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Is Xanthan Gum Healthy or Harmful?

Views: 281     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-07-26      Origin: Site


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Is Xanthan Gum Healthy or Harmful?

You probably haven't heard of the food ingredient xanthan gum, yet you probably eat it multiple times every week. Many individuals are worried about its safety because it is included in many industrial items and has been linked to digestive and respiratory issues. However, xanthan gum is deemed safe for eating by the FDA as a food ingredient.

Additionally, it is becoming more popular as a supplement and an essential component of gluten-free goods. It could even be healthy, decreasing blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The research on xanthan gum is examined in this article to discover if it is hazardous or advantageous to your health.

What Is Xanthan Gum?

Popular food ingredient Xanthan gum is frequently used in meals as a thickener or stabilizer. It is produced when the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris ferments sugar. A liquid is swiftly mixed with xanthan gum powder to produce a thick and stable solution. For many products, this makes it a fantastic thickening, suspending, and stabilizing ingredient.

Even though it was created in a lab, the fiber is soluble. Carbs that your body cannot break down are soluble fibers. Instead, they absorb water and transform in your digestive system into a gel-like material, which slows down digestion. Xanthan gum cannot be digested by your body and does not contain any calories or nutrients.

Xanthan Gum May Lower Blood Sugar

Excessive use of xanthan gum has been linked to reduced blood sugar levels, according to several studies. According to popular belief, it causes the liquids in your stomach and small intestine to change into a thick, gel-like material. This lessens blood sugar increases following meals by slowing digestion and affecting how soon sugar reaches the system.

In comparison to rice without xanthan gum, blood sugar levels were much lower after eating rice with it, according to research involving 11 women.

Other Health Benefits

Other possible health advantages of xanthan gum have been identified, although they are unlikely to materialize without taking supplements.Some potential health benefits of xanthan gum include:

Lower cholesterol: Five males were given ten times the authorized dosage of xanthan gum daily for 23 days as part of the trial. Their cholesterol had fallen by 10%, according to subsequent blood tests.

Weight loss: People who consume xanthan gum report feeling more satisfied. By delaying stomach emptying and decreasing digestion, it may promote fullness.

Improved regularity: A softer, bulkier, and easier-to-pass stool is produced when xanthan gum stimulates the passage of water into the intestines. According to studies, it considerably raises both the frequency and volume of stools.

Saliva substitute: It is occasionally used as a saliva substitute for those who have a dry mouth, although investigations on its efficacy have yielded conflicting findings.

Xanthan Gum Can Cause Digestive Issues

The majority of people seem to just experience an upset stomach as a possible side effect of xanthan gum. Large dosages can increase the frequency of stools and result in mushy stools, according to several animal studies.Large dosages of xanthan gum were shown to alter gut flora and increase bowel movement frequency, stool production, soften stools, and increase gas in human investigations.

These negative effects don't seem to manifest until at least 15 grams have been ingested. It would be challenging to consume this amount with a normal diet.Furthermore, since many other soluble fibers also affect gut flora, xanthan gum's capacity to do so may be advantageous. They are referred to as prebiotics and encourage the development of beneficial bacteria in the stomach. To fully comprehend xanthan gum's potential as a prebiotic, additional study is necessary.

Is It Safe to Consume?

The majority of people seem to be totally safe while consuming xanthan gum-containing meals. Despite being present in numerous foods, its percentage in a given food product ranges from 0.05-0.3%. Additionally, the average human takes in less than 1 gram of xanthan gum each day. amounts that have been shown to be secure 20 times over.

Consequently, even if you could consume a lot of foods that contain it, your consumption is so low that you're not likely to experience either positive effects or adverse side effects.


A well-liked thickening, suspending, and stabilizing ingredient is xanthan gum. It's present in numerous meals and goods and seems safe for the majority of individuals. Although increased consumption levels might potentially raise the risk of digestive issues, they may even have health advantages when ingested in larger amounts.

Importantly, higher consumption levels can only be obtained through the use of xanthan gum supplements because they are difficult to get from a typical diet. Eat xanthan gum-containing foods with confidence in the meantime. At worst, it appears to be innocuous.

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