Sex and hormonal status modulate the effects of psyllium on plasma lipids and monocyte gene expression in humans

Sonia Vega-López, Hedley C. Freake, Maria Luz Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Psyllium (PSY) intake decreases plasma LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) in men and pre- and post-menopausal women while PSY effects on plasma triglycerides (TG) are sex related. A significant decrease in plasma TG was observed in men while postmenopausal women experienced an increase in plasma TG concentrations following PSY supplementation. To further explore the mechanisms by which sex and hormonal status influence the effects of PSY on plasma lipids, HMG-CoA reductase, LDL receptor and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) mRNA abundance were measured in mononuclear cells isolated from these subjects. The intervention followed a randomized crossover design in which participants were allocated to either 15 or 0 g (control) of PSY/d for 30 d. Compared to the control period, PSY intake induced a 20% increase in HMG-CoA reductase mRNA abundance (P < 0.05) while no significant changes in LDL receptor mRNA abundance were observed. In contrast, LPL mRNA abundance was 24% higher in men and 23% lower in postmenopausal women (P < 0.05) when comparing PSY with the control period. These results suggest that the LDL-C lowering induced by PSY was related to changes in HMG-CoA reductase gene expression in monocytes while the expression of LPL in this system was affected by sex and hormonal status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • HMG-CoA reductase
  • LDL cholesterol
  • LDL receptor
  • Lipoprotein lipase
  • Psyllium
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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