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XANTHAN GUM

Other Names:

Bacterial Polysaccharide, Corn Sugar Gum, Goma Xantana, Gomme de Sucre de Maïs, Gomme de Xanthane, Gomme Xanthane, Polysaccharide Bactérien, Polysaccharide de Type Xanthane, Polysaccharide Xanthane, Xanthan, Xanthomonas campestris.

 Overview
 Uses
 Side Effects
 Interactions
 Dosing
Overview Information

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.

Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:


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.

Interactions What is this?

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.


Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

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.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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