Psyllium, not pectin or guar gum, alters lipoprotein and biliary bile acid composition and fecal sterol excretion in the hamster.


Trautwein EA, Rieckhoff D, Kunath-Rau A






Different soluble dietary fibers known to alter cholesterol metabolism were fed to golden Syrian hamsters, and their specific impact on lipoproteins, biliary bile acid profile, and fecal sterol excretion was evaluated. Semipurified diets containing 20% fat; 0.12% cholesterol; and 8% of psyllium (PSY); high (hePE) and low (lePE) esterified pectin; or high (hvGG) and low (lvGG) viscous guar gum were fed for 5 wk. Compared to control, PSY caused a significant reduction in plasma cholesterol (2.9 +/- 0.5 vs. 5.5 +/- 0.5 mmol/L), whereas hePE, lePE, hvGG, or lvGG had no apparent effect on plasma lipids. Hepatic total and esterified cholesterol were substantially decreased with PSY, pectin and guar gum, whereby PSY produced the most pronounced effect. Distinctive changes existed in the bile acid profile related to the different fibers. In contrast to pectin and guar gum, PSY caused a significant increase in the cholate:chenodeoxycholate and the glycine:taurine conjugation ratio. Pectin and guar gum did not alter daily fecal neutral sterol excretion while PSY caused a 90% increase due to a higher fecal output. Daily fecal bile acid excretion and total fecal bile acid concentration were significantly increased by PSY, whereas hePE, lePE, hvGG, and lvGG revealed no or only minor effects. Taken together, the disparate hypocholesterolemic effects of PSY, pectin, and guar gum on cholesterol and bile acid metabolism in the hamster are possibly related to different physicochemical properties, e.g., viscosity and susceptibility to fermentation, affecting the fiber- mediated action in the intestine.