Tapioca pearls, cassava starch.


Overview Information

Tapioca is a starch from the cassava plant. It is used in puddings, noodles, bread, and other food products.

Tapioca is used orally as a food source, food thickener, and for controlling blood sugar.

How does it work?

Tapioca starch is prepared by cooking cassava, drying it, processing it, and then cooking it again. When eaten, tapioca takes longer for the body to break down into sugar when compared to other grains or carbonydrates. Therefore, it can help slow the increase of sugar in the blood after eating.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Prediabetes. Early research shows that eating bread containing 6 grams of starch from tapioca lowers blood sugar in people with prediabetes compared to eating regular bread.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate tapioca for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Tapioca is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth as a food. There is not enough information available to know if tapioca is safe when taken by mouth in the amounts found in medicine.


We currently have no information for TAPIOCA Interactions.



The appropriate dose of tapioca depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tapioca. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Basic Report: 20068, Tapioca, pearl, dry. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. May, 2016. Retrieved from: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/6532?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=tapioca&ds=
  • Bornet FR, Fontvieille AM, Rizkalla S, et al. Insulin and glycemic responses in healthy humans to native starches processed in different ways: correlation with in vitro alpha-amylase hydrolysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Aug;50(2):315-23. View abstract.
  • CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21; Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, April 1, 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=182.70
  • Kehoe SH, Chopra H, Sahariah SA, et al. Effects of a food-based intervention on markers of micronutrient status among Indian women of low socio-economic status. Br J Nutr. 2015;113(5):813-21.
  • Tachibe M, Ohga H, Nishibata T, et al. Digestibility, fermentability, and energy value of highly cross-linked phosphate tapioca starch in men. J Food Sci. 2011;76(6):H152-5. View abstract.
  • Yamada Y, Hosoya S, Nishimura S, et al. Effect of bread containing resistant starch on postprandial blood glucose levels in humans. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005;69(3):559-66. View abstract.

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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 2018.