Dec. 29, 2022 -- New research connects xanthan gum-based fluid thickeners with lower blood sugar after eating.

The study could be a help to people with heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. It was published in the Journal of Functional Foods and performed by a team at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

It found that xanthan gum increased insulin response and the metabolism of fat. It also was good for the gut microbiome, increasing numbers of two “good” intestinal bacteria.

Xanthan gum is used in foods including fluid thickeners to prevent choking.

Researchers worked with two groups of rats. One group received xanthan gum-based fluid thickener, while the other received saline, for five weeks. Blood glucose levels taken 60 minutes and 90 minutes after eating were significantly lower among the rats that got the liquid with thickener.

"The mechanism by which this happened is very interesting," senior author Haruka Tohara, DDS, PhD, said to UPI.

"Xanthan gum is a viscous soluble fiber that forms a non-diffusible aqueous layer, which affects the rate of diffusion of nutrients into the intestinal lumen ... and inhibits nutrient absorption by prolonging absorption time," the study said.

"However, the biological effects of fluid thickener on postprandial blood glucose levels, gene expression in the gastrointestinal tract and gut microbiome have not been fully clarified.”

Show Sources

UPI: “Fluid thickener linked to lower blood sugar after eating, study says.”

Journal of Functional Foods: “Xanthan gum-based fluid thickener decreases postprandial blood glucose associated with increase of Glp1 and Glp1rexpression in ileum and alteration of gut microbiome.”

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