Now this sounds like something we all should be interested in. In my opinion, if the entire U.S. medical community would promote positive information on fiber intake and encourage all adults to add 10 grams of psyllium to their meals and snacks each day, the entire country could flatulate itself to good health and many hospitals would be transformed into retirement homes for very old and very healthy Americans.
The medical information web site WARNS pregnant and nursing women about psyllium but Jackson INVITES pregnant and breast-feeding women to use psyllium by stating that: "Fiber is generally recommended during pregnancy when constipation can be a problem. Remember that fiber is not a laxative which is the term that the FDA makes manufacturers use on the label. Psyllium is no different than oatmeal or fruits, which is always a part of a healthy diet. These are all healthy soluble fiber."
"Who should not take psyllium?" is the sub-title on the medical web site that provides three warnings. With health recommendations like this, it is no wonder that most Americans are malnourished and overweight. The question should ask: "Who SHOULD eat psyllium?" and the answer should read: EVERYONE should "eat" psyllium. Please understand, people "take" medicine, like pills & tablets but they "eat" food and, after all, psyllium is a healthy food, not a pharmaceutical. The Jackson site states: "Everyone should get a healthy amount of soluble and insoluble fiber in their food each day. There are many beneficial effects of fiber. It promotes bowel regularity and probably reduces the chances of heart disease and certain cancers. Psyllium should be viewed as nothing more than a part of the foods that you eat to stay healthy each day. There is a great deal known about fiber. "
Fiber intake in the average American is 11 grams per day. This is nearly 2/3's BELOW the MINIMUM RECOMMENDED INTAKE. I wonder how many grams of fiber a day the PeaceHealth folks are feeding their bed ridden fiber-deficient patients?
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Contact Rob at holston[at]kpunet.net
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