The aim of the study was to compare the effect of the administration of a mixture of fibres on body weight-loss, satiety, lipid profile and glucose metabolism. We included 200 overweight or obese patients in a parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, who were randomised to receive, in the context of an energy-restricted diet for a period of 16 weeks, a mixed fibre dose (3 g Plantago ovata husk and 1 g glucomannan) twice (b.i.d. group) or three times daily (t.i.d. group) or placebo. Weight change was the primary efficacy endpoint. Satiety, dietary compliance, lipid profile, glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were secondary endpoints. Weight loss tended to be higher after both doses of fibre ( − 4·52 (sd 0·56) and − 4·60 (sd 0·55) kg) than placebo ( − 0·79 (sd 0·58) kg); the differences in changes between groups were not statistically significant. Postprandial satiety increased in both fibre groups compared to the placebo. The differences between groups in LDL-cholesterol levels were significant (P = 0·03), with greater reductions in the two fibre-supplemented groups ( − 0·38 (sd 0·10) and − 0·24 (sd 0·09) mmol/l in the b.i.d. and t.i.d. groups v. − 0·06 (sd 0·09) mmol/l in placebo group). A similar pattern was observed for changes in total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol:LDL-cholesterol ratios. Interventions were well tolerated and had no effects on HDL-cholesterol, glucose and insulin concentrations, glucose tolerance or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. In conclusion, a 16-week dietary supplement of soluble fibre in overweight or obese patients was well tolerated, induced satiety and had beneficial effects on some CVD risk factors, the most important of which was a significant decrease in plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations.