What is Xanthan Gum? Xanthan gum is an ingredient often used in food to help to bind and improve texture. However, it is also a great ingredient used in skincare to improve binding, emulsify, and thicken the product. Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, which means it is a carbohydrate. Interestingly it is a carbohydrate that …
Xanthan Gum – Is this food supplement healthy or harmful?
Surprisingly, wallpaper glue and vinaigrette have something in common.
This is xanthan gum, a dietary supplement that you’ve probably never heard of, but probably consume several times a week.
Because it is found in many industrial products and is associated with respiratory and digestive problems, many people are concerned about its safety.
But the FDA considers xanthan gum safe for consumption as a dietary supplement (source 1Trusted).
In addition, its popularity as a supplement and a common ingredient in gluten-free products is increasing.
It may even have health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
This article examines the evidence for xanthan gum to determine whether it is harmful or beneficial to your health.
What Is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is a popular food supplement that is usually added to food as a thickener or stabilizer.
It is created when sugar is fermented by a type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris. When sugar is fermented, it creates a broth or slime-like substance that is made solid by adding alcohol. It is then dried and powdered.
When xanthan gum powder is added to the liquid, it quickly dissipates and creates a viscous, stable solution. This makes it an excellent thickener, suspending and stabilizing agent for many products (2).
It was discovered by scientists in 1963. Since then, it has been well studied and safe. Therefore, the FDA approved it as a dietary supplement and did not impose any restrictions on the amount of xanthan gum that food can contain.
Even if it’s made in a lab, it’s a soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is carbohydrates that your body can’t break down.
Instead, they absorb water and turn into a gel-like substance in your digestive system, which slows down digestion (3).
Therefore, your body can’t digest xanthan gum, and it doesn’t provide calories or nutrients.
Xanthan gum is a food additive created by sugar fermented by bacteria. It is a soluble fiber and is commonly used to thicken or stabilize food.
Where Did You Find Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is found in food, personal care, and industrial products.
Xanthan gum can improve the texture, consistency, aroma, shelf life and appearance of many products.
It also stabilizes food, helping some foods to withstand different temperatures and pH levels. In addition, it prevents the separation of products and allows them to flow smoothly out of their containers.
It is often used in gluten-free cooking because it can provide the elasticity and softness that gluten gives to traditional baked goods.
Here are some common foods that contain xanthan gum:
Sauces and sauces made from meat juice
Personal Hygiene Products
Xanthan gum is also found in many personal care and beauty products. This allows these products to be thick but easy to get out of their containers. It also allows solid particles to be suspended in liquids.
Here are some common foods that contain xanthan gum:
Xanthan gum is used in many industrial products because of its ability to withstand different temperatures and pH levels, cling to surfaces, and thicken liquids while maintaining good flow.
Common industrial products containing xanthan gum include:
Fungicides, herbicides and insecticides
Cleaning agents for tiles, mortar, stoves and toilet
Liquids Used in Oil Drilling
Adhesives, such as wallpaper glue
Xanthan gum is included in many foods, personal care products, and industrial products because of its stabilizing and thickening properties.
Xanthan Gum May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Several studies have shown that xanthan gum can lower blood sugar levels when consumed in high doses. It is thought to turn liquids from your stomach and small intestine into a viscous gel-like substance. This slows down digestion and affects how quickly sugar gets into your bloodstream, reducing blood sugar spikes after a meal.
In the 12-week study, there were nine men with diabetes and four without diabetes who ate a bun daily. During the six weeks of the study, the men ate cupcakes without xanthan gum. For the remaining 6 weeks, they ate cupcakes containing 12 grams of it.
Participants ‘ blood sugar levels were regularly tested, and fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels in men with diabetes were significantly lower when eating xanthan gum cupcakes.
Xanthan gum can lower blood sugar levels, slowing digestion and affecting how quickly sugar can enter the bloodstream.
Some potential health benefits of xanthan gum include:
Lower cholesterol: In one study, five men consumed 10 times the recommended amount of xanthan gum per day for 23 days. Subsequent blood tests showed that their cholesterol had dropped by 10%.
Weight loss: People reported an increase in fatness after consuming xanthan gum. This can increase fullness by delaying stomach emptying and slowing down digestion.
Anti-cancer properties: A study in mice with melanoma has shown that it significantly slows the growth of cancer tumors and prolongs life. No human studies have been completed, so the current evidence is weak (8The source is reliable).
Improved regularity: Xanthan gum increases the movement of water in the intestine to create a softer, bulkier stool that is easier to pass. Studies have shown that it significantly increases the frequency and amount of stool.
Thickens liquids: It is used to thicken liquids for those who have trouble swallowing, such as the elderly or people with neurological disorders.
Saliva Substitute: It is sometimes used as a saliva substitute for people with dry mouth, but studies of its effectiveness have found mixed results.
High doses of xanthan gum may have certain benefits, including lower cholesterol, increased fullness, and anti-cancer properties. However, more human studies are needed.
Xanthan Gum Can Cause Digestive Problems
For most people, the only potential negative side effect of xanthan gum appears to be stomach pain.
Many animal studies have shown that high doses can increase the frequency of stools and cause soft stools.
In human studies, high doses of xanthan gum had the following effects:
Increased frequency of bowel movements
Increase in chair production
altered intestinal bacteria
These side effects do not appear to occur if less than 15 grams are consumed. This amount would be difficult to achieve with a typical diet.
Also, the ability of xanthan gum to alter gut bacteria may be a good thing, as many other soluble fibers alter gut bacteria. They are known as prebiotics and promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
However, further research is needed to understand the potential of xanthan gum as a prebiotic.
Xanthan gum can have a laxative effect if consumed in large quantities. On a positive note, it can also act as a prebiotic and stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Some people may need to avoid or limit
it while xanthan gum is safe for most, there are a few people who should avoid it.
People with severe allergies to wheat, corn, soy, or dairy products
Xanthan gum is derived from sugar. Sugar can come from a variety of places, including wheat, corn, soy, and dairy products.
People with severe allergies to these products may need to avoid products containing xanthan gum if they can’t determine which source the xantham gum comes from.