Xanthan gum is a sugar-like compound made by mixing aged (fermented) sugars with a certain kind of bacteria. It is used to make medicine.
Xanthan gum is used for lowering blood sugar and total cholesterol in people with diabetes. It is also used as a laxative.
Xanthan gum is sometimes used as a saliva substitute in people with dry mouth (Sjogren's syndrome).
In manufacturing, xanthan gum is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in foods, toothpastes, and medicines. Xanthan gum is also an ingredient in some sustained-release pills.
How does it work?
Xanthan gum swells in the intestine, which stimulates the digestive tract to push stool through. It also might slow the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract and work like saliva to lubricate and wet the mouth in people who don't produce enough saliva.
Side Effects & Safety
Xanthan gum is safe when up to 15 grams per day are taken. It can cause some side effects such as intestinal gas (flatulence) and bloating.
People who are exposed to xanthan gum powder might experience flu-like symptoms, nose and throat irritation, and lung problems.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of xanthan gum during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using amounts larger than those normally found in foods.
Nausea, vomiting, appendicitis, hard stools that are difficult to expel (fecal impaction), narrowing or blockage of the intestine, or undiagnosed stomach pain: Do not use xanthan gum if you have any of these conditions. It is a bulk-forming laxative that could be harmful in these situations.
Surgery: Xanthan gum might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using xanthan gum at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with XANTHAN GUM
Xanthan gum might decrease blood sugar by decreasing the absorption of sugars from food. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking xanthan gum with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the maximum acceptable intake for xanthan gum as a food additive at 10 mg/kg per day and as a laxative at 15 grams per day. For safety and effectiveness, bulk laxatives such as xanthan gum require extra fluids.
- For diabetes: a typical dose is 12 grams per day as an ingredient in muffins.