UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Micronutrient status of individuals with overweight and obesity following 3 months’ supplementation with PolyGlycopleX (PGX®) or psyllium: a randomized controlled trial Pal, Sebely; McKay, Jenny; Ho, Suleen; Jane, Monica; Gahler, Roland J.; Wood, Simon


Background Safe and effective weight control strategies are needed to curtail the current obesity epidemic worldwide. Increasing dietary fibre has shown positive results with weight loss as well as in the reduction of metabolic syndrome risk factors. However, fibre can act as an inhibitor to the bioavailability of micronutrients in the gastrointestinal tract. While there is a substantial amount of scientific research into psyllium fibre, PolyGlycopleX (PGX®) is a novel fibre and as yet the effects of PGX® on micronutrient status is not well researched. Aim To determine whether 3-months’ supplementation with 15 g of psyllium or PGX® fibre daily affects micronutrient status of overweight and obese adults. Methods Overweight and obese individuals with a BMI between 25–40 kg/m2 and aged between 18 and 65 years, but otherwise healthy, were instructed to consume a 5 g sachet of psyllium, PGX® fibre or a rice flour placebo three times a day for 52 weeks as part of a larger long-term study. Blood sample data for the first 3 months were analysed for associations between serum micronutrient levels and psyllium fibre and/or PGX® supplements. Results No significant differences between fibre supplement groups and micronutrient status were found after 3 months at p > 0.05. Dietary intake of vitamin C was significantly lower for PGX® at 3 months compared to baseline and compared to control (p < 0.05). Folate was significantly lower in the control group after 3 months (p < 0.05). In the psyllium group, folate, sodium, zinc and magnesium intake decreased after 3 months (p < 0.05). A limitation of dietary intake data (tertiary measure) is the potential for inaccurate self-reporting, although reduced nutrient intake could be due to the satiating effect of dietary fibre. Conclusions There were no significant between group differences in serum micronutrient concentrations after a 3-month psyllium fibre or PGX® supplementation intervention of 15 g per day. Fibre supplementation is unlikely to compromise the nutritional status of overweight and obese individuals in the short term. Further research is recommended to monitor micronutrient status over a longer period or with a higher fibre dosage.

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